Webmasters Get Money From Their Own Card Processing Company and the System Is Even Viral

A few intelligent webmasters are taking profits from their own card processing company and since the system is viral, nobody knows where it will all end! It’s safe to say multimillionaires will be created using this patented system. A banner ad here and a text link there is all it takes.

Lots of webmasters are going to be caught with their pants down because they erroneously believe the software will cost them a fortune but the unbelievable fact is it’s all free. No fees to join, no maintenance costs and no hidden charges anywhere! It’s just 20% cash for affiliates and business owners pure and simple.

An award-winning card processing company decided to do away with hiring agents to contact business owners and turn it over to the public domain where the system could go viral. Because there are no fees ever, all card processing equipment remains in place, card processing rate remains the same and a 20% commission is returned on new and existing accounts so it becomes a no-brainer.

Although that small enticement is enough to cause a riot among business owners, it really pales when you consider the system is viral. Once you join, simply post your company provided banner ads with your ID embedded and when the next business joins you get a 20% commission from his processing cost also.

Lesser amounts of commissions are offered as your down line tree grows to infinity but it’s never less than 2.5%. After the initial shock and awe of this system allows your brain to reorganize you invariably ask what’s the catch and the answer is there isn’t any except one little detail.

To enroll in the program you must be processing $5000 in credit, debit or e-check funds but there is no top end limit. But to get around this obstacle you can enroll as an affiliate and still profit all the way down to infinity. Somewhere down the line any business that processes over the 5K minimum can be chosen as your “partner” and they will receive 10% of your entire down line affiliate commission.

It’s not taken from your commission but added to the one business you are allowed to partner with. If you are bringing in $100,000 a month in commissions your one partner business will receive $10,000. It’s an incentive to have businesses begging “pick me” for your partner.

While you’re still scratching your head wondering if it’s not a very good processor you’ll be happy to know that in 2010 they won numerous awards for their advanced technology and new security programs which made them a leader in the processing field.

So Mr. Webmaster, if you need a little pick me up for your site, getting money from your own card processing company is one way to do it but be cautious of this viral system because it could cause your server to crash! But then, with all the money you’ll have coming in you can always get a new state-of-the-art server.

Microsoft LucidTouch – The Technology That Will Change Laptops Forever

Technology Innovations continue to surprise us with new and improved products to help make our lives easier and our days go smoother. Touch screen technology is one of the technologies that has emerged to help make our days go by a bit more efficiently, allowing people to access their calendars, address databases, and memo records all with just one tap of a screen. The biggest drawback about it is that sometimes, fingers get in the way of touch screen technology. This is where Microsoft’s new LucidTouch technology has come to the rescue in efforts to solve this problem.

LucidTouch Technology Works in Reverse

Currently the type of touch screen technology that most people are used to has to do with pressing their finger on a point and making an application pop up. While this may seem just well and fine, there are some people who are a great deal busier than that and have to be able to do multiple things at once-including type emails and open email applications at the same time.

With LucidTouch technology by Microsoft, there is no problem with the fingers blocking the screen because the hands are behind the device. Similar to a projector screen the image of the hands is projected through the device and to your eyes, and the actual touch screen capabilities are on the backside of the device. This means no more having to hold your device in one hand and tap the touch screen with another.

The image of the user’s hands can be seen through the screen, making it especially useful for games and things like navigational systems. It gives the illusion of the actual device being see-through, when really it is just the LucidTouch technology transmitting an image of the hand through the screen onto the person’s eyes. This helps greatly, allowing even the busiest of people to see the screens and navigate through the screens at the same time without their hands getting in the way.

Where did Microsoft LucidTouch Technology Come From?

Many users feel that Microsoft’s LucidTouch technology came from nowhere, and it really did. The touch screen being blocked by the fingers has been one of those problems that plenty of users had but few actually cared enough to speak up about, and the new technology has just emerged at the right time to make users in general that much more efficient with their phones. It makes business phones that much more easily worked and even simplifies GPS navigational devices. While the technology is sensitive to a person’s touch, it is also not so sensitive that it jumps at every little tap to the screen, which is one problem with the Iphone and other phones whose whole front is a touch activated screen.

