Legal and Business laws

End of the Recession…

The end of the UK’s longest-ever recession has been confirmed when official figures were published.

Experts predict the beleaguered economy grew by 0.4% between October and December, ending a record six straight quarters of contraction.

During 18 months of recession brought on by the credit crunch and then financial crisis, public borrowing has ballooned to an estimated £178 billion while output has slumped 6%.

This far exceeds the recession of the early 1990s and is the worst slump since Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher took office 30 years ago.

The data should reflect a slow recovery among services firms – accounting for more than two-thirds of the economy – as signalled by recent surveys. Manufacturers are also likely to have seen tentative growth, helped by the Government’s cash-for-bangers scrappage scheme, despite disappointing retail sales figures for December last week.

Official confirmation of recovery will mean that the UK is the last of the major G7 economies to leave recession.

Faint signs of green shoots may also ease the political pressure on Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who faces a general election within months.

But nerves remain over the strength of the recovery – in particular the threat of a “double-dip” recession as savage spending cuts loom and the Bank of England begins to move interest rates up from their current record low.

Economists had forecasted a return to growth in the third quarter of 2009, but were caught off-guard by a shock 0.4% decline in the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) first estimate, later revised upwards to a 0.2% fall. The first estimate is made with only around 40% of the data available, so there is “plenty of room for surprises” in today’s figures, according to Investec’s David Page.

While signs such as the first fall in unemployment for 18 months, and a gradual recovery in tax revenues are consistent with a return to growth, Mr Page added: “Official GDP estimates have been significantly revised in recent quarters. The last time a first estimate of GDP was left subsequently unrevised was the first quarter of 2007.”

There is hope for the economy and small businesses, because the end signifies the halt of a free fall and the beginning of progress. Although it should be noted that the progress might not be an instant one, but at least there are reason to smile based on the hope that the next few months should be better.

More to come on how the end of the crunch would help boost your business sales…

Categories: Finance, Legal and Business laws, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

28 Great Ways to Make Money with Your Website:Source

Have you got a website? Then you’ve got a goldmine in your hands. There are several lists with “ways to make money with a website” on the Internet, but none of them seem to be complete.

Notice that ways to make money with a website are different from ways to makemore money from it. Methods to increase your traffic or click-through rate will help you make more money, but they do not represent a method of making money per se.

For example, one could suggest that blending AdSense ads with the content is a way to make money from a website. In reality it’s not; it’s just a way to make more money by improving your ad click-through rate. The real monetization method behind it is a PPC ad network.

The list is divided into direct and indirect methods, and examples and links are provided for each point. Enjoy!

Direct Methods

1. PPC Advertising Networks

Google AdSense is the most popular option under this category, but there are also others. Basically you need to sign up with the network and paste some code snippets on your website. The network will then serve contextual ads (either text or images) relevant to your website, and you will earn a certain amount of money for every click.

The profitability of PPC advertising depends on the general traffic levels of the website and, most importantly, on the click-through rate (CTR) and cost per click (CPC). The CTR depends on the design of the website. Ads placed abode the fold or blended with content, for instance, tend to get higher CTRs. The CPC, on the other hand, depends on the nice of the website. Mortgages, financial products and college education are examples of profitable niches (clicks worth a couple of dollars are not rare), while tech-related topics tend to receive a smaller CPC (sometimes as low as a couple of cents per click).

The source of the traffic can also affect the overall CTR rate. Organic traffic (the one that comes from search engines) tends to perform well because these visitors were already looking for something, and they tend to click on ads more often. Social media traffic, on the other hand, presents terribly low CTRs because these visitors are tech-savvy and they just ignore ads.

List of popular CPC advertising networks:

2. CPM Advertising Networks

CPM advertising networks behave pretty much as PPC networks, except that you get paid according to the number of impressions (i.e., page views) that the ads displayed on your site will generate. CPM stands for Cost per Mille, and it refers to the cost for 1,000 impressions.

A blog that generates 100,000 page views monthly displaying an advertising banner with a $1 CPM, therefore, will earn $100 monthly.

