Friday, January 30, 2009

The Art of Being Controversial

If I started blogging about my personal political or religious views on this blog (that is, the Thrive Learning Institute Blog) it is quite likely that they would fire me. Those things are far too controversial for a professional to be talking about on a professional blog like this one.

Your blog, however, is an entirely different matter, especially if you're involved in affiliate marketing (revenue gained from people clicking on Ads on your site). In that case, do anything that would get you fired at work!

It may seem a little strange, but by upsetting people, you're guaranteeing yourself increased traffic. It's not so much about getting people involved in a positive way as it is about getting people emotionally involved -- and as deeply emotionally involved as you possibly can.

Why does this work? Well, human's are idiots, to start with. When we see a set of headlines online, if we know we agree with one, we are only somewhat likely to click on it. On the other hand, if we see something that upsets us, we immediately dive in -- knowing fully well that it will just make us more angry.

People who disagree with you will make long comments trying to prove to you that you're wrong -- and then those who agree with you will become upset with them. This is a way that you can get a lot of "content" generated for your blog, with little to no effort from you! People engaged in these internet arguments will check back frequently, sometimes get friends involved, and are likely to check back in for future posts.

So, yes! Be controversial, and be willing to step way out of your boundaries. By emotionally entrenching people, you're getting yourself a group of people who will return to your blog again and again -- and thus, a group of people who are likely to make you money through your affiliate ads.

Of course, having a successful blog of affiliate site is far more than talking about controversial subjects -- and there are many ways to maximize your profit. For more information on how a quality coaching company can help your business succeed in affiliate marketing, e-commerce, or any other branch of making money online, simply visit

The Recession and Online Commerce

A comment I hear pretty frequently is something to the tune of "I'm worried with the economy -- will this effect my online business?"

When I explain the reality of the situation, people are usually quite surprised. To give the most brief possible summary: E-Commerce is still growing! While other businesses, including brick and mortar retail stores, are faltering, e-commerce remains strong.

In 2008, the e-commerce industry on the whole did $214.4 billion in sales. That's a 7% increase when compared to 2007, meaning that e-commerce is still alive and well in today's world. So, why is this? Here are a few major reasons:
  • Saving on gas prices. Though this was far more influential when gas prices were $4.00 per gallon, people are still looking for ways to scrimp and save, and so staying at home to do your shopping can help.

  • Saving on retail costs. Unlike retail stores, you don't have an overhead! Because you don't have an overhead, you can offer lower prices. Savvy shoppers are now turning online to find better deals.

  • Generation Y -- they're growing up. Those born in the late 80s are now adults. Those born in the early 80s are not only adults now, they're starting to settle down and have families. Those in generation Y are far more computer savvy. They were raised on the internet -- and it's where they are now turning to shop.
There are, of course, many other reasons as well, but the end point is that the online industry is still blossoming. To find out how you can get your piece of the pie, and how a quality coaching company can help you in doing so, just visit

Monday, January 26, 2009

Web 2.0 -- What is it? How can I use it?

The first question that most people pose about Web 2.0 is "What is Web 2.0?" I'll give a brief history for you, and some definitions.

For a long, long time, the internet was all about information. You would visit a website, get whatever information, images, or other sources that you needed, and you would move on to the next site -- revisiting the original site only if something changed, or you needed to re-check the information. Over the last decade, however, our use of the internet has been changing.

New platforms for business have opened up. Many new ideas have come to the market. New concepts include online commerce, the idea of "wikis" (or publicly editable encyclopedias), sites like MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube -- and so much more. These are things that no one could have imagined when the Internet was invented (by Al Gore, right?).

Here is his exact description of what he meant by Web 2.0:
"Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move of the Internet as a platform, and an attempt to understand the rules of success on that new platform."
In other words, Web 2.0 is an idea -- the idea of using the web creatively in order to have successful websites (which offer more than just information). It has been used to refer to websites with advanced functionality -- like Facebook or YouTube.

So, can your website be Web 2.0? It certainly can be. By selling online alone, you are already stepping over that threshold. However, there are some other aspects of Web 2.0 (video marketing, as an example) that you can use to make your website more appealing. Equally, if not more importantly, is making sure that you use Web 2.0 to your advantage. Using sites like Facebook, Twitter, Squidoo -- and many more -- will allow you to take advantage of the ways the internet has evolved.

There are essentially limitless new possibilities that can help you market your website, or otherwise help your website succeed.

For more information on how a quality coaching company can help you achieve your business goals, and can help you take advantage of the new ideas of Web 2.0, simply visit

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Finding Good Keywords For Your Small Business Website

If you own a small business website, chances are at some stage you'll have wondered which "keywords" or "keyword phrases" to include within your WebPages.
Simply stuffing a webpage full of your favorite keywords will do nothing for your search engine visibility.

Although the "KEYWORD" meta tag is not thought to be of great importance to Google (the "TITLE" tag being much more important, remember this), the phrases used throughout each webpage document will be picked up and used to determine how relevant the search engine thinks your page is for a given search term.

Finding good keywords and phrases is an important area of SEO and overall web marketing, but how on earth do you find out which phrases are suitable for your site, and which are way too competitive to even bother with.

Here are a few suggestions for keyword research:

Keyword Suggestion Tools

Good keywords are frequently searched for (high demand) but not being targeted by many other websites (low competition). There are a number of tools out there that can help you find them.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool

The best free tool, which generates synonyms and variants of your suggested keywords. You simply type in the words (or phrases), which are relevant to your site content, and the tool will return some helpful statistics related to them.

For example, how strong the advertiser competition is for those words (a good indicator), and the approximate search volume for those words. If competition is very strong for your chosen words, try using longer phrases, as you're better of going for a large number of less competitive phrases than the most competitive single words.

Google Insights

The majority of people do not know about this wonderful tool. Google insights it’s a keyword tracker. With Google Insights for Search, you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, and time frames. It will do categories, narrowing down data to specifics, like finance, health, and sports ect ect.

It will also perform seasonality searches, meaning showing you anticipated demand for a keyword this is great for small business so you can budget and plan accordingly even in regards to your Adwords account.

Geographic distribution is a possible “cheery on top” to Google insights if used correctly. It knows where to find your customers. It sees search volumes and distributes them across regions and cities worldwide. Giving you exact locations of the demographics you’re looking to aim your site at. Google’s insights tool is even better when applied to your Adwords account.

Remember that keywords are your ticket to reaching customers. So choosing the correct keywords is very important. All this can be done when you use the right tools and spend a little time along with doing a bit of research you will be on your way to reaching the customers looking for your site.