What is next for Microsoft? Only time can tell, and this LucidTouch technology has not yet entered the mainstream market. AS a matter of fact, it was only introduced and put on display for the first time at a technology show in early March 2008, so many people don’t even know that this amazing technology is coming at them. In the meantime, it will surely be tweaked and redefined as time goes on, making for an even better piece of equipment once the final product rolls off of the lines-whenever that may happen to be. Are you frustrated with your touch screen phone or GPS? Look out for Microsoft LucidTouch technology in a device near you.

Website Design – Top 8 Mistakes Most of the Web Designers Make

With the advancement in Information Technology around the world, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has accentuated in making world-wide web a mainstream business platform for its local organizations and companies. However, the software solution providers, especially, the web designers in UAE face many challenges to cope up with their competitors across the globe.

Here are the top 8 mistakes that UAE based web designers make:

1. Lack of strategy and plan for the website The lack of strategy and plan before they design a website is the biggest problem the designers face. The idea behind the website should be clearly defined and the target audience should be identified. When we define our users and their usability goals, we can then devise a better approach to design the website.

2. Complex designs The web designers lack the real usability asset in their websites. They go for designs that are too complex for the visitors/users to understand. The website design and the content navigation guide the visitors/users and help them find what they’re looking for. The web designers should make the users feel comfortable when they are navigating through the website.

3. Contradiction of design and the theme of the website You might come across those eye-catching websites that tickle your senses but that’s not all what a website design should be about. The contradiction of the theme of the website with the designs is also a huge hindrance to a user-friendly website. The design of the website should brand your company’s look and feel. For example, if you’re designing a law firm’s website and using a flashy design then it may not be able to deliver your brand identity to your visitors.

4. Lack of SEO in design Search engines are the biggest traffic referral sources for websites. The web designers fail to design search-engine-friendly websites because they don’t realize that search engine optimization has paramount significance to a good website design.

5. Non-interactive designs Some web designers in UAE often design websites that are not interactive; in fact, the design is just a dictation from the designer. The design of the website speaks out your business idea and converts visitors into customers. When a visitor feels that website is letting him do what he wants, that’s when your website gets starred. The web design should follow the principles of orchestration and hide redundant details from the user.

6. High scrolling pages Most of the web designers overdo the page length incorporating stale text. Too much scrolling tends to loose the visitor’s interest in your website. Every time he wants to look up for something, he has to scroll up and down a million times, therefore, wasting the time and effort of the visitor. A good website design should be kept simple by maintaining a single concept per page.

7. Increased number of clicks The most common mistake by the web designers is that they don’t reduce the number of clicks required to reach a certain page. The visitor gets lost into the hierarchy and don’t feel comfortable using the website.

8. Language errors and left justification of Arabic websites Some of the web designers are not even adequately adept at Arabic; therefore, they don’t understand the most important difference between an English website and an Arabic website: English websites are left justified and the Arabic websites are right justified. The language errors in the content of the website may dissuade the users resulting in the decrease of website traffic.

If the web designers avoid these common mistakes, design simply and creatively; and follow the HCI guidelines, they will be able to achieve better ROIs. Going through this checklist will make sure that your website attracts more traffic.

Web Development and Website Creation Are Indispensable For Your Business

Before you even begin to contemplate monetizing a website, you have to determine what the website is for and how you would like it to be used. It is at this point that you will need to begin proper web design. You have to design the website to meet your demands because if you fail to do so, there will be no difference between your site and anyone else’s.

Website development and website creation is a crucial part of any top-quality website. All too often, someone gets it in their mind that they want a website and then throw together whatever they can to make it. Unfortunately only one of two things will happen when spontaneous choices like this are made. The first thing is that in your rush you choose to make use of an open source content managements system and then select any old template or skin which thousands of other websites make use of. The second is that you may take the time to develop a website from scratch but mimic someone else’s layout. In the end, while the website could have some potential as long as you put forth the effort to make it a great website. Sometimes it just makes better sense to take the time to plan out your website every step of the way and continue to pay attention to the details along the way.

Any online business should be developed just like any brick and mortar establishment. You have to take the time to properly plan out its design, development and set goals to achieve in this development. You have to plan ahead for when the site is finally launched and what your plans are to generate traffic and keep the visitors coming. Most of all though, you will need to find out what possible obstacles you may face and what will be necessary to overcome these obstacles. Just as in any other type of business, if you fail to properly plan it out you will end up creating a failure.