CPM rates vary with the network, the position of the ad and the format. The better the network, the higher the CPM rate (because they have access to more advertisers). The closer you put the ad to the top of the page, the higher the CPM. The bigger the format (in terms of pixels), the higher the CPM.

You can get as low as $0,10 and as high as $10 per 1,000 impressions (more in some special cases). CPM advertising tends to work well on websites with a high page views per visitor ratio (e.g., online forums, magazines and so on).

List of popular CPM advertising networks:

3. Direct Banner Advertising

Selling your own advertising space is one of the most lucrative monetization methods. First and foremost because it enables you to cut out the middleman commissions and to determine your own rates. The most popular banner formats on the web are the 728×90 leaderboard, the 120×600 skyscraper, the 300×250 rectangle and the 125×125 button.

The downside of direct banner advertising is that you need to have a big audience to get qualified advertisers, and you will need to spend time managing the sales process, the banners and the payments.

Related links:

4. Text Link Ads

After Google declared that sites selling text links without the nofollow tag would be penalized, this monetization method became less popular.

Many website owners are still using text links to monetize their sites, though, some using the nofollow tag and some not.

The advantage of this method is that it is not intrusive. One can sell text links directly through his website or use specialized networks like Text-Link-Ads and Text-Link-Brokers to automate the process.

Text link marketplaces and networks:

5. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a very popular practice on the Internet. Under this system you have a merchant that is willing to let other people (the affiliates) sell directly or indirectly its products and services, in exchange for a commission. Sometimes this type of advertising is also called CPA (cost per action) or CPL (cost per lead) based.

Affiliates can send potential customers to the merchant using several tools, from banners to text links and product reviews.

In order to find suitable affiliate programs you can turn to individual companies  and publishers like amazon or join affiliate marketplaces and networks.

List of popular affiliate marketplaces and networks:

6. Monetization Widgets

The latest trend on the web are widgets that let you monetize your website. Examples include Widgetbucks and SmartLinks. Some of these services operate under a PPC scheme, others behave like text link ads, others yet leverage affiliate links.

Their main differentiator, however, is the fact that they work as web widgets, making it easier for the user to plug and play the service on its website.

List of companies that provide monetization widgets:

7. Sponsored Reviews

PayPerPost pioneered this model, with much controversy on the beginning (related to the fact that they did not require disclosure on paid posts). Soon other companies followed, most notably Sponsored Reviews and ReviewMe, refining the process and expanding the paid blogging model.

Joining one of these sponsored reviews marketplaces will give you the opportunity to write sponsored posts on a wide range of topics. Not all bloggers are willing to get paid to write about a specific product or website (because it might compromise the editorial credibility), but the ones who do are making good money out of it.

If your blog has a big audience you could also offer sponsored reviews directly, cutting off the commissions of the middleman.

List of sponsored reviews and paid blogging networks:

8. RSS Feed Ads

With the quick adoption of the RSS technology by millions of Internet users, website owners are starting to find ways to monetize this new content distribution channel.

Feedburber already has its own publisher network, and you can sign-up to start displaying CPM based advertising on your feed footer. Bidvertiser recently introduced a RSS feed ad option as well, with a PPC scheme.

Finally, some blogs are also opting to sell banners or sponsored messages on their feed directly. John Chow and Marketing Pilgrim are two examples.

Related links:

9. Sponsors for Single Columns or Events

If you website has specific columns or events (e.g., a weekly podcast, an interview series, a monthly survey, a special project) you could find companies to sponsor them individually.

This method increases the monetization options for website owner, while giving advertisers the possibility to target a more specific audience and with a reduced commitment.

Mashable illustrates the case well. They have several advertising options on the site, including the possibility to sponsor specific columns and articles, including the “Daily Poll” and the “Web 2.0 Invites.”

Problogger also runs group writing projects occasionally, and before proceeding he publicly announce the project asking for sponsors.

10.Premium Content

Some websites and blogs give away part of their content for free, and charge for access to the premium content and exclusive tools.

SEOMoz is a good example. They have a very popular blog that gives advice and information on wide range of SEO related topics. On top of that visitors can decide to become premium members. It costs $48 monthly and it grants them access to guides, tools and other exclusive material.

11. Private Forums

While the Internet is populated with free forums, there is also the possibility to create a private one where members need to pay a single or recurring fee to join.

SEO Blackhat
charges $100 monthly from its members, and they have thousands of them. Obviously in order to charge such a price for a forum membership you need to provide real value for the members (e.g., secret techniques, tools, and so on).

Performancing also launched a private forum recently, focused on the networking aspect. It is called The Hive, and the monthly cost is $10.

These are just two examples. There are many possibilities to create a private and profitable forum, you just need to find an appealing angle that will make it worth for the members.

List of popular forum software:

12. Job Boards

All the popular blogs are trying to leverage job boards to make some extra income.Guy KawasakiReadWriteWebProblogger… you name it.

Needless to say that in order to create an active and profitable job board you need first to have a blog focused on a specific niche, and a decent amount traffic.

The advantage of this method is that it is passive. Once you have the structure in place, the job listings will come naturally, and you can charge anywhere from $10 up to $100 for each.

List of popular job board software:

13. Marketplaces

Sitepoint is the online marketplace by excellence. Some websites and blogs, however, are trying to replicate that model on a smaller scale.

Depending on your niche, a market place that allows your visitors to buy, sell and trade products could work well. Over the time you could start charging a small fee for new product listings.

The problem with this method is that there are no standard software on the web, so you would need to hire a coder to get a marketplace integrated into your website.

You can see an example of a marketplaces being used on EasyWordpress and onMashable.

14. Paid Surveys and Polls

There are services that will pay you money to run a small survey or poll on your website. The most popular one is called Vizu Answers.

Basically you need to sign up with them, and select the kind of polls that you want to run your site. Most of these services operate under a CPM model.

15. Selling or Renting Internal Pages

Million Dollar Wiki made this concept popular, but it was being used on the web for a long time around (check for instance).

These websites sell for a single fee or rent for a recurring fee internal pages on their domain. Usually they have either high Pagerak or high traffic, so that people purchasing a page will be able to benefit in some way.

Implementing this method on a small blog would be difficult, but the concept is interesting and could be explored further.

16. Highlighted Posts from Sponsors

Techmeme probably pioneered this idea, but somehow it has not spread to other websites. The tech news aggregator displays editorial posts on the left column, and on the sidebar they have a section titled “Techmeme Sponsor Posts.”

On that section posts from the blog of the advertisers get highlighted, sending qualified traffic their way. Considering that the monthly cost for one spot is $5000 and that they have around 6 sponsors at any given time, it must be working well.

17. Donations

Placing a “Donate” link or button on a website can be an efficient way to earn money, especially if your blog is on a niche where readers learn and gain value from your content.

Personal development and productivity blogs, for instance, tend to perform well with donation based systems (one good example being Steve Pavlina).

A small variation of this method appeared sometime ago with the Buy Me a Beer plugin. This WordPress plugin enables you to insert a customized message at the bottom of each article, asking the readers to chip in for a beer or coffee.

18. In-text Adverting

In-text adverting networks like Kontera and Vibrant Media will place sponsored links inside your text. These links come with a double underline to differentiate them from normal links, and once the user rolls the mouse over the link the advertising will pop. Should the user click on it the site owner will make some money.

Some people make good money with this method, but others refrain from using it due to its intrusiveness. It is also interesting to note that very few mainstream websites have experimented with in-text advertising.

19. Pop-ups and Pop-unders

Pop-ups are a common yet annoying form of advertising on the Internet. If you are just trying to make a much money as possible from your website, you could experiment with them.

If you are trying to grow the traffic and generate loyal visitors, however, you probably should stay away from them. Just consider the hundreds of pop-up blockers out there: there is a reason why they are so popular.

Ad networks that use pop-ups:

20. Audio Ads

Also called PPP (Pay Per Play), this advertising method was introduce by Net Audio Ads. the concept is pretty simple: play a small audio advertising (usually 5 seconds) every time a visitor enters into your website. The user should not be able to stop it, creating a 100% conversion rate based on unique visitors.

The company is still rolling tests, but some users are reporting to get from a $4 to a $6 CPM. Regardless of the pay rate, though, this is a very intrusive form of advertising, so think twice before using it.