For many people, this planning stage plays a crucial role in the web development and website creation for any site whether it is a community, a simple HTML spread or anything else possible in today’s internet age. Plan ahead and make sure that you do everything that is necessary to ensure the success of your online business. Make sure that you put plenty of time and effort into the developmental stages of the website itself. When you pay attention to even the finest of details, you will find that your efforts will pay off in the end by allowing you to have a greater chance of developing a highly successful website and online business.

Quick Tips To Get You Through Your Newbie Webmaster Days

Are you tired of the kids asking the neighbors for dinner because you are stuck online all day?

Is your spouse wondering whether you are going to marry the computer?

Do you only eat what can fit on the side of the desk next to the mouse??

No one said that starting out online was easy. Especially for those who stay at home. Some days you don’t think that you will ever figure out how to handle life online and offline?

You are not alone. We all wish there were more hours available every day to finish everything, but since it doesn’t work that way, you have to come up with some tips to help you manage those first months of being a webmaster and publisher.

Quick Tips

Stop Getting Caught Up In Your Email And Finish Your Work. Yes the emails look interesting, but what about your work? What pays you more, your work or reading emails?

Think, And I Mean This, Think Before You Pull Out Your Credit Card.

If it seems like that money is just burning a hole in your pocket, resist the urge to spend on things you don’t need. Do you need that expensive list host when your list is small?

Do you need that expensive software when you can find the same quality in a free version?

Do you need to buy all the ebooks out there? What about saving your money for promoting your products or services, or your monthly hosting fees?

Organize Yourself

Is your work in the same pile as your children’s toys? Make a space in your home for your office. Even if you can’t dedicate an entire room to your office, clear off a section of a room for your office, and make sure everyone else in the household knows this.

Is This Your Day??

6 am

Wake up, Get the kids ready for school

6:15 am

Of course you turn on the computer ( if you ever turned it off from the night before!)

6:30 am

It dawns on you. Just how many affiliate programs did I sign up for yesterday? I don’t even remember the product I am supposed to be selling but I remember the 50% commission, so hey why not??

7 am

Kids are at school, spouse is on their way to work and you are in front of the computer ready to work. You start checking your email and then…

9 am

You are still caught up in your email. You don’t even remember what you were supposed to do in the first place. Hey isn’t it time to eat. Now what do I eat??

The Webmaster’s Breakfast

( Anything that can fit on the side of the desk next to the mouse!)

Coffee ( a must)

Water or Juice ( while you are waiting for your coffee to cool)

Bagels, Pop Tarts, Toast, a Sandwich Anything that is bite sized and can be held without a fork!

Don’t worry, all experienced webmasters know how to juggle plates of food on their laps while typing away. Give it a few months, it’ll come to you.

The Webmasters Lunch

The same thing you had for breakfast, just reheated and you are now on your fifth cup of coffee.

By the time you have eaten, your ISP is down. You and the ten million other customers who share the same dial up number are out of luck for the next two hours.

Okay your ISP is back up. Now in the mean time did you do any work? You don’t have to be connected to the Internet to do everything.

Well you better do something before your children get home and tell you the one phrase you hope you never have to hear especially when you are on a deadline

“So Mommy / Daddy, what does this button do..??”

Crash. Your computer is down for the rest of the day…

SO WHAT HAVE YOU ACCOMPLISHED TODAY???

Write down your daily goals.

Answer emails from customers.

Processing sales accordingly.

Update at least one page on your site.

Gather some new and interesting information for your ezine.

Jot down some ideas for an article.

Set some ground rules in your home and your business so everyone fully understands what you are trying to accomplish and that there are no hidden surprises.

The list goes on and on.

The fact is that it doesn’t get any easier, but it is up to you to decide what battles you want to tackle every day.

There is more time wasted thinking about your goals than the time you spend achieving them.

In the long run, you will see that computer errors and household errors are a part of life but also an excuse to not finish what you started.

Just a quick reminder to let you know you are not alone.

But you may realize that the only person stopping you from your goals is YOU.

Earn Your Associate’s Degree in Information Systems and Technology

Students who are interested in computers and information systems should pursue a college education in information systems and technology. This training degree program usually consists of specialized computer courses and information classes. By pursuing this education training program, students are well prepared for a career in a corporate environment.

The computer and Internet have undoubtedly changed the world and how its inhabitants communicate with one another. People are able to broadcast their personal lives, look up information, play video games with users on another continent, e-mail their friends and relatives, send photos, network with business associates and publish blogs at a rapid rate. With the Internet changing at such a quick pace, new technology, computer processes and software is continually required to maintain the safety, efficiency and proper usage of computer technology and the Internet.