21. Selling the Website

Selling your website could be your last resource, but it has the potential to generate a big sum of money in a short period of time.

Market places on online forums like DigitalPoint and Sitepoint are always active with website buyers and sellers. Keep in mind that they most used parameter to determine the value of a website is the monthly revenue that it generates, multiplied by a certain number (the multiplier can be anything from 5 to 30, depending on the expectations of the seller, on the quality of the site, on the niche and other factors).

Some people also make money trading and flipping websites. They either create them from scratch or buy existing ones, and after some revamping they sell them for a profit.

Indirect Methods

22. Selling an Ebook

Perhaps one of the oldest money making strategies on the web, using a website to promote a related ebook is a very efficient way to generate revenue.

You could either structure the website around the book itself, like, or launch the ebook based on the success of the website, like FreelanceSwitch did we the book How to be a Rockstar Freelancer.

Related links:

23. Selling a Hardcover Book

Many authors and journalists leverage their blogs or websites to sell copies of hardcover books. Examples include Guy KawasakiSeth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell.

While most of these people were already renowned authors before they created their website, one could also follow the other way around. Lorelle VanFossen did exactly that with her Blogging Tips book. First she built her authority on the subject via her blog, and afterwards she published the book.

List of self publishing and publishing services:

24. Selling Templates or WordPress Themes

As more and more people decide to get an online presence, website templates and WordPress themes become hotter and hotter.

On this segment you have mainstream websites like TemplateMonster, as well as individual designers who decide to promote and sell their work independently.

Brian Gardner and Unique Blog Designs are two examples of websites that make money with the sales of premium and custom WordPress themes.

25. Offering Consulting and Related Services

Depending on your niche, you could make money by offering consulting and related services. If you are also the author of your blog, the articles and information that you will share will build your profile and possibly certify your expertise on that niche, making it easier to gain customers.

Chris Garrett used a similar strategy. First he created a highly influential blog on the blogging and new media niche, and afterwards he started offering consulting services to clients with related problems and needs.

26. Creating an Email List or Newsletter

Email lists and newsletters represent one of the most powerful marketing and money making tools on the Internet. They offer incredible conversion rates, and the possibility to call people to action in a very efficient way.

Creating a big list is a difficult task though, so if you have a popular website you could leverage it to increase the number of subscribers on your list.

Yaro Starak is a famous Internet marketer, and if you visit his blog you will notice that right on top he has a section encouraging visitors to subscribe to his email newsletter. Yaro generates five figures in revenues each month from his email newsletters, proving that this method works.

List of software to manage email newsletters:

27. Mentoring programs

People are willing to pay for someone or something that will teach them and give them knowledge (as opposed to mere information). Education is one of the biggest industries in the world, and the online landscape behaves in a similar way.

Creating a mentoring program related to the niche of your website could be very profitable if you manage to structure and promote it adequately. There is a wide range of media and tools that you can use to deliver the information, from text articles to audio and video lessons.

Brian Clark leveraged the success of Copyblogger to launch a mentoring program teaching people how to build membership and how to sell content online. The program is titled Teaching Sells, and it costs $97 monthly. Sounds expensive, but they have over 1,000 members.

28. Creating a conference around the website

If your website takes off and becomes an authority on its niche, you could create a conference around it. Depending on the size of your audience, the event could attract thousands of people, and you could make money directly from conference passes and sponsors.

Search Engine Land, for instance, created a series of conferences that visit several cities on the United States and on other countries as well. The conferences are called Search Marketing Expo, and the tickets and passes cost thousands of dollars

Copyright: Danial Scocco from DailyBlogTips.

Categories: Blogging, Branding, Computing, E-marketing, Finance, Legal and Business laws, Personal development, Search Eng Optimization, Small Business, Social Networking, Website development, wordpress | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Freebies and Future Posts!

The following are some of the Topics we would be discussing soon. If there is or are any topic(s) that genuinely interest you, do copy and paste them into the comment box below. The topic that gets the highest votes or gets mentioned in the comment box at least has a very good chance of been written about.

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It is called “7 steps to get more client and grow your business”  titled in the download box as “7-Profit-steps

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Free ebook download here!