If you love working with computers, the World Wide Web, new technology and enjoy troubleshooting, then a college Associate’s Degree in Information Systems and Technology may be the right career choice for you. This college education program provides the basic career training foundation that gives students career flexibility in selecting a technology or computer-related occupation. After graduation, students can go on to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree or delve immediately into the working world.

Information technology students should be able to quickly identify problems that may interfere with a computer’s basic operations, love to troubleshoot, problem solve, enjoy working with other team members and possess a thorough understanding of the basic operations of technology. Acquiring an Associate’s Degree will only take a student two years. During this time, students will learn by engaging in many hands-on training courses and computer classes.

The curriculum educates students in the fields of data storage, programming practices, development cycle, technology applications in business strategy and ethical and legal technology issues. Students will be able to locate information resources and evaluate them for relevance and credibility. An Associate’s Degree in information technology will give students a thorough comprehension of all cyber-related
processes.

Information systems management courses are designed to help students develop the ability to manage and organize the vast information resources of an organization. These classes give students a thorough and in-depth understanding of management standards and the fundamentals of information and technology systems. With this diverse education, students are able to become an integral part of many different corporate environments. Students who wish to pursue an Associate’s Degree in Information Systems can expect to:

  • Learn the basics and fundamentals of computers and the Internet
  • Become familiar with potential threats, viruses, malware and other hazardous elements that may cause damage to a computer
  • Work firsthand with experts in the information advancement and computer technology industries, participate in classroom discussion that allow you to ask questions and test your own theories
  • Experiment with new technology and software programs that are currently available on the market
  • Learn about information and data storage, retrieval, manipulation and other data processes
  • Learn about business settings and how technology relates to the corporate world and its everyday operations, experience how technology benefits a business environment in many different contexts

Web Design Experts – Best Qualities of a Web Designer to Search For in Website Construction

Introduction

An imminent characteristic of trade in a particular market is the mushrooming of supplier of the products. The business of professional web design had been crowded with professionals. In order to enjoy much of the services rendered by the web design ‘gurus’ you have to identify a combination of factors that make the web designer to outweigh the others. These are called web brands as their services are unique. They are often more placed in a competitive edge than their counterparts because of their qualities. A web design buyer should keenly look for the below qualities from the web experts.

Creativity in image presentation

A web design brand should be able to display ideal web creativity. The images should ‘catch the eye’ of the audience. The image should be of the correct size to capture the attention of the web user. The ‘guru’ should be able to create pages that have images, texts and pictures but they can load easily. An uncreative web design will produce a flat, tasteless, unattractive presentation to the readers. Skillful image handling techniques are important for the designers to place the text and images in strategic locations that best portray the intended information.

Marketing gimmicks

One of the brand qualities of a professional designer should be the ability to present the marketing skills to win the confidence of the buyer and influence his buying decision. A designer who is creative but misses out buying and selling skills fails to meet the expertise requirement of the web designer who is a multi-talented person. The designer should apply the concept of branding to bring out unique features of the web page.

Search engine software application

A web design expert should also posses the programming skills. This is the area where computer human interaction is displayed. The designer should be able to create interactive programs that are easy to use and are accustomed for a larger audience.

Writing skills and copy write techniques

Authorship skills are an ideal quality for a web designer. Besides coming up with readable, clear, simple and legal text contents, the designer should also have image sourcing and application that is classical, communicative, confined with the set standards and design policy as well as web content regulations.

As a buyer you must shop around to see which web designer possesses at least all of the mentions professional qualities. The result will be a quality web site that draws traffic allover.

Tainers Kiamba is an hotelier in East Africa. Through out his life he has developed an interest in writing. The author has been writing as a second party. It is time now the author would like to share his ideas and skills directly with the publishers world wide. The sky is the limit as the enthusiasm is high and quality will be the main objective to settle at. The author will employ writing skills, managerial experience and research interests to give the publisher that touch of work they would want to have.

Web Design and Development – The Mile-High View

With the pace of change on the Web, it can be hard to remember that very few people actually keep up with the flood of new technologies, frameworks, and acronyms. Unless you are designing for web-related companies, it’s very likely that your clients will have no idea what “building a web site” actually entails, or what happens after you’re done designing. In this article, I hope to give you a very high-level overview of the Web that you can point a client to, so that they can understand what goes into a web site besides Photoshop or Flash.

Let’s start with a bit of history. Before any of this Web malarkey came about, you had computer networks. That is to say, people connected individual mainframes (because personal computers didn’t exist yet) with cables so they could talk to each other. PC’s came along, and offices started connecting a building’s PCs together so they could talk. Then something really revolutionary happened: people connected one office network with another. Lo and behold, the basis of the Internet as we know it was born.

At its heart, the Internet is a network of networks. In most cases, that smaller network is the 1-4 computers you have in your household, which connect to the larger “Internet” network through your router or cable modem or what have you. There is no “center” of the Internet, no overarching computer directing everything; it’s just millions of small networks like the one in your house or office connecting with one another. There are systems set up to make it so that if your computer says “Connect me with computer XYZ,” it can find a way to make that connection, but those systems (think TCP/IP, routing, etc.) are too complicated to talk about here.

So the Internet existed, but the Web as we know it did not. The Internet in those days was good for only a few things: email, bulletin boards, and Usenet, among others. Then along came Tim Berners-Lee with his description of a new acronym: HTML. HyperText Markup Language allowed the first web designers (geeky scientists) to create the first web pages. Think of HTML like formatting in Microsoft Word; the words you write are all there, but Word / HTML let you give them some extra meaning. HTML allowed page creators to define their text as paragraphs, bulleted lists, numbered lists, tables of data, and more. Most importantly, HTML allowed page creators to link one page to another – the “HyperText” part of the name – so that related documents could be found quickly and easily.

As I mentioned before, the first users of HTML were geeky scientists. HTML let them format their research papers, and link their papers to the papers they cited. That was about it; plain HTML doesn’t have any real ability to “style” a page outside of identifying what’s a paragraph and what is something more specialized. So the Web was a sea of text, without even a single image in sight.

A few years later, competing ideas about how to give pages some style were merged into a single system, CSS. “Cascading Style Sheets” let page creators make their pages prettier by defining how the “elements” of HTML (lists, paragraphs, etc.) should be displayed. The page creator could now say that all text in paragraphs should be red, that lists should be bulleted with little squares instead of circles, and to say how tall or wide a certain piece of content should be on the screen. Browser makers had added this functionality into their programs (like Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer) for a while by this point, but CSS did something radical: it separated the content to be displayed from the rules about how to display it. Using CSS, a designer could write two style sheets that made very different looks out of a single HTML page, without making any changes to the HTML.

And yet, despite the promise of CSS, it started out poorly implemented in many browsers, so that what looked fine in, say, Internet Explorer 3 was completely broken in Netscape Navigator 4. So, instead of CSS, many designers (since it was now actually possible to “design” a page!) opted to use HTML’s table ability to lay out all their content. The idea was to use a website like an Excel spreadsheet – make the columns and rows whatever width and height you need, and then fill in each “cell” of the table with an image, or some text, until you get what you want. This led to some nice-looking designs, but completely and totally broke the original ideas of HTML. In a table-based design, the HTML doesn’t have any meaning at all; everything is just a table cell. If the designer you are talking with keeps telling you that “table-based design” is a bad thing, that’s why. Using HTML together with CSS makes a site that loads faster and that actually has some meaning to machines (like Google!), instead of a giant spreadsheet. After all, would you ever try to make artwork or write an article in Excel?

So, we’ve got networks, HTML pages, and CSS stylesheets. How do they all fit together?

If someone wants a site, they first buy a domain name. Buying a domain name gives you the right to assign the name to a particular computer anywhere in the world, of your own choosing. A system called DNS (“Domain Name System”) informs all of the world’s connected networks of where you pointed that name, so that when someone’s computer says “Anyone know how to get to myfavoritesite.com?”, DNS can say “Sure, it’s at computer XYZ over there.”

Computer XYZ, meanwhile, is running a program called a Web server. “Server” is a fancy name that scares people, but all it really means is that computer XYZ is sitting around listening to its wire for anyone to say “Hey, I need the stuff for arborwebsolutions.com,” and once it hears that, it will throw that stuff over the wire. This is what people mean when they say you need to buy “Web hosting” – you need to pay a company to run a computer with server software listening for your domain name, and handing out those files when someone asks for them. You could run your own server right in your living room – plenty of geeks do – but that’s generally more responsibility than most people want to take on. Your monthly hosting charge also means that whoever owns the computer is going to fix things when they break, and generally keep an eye on things for you. If they’re a hosting company worth the money you pay them, at least.

(Side note: “Servers” aren’t just for Web sites. There are email servers that sit around listening for people to say “Hey! Get this letter to Jane Doe!”. There are file servers, usually in offices, that sit around waiting for someone to say “I need that presentation file from last week.” Server programs are everywhere, and every time you have a computer interaction with another computer, you’re probably talking to a server.)

Back to the technology. While CSS was taking shape, the Web also saw the rise of CGI, or “Common Gateway Interface,” abilities. (Note that this is not the same CGI as in movie special effects; that’s “Computer Generated Imagery.” There are only so many combinations of three letters out there.) CGI allowed a programmer to write a program that sat on a Web server and did things more complicated than just handing someone an HTML file or a CSS sheet. With CGI, you could fill out a “form” – those collections of text boxes that let you do things like buy a book on Amazon or log in to Facebook – and do something with that information on the server – like telling Joe in inventory to charge your card and mail you a book, or taking you to your home page on Facebook. CGI isn’t a “language” in itself, it’s just a system, and there are dozens of programming languages that can talk CGI.

Hand-in-hand with CGI is the use of databases. Databases let a server hold on to the information you put in those forms, and CGI can either store information into the database or get it back out as needed. So when you make an account at Amazon, they’re holding all of your account info in a database. When you log in, Amazon remembers all sorts of information about you by pulling it out of the database again. Databases let you do more than just accounts, though. If you’ve ever used blogging software like WordPress, Blogger, Joomla!, or any of the dozens of other blog types out there (that includes Facebook status updates or Twitter tweets), you’ve used a database to store your articles. All a blog is doing is storing your articles in the database, and then pulling out the most recent ones whenever someone comes to your website.

So you’ve heard of fancy new tools like PHP, or Ruby on Rails, or Django? They’re basically just variations on the CGI / database idea. Sure, they’re a lot more complicated than that, but it gives you an idea of what your designer / developer is babbling about.

Yep, more or less that’s all there is to the Web. I’ve left out a metric ton of stuff, but I can always come back to that later. So, when you hire a designer to make a site from scratch, here’s what they’re basically doing:

  1. Find an appropriate domain name and buy it (a challenge in its own right), and point it to the hosting server;
  2. Take all of your content (you did give them your content, right?) and mark it up in HTML;
  3. Write CSS stylesheets that turn that content into a nice-looking website;
  4. Figure out any CGI / database things that need to be done, and set them up (usually called “back-end” work).

“That’s so simple!” some clients will say. “I could do that myself!” It’s true! You don’t need a license to be a web designer, and that’s the way it was always intended. But when most people with this mindset start trying to learn HTML and CSS, they end up creating nightmarish pages that put MySpace to shame. Knowing the tools isn’t enough – you also have to know how best to apply them. Owning a hammer isn’t enough to make you a craftsman, and hitting a few nails with it once or twice doesn’t make you a master carpenter.

One final note about Adobe Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver is just a program that helps people write HTML and CSS. That’s it – the Web does not require Dreamweaver to operate; you can make an entire website in Notepad if you want, as long as you save the HTML file as “.html” and the CSS file as “.css”. Dreamweaver does make things a bit easier by letting you “preview” your site as you code and type things wherever you want in that preview, but remember the foundations of HTML and CSS – text content on one side, presentation on the other. Dreamweaver has a hard time doing that; the sites it creates using those “visual tools” end up like the spreadsheets I mentioned earlier. Any good designer should be able to make a beautiful site without ever touching Dreamweaver or its ilk. That’s why the design industry generally views Dreamweaver as a crutch for people who don’t yet know what they’re doing.

Tips for the Webmaster Preparing a Site for an Affiliate Program

An online business can be difficult to maintain without proper marketing. The World Wide Web is fast becoming crowded, and the online marketplace is more a haven for noise than a virtual mall for shoppers. There are large companies with aggressive marketing campaigns that can drown out the efforts of smaller companies at getting heard. There are scams and schemes aplenty, all of them disguised as get-rich-quick strategies that may seem like miracles to naïve business people, until the methods backfire.

The World Wide Web, however, is not so dangerous a jungle as it seems. With the right marketing schemes, the right technical know-how, and the right website, you can earn money online. One such technique involves joining an affiliate program.

An affiliate program is simply a collection of businesses with the same aims, products, and services. All these businesses are clustered underneath a main affiliate, which markets its goods and services through advertisements posted on affiliate sites. These advertisements may be in the form of text, such as those found in Google’s AdSense affiliate program; graphics, such as those found in various banners posted online; and streaming media, such as music or video, that can give life to an entertainment or adult site.

Whenever these advertisements are clicked on, seen, or followed, and whenever the main site earns money or gets responses due to the efforts of its affiliate, the affiliate is paid a certain amount of commission. This referral scheme may make affiliate programs nothing more than online multi-level marketing schemes, but affiliate programs are different. Unlike multi-level marketing schemes, affiliate programs operate on only two tiers, and involve less effort at making sales.

Affiliate programs are simply about effective marketing. In this case, effective marketing can be carried out by posting advertisements that are provided by the main affiliate site. All the effort at marketing, however, cannot come from the main site. Your website must complement the advertisements, and you as webmaster must make sure that the website is prepared for affiliate marketing.

If you are a webmaster of a business website that wants to engage in affiliate marketing, take note of the following tips before you redo the layout of the site.

o Some affiliate programs will give you advertisements to post based on the density of keywords on your site. This can be easy if your site’s contents are already dense in keywords related to the business to which it caters. However, if you find that certain keywords are being misinterpreted, then you may have to re-engineer your site’s text to fit both search engine and affiliate program requirements.

o Examine the nature and look of the affiliate program’s advertisements. If you are allowed to change the look of the advertisements, or if you are allowed to add graphics or color to an advertisement you would otherwise deem as boring, then do so. However, do not make your advertisement box appear gaudy or overdone, as it can also cheapen the look of your website. Make sure that color schemes match, so that your customers will keep coming back to your site, and will click on the advertisements that you post.

o If the affiliate program will not allow you to tamper with the advertisements, then place the advertisements in a place where they will blend with the color scheme of the site, and where they will still be conspicuous enough to be noticed, visited, and clicked on. Do not place your text-rich advertisement next to text, or your graphics-rich advertisement side by side with other graphics.

o Your site has to be attractive and useful before your company plunges into any affiliate program. You must gather visitors and loyal customers before you can expect anyone to click on your advertisements. In web design, content is always king, so fill your website with useful text, perhaps with facts or tips that can help your website visitors. Make your layout attractive and easy to view.

o Tables add weight to a website file, and this can make your website load much longer on browsers. If you add advertisements, your website may take even a longer time to load, and your customers can be turned off. Instead of using tables, find a way to employ style sheets. These can lighten your HTML files and allow your prospective customers easier access to your website.

As a webmaster, you are confronted by the daunting task of making your website appeal to even more customers. If you follow these tips before making the affiliate program plunge, however, you can be sure that your efforts at affiliate marketing will truly bring profits to the company you work for.

Enabling More Profits Through Strategic Use of Technology Solutions

There are two types of business owners who consider technology differently:

Type I – “The Gadget Person”

This type of owner embraces technology at most levels. They are considered “early adopters” from a technology point of view. The gadget guys were the first ones to get a Palm Pilot in 1995 and loaded all their contacts on the device. They were excited to set appointments and have electronic reminders beep all day long.

Type II – “Just make it work”

This type of owner proudly proclaims that they know very little to nothing about technology and are content to leave it that way. They were wary of email at first, but have come to rely on it quite a bit.

Both types are passionate about their business and could benefit from strategic application of the right technology solutions.

Understand Your Process

Coupled with technology is “process.” Process is defined as steps required to manufacture your products or the means to provide your services. A clean and efficient process is the key to applying any technology solution successfully. The wrong, or inefficient process, will lead you to spend $100k on an unnecessary system. The efficient process will save you money when implementing technology and should increase your profits. It is vitally important for your business that you examine all your processes BEFORE implementing any technology solution.

If your process is efficient, then applying a technology solution will automate the operation which will properly enable growth. On the flipside, if your process is inefficient, then applying technology will be costly and likely work against itself. Technology for the sake of technology is not going to solve anything. In fact, without the proper process and strategy, you will likely create problems and reduce your margins by applying the wrong technology solution. A technology “solution” should solve something.

A technology solution should meet at least one of the following four criteria:

1. reduce operating expenses

2. automate existing (efficient) processes to enable growth

3. provide an effective means to communicate

4. enable your business to improve its products and/or services

Before the first dime is spent, insure that your examine these criteria.