You can now download free ebooks on the right hand size tagged “Download Free ebooks”

You can subscribe to this blog by clicking on the “sign me up” tab and input your email so you’l know when we have new posts of have uploaded new ebooks.

Tips & Warnings

You can probably find numerous free ebooks in any field if you use a search engine like Google. Although resources like the ones found in the article should be the first place to start, don’t hesitate to put in ‘free ebooks’ into a search engine of your choice and start clicking away!

Make sure the ebooks you find and download are indeed free. Free ebooks are either user created and meant to be free or the copyrights have expired. If they don’t fit either of those two criteria, be careful of what you are downloading!

Stay away from torrents if you are looking for free ebooks. Chances are that ebook you are downloading from a torrent is commercial, and you could get yourself into hot legal water by downloading it through such methods.

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Top ways to finance small businesses

We look at the best ways to obtain funding for your small business venture.

1. Forward profit generation

This is the most widespread and safest way of funding a business venture.Simply you sell something, make a profit, keep the profit in the business and use the profit to fund the next phase of the business. This should help to ensure that your business is always profitable. It means that your business cannot easy over expand and that growth is controlled.

It is low risk and means that if you business fails, you do not end up losing your house. It also means that you do whatever you can to keep your overheads as low as you possibly can.

2. Savings.

Many people use part or all of their savings to keep them going. Money put aside as savings is a very good way of financing your business. However, it is good to note that this takes great dedication and self control.

3. Redundancy payment

Many people use their redundancy cheque to fund their business. During a time of global economic crunch and meltdown where many people loose their jobs daily, this could be a very good idea.

4. Credit Card

The credit card represents one of the fastest ways to fund your business venture for the new computer or buying stock. You have between 28 and 42 days interest free which you can use to manage cash flow. Try to avoid interest charges as the interest rate can be crippling.

5. Family, Friends and Fools

The classic way of funding a small business was from Family, Friends or Fools.

Of the three, family is often a good way to help you get going. They can help with the early phase and tend to require only a high level overview of the business.

6. Second Job.

You have another job, or your partner has a job which supports you financially while your business gets up and running. The obvious downside is that if you are working, you will not be able to devote all of your time to the new business, but is one avenue that many small business owners are forced to face.

7 Bank Loan

Bank loans are a very widespread way of getting your business going. These could take the form of either a personal loan or a business loan. In many ways these amount to the same thing as most business loans require that you put up some personal security (often your house or business premises) before they will lend to you. Though it is very widespread, the bank loan is personally my second least favourite option.

8 Business Angels

Business Angels are wealthy individuals who can invest in your business. These can be the types of people that you see in the Dragons Den TV show. They can often offer reasonable levels of business help. However once they have a financial stake they can tend to interfere in your business plans and take valuable time to manage. Typical investment levels can be around £120,000. To benefit from such people, you need to be very knowledgeable about everything you do and be able match their level of intelligence. A good tip is to anticipate the sort of questions they will ask before meeting with such individuals.

9. Princes Trust
The Prince’s Trust Business Programme provides money and support to help people start up in business.

  • aged 18-30
  • Unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week
  • Restricted to people living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
  • Help available

  • A low interest loan of up to £4,000 (up to £5,000 for a partnership)
  • Ongoing advice from a business mentor
  • A grant of up to £1,500 in special circumstances (subject to local availability)
  • A test marketing grant of up to £250 (subject to local availability)
  • 10. Government Business Grants

    This is the least favourite of all my ways of funding your business. Bodies like Business Link claim that they can help you access small business grants, which on the face of it sound like free money. The problem is that they can be almost impossible to obtain, can take up lots of valuable time taking you up a dead end, and then only provide you with half of the money that you require.

    Speak to professionals:  ColinEnterprise Business Centre, 01224-418888 or email

    11. Small Firms Loan Guarantee scheme

    A government backed scheme if you are unable to obtain a conventional loan because you do not have assets to offer as security. The Small Firms Loan Guarantee (SFLG) helps to overcome this by providing lenders with a government guarantee against default in certain circumstances.

    The main features of the scheme are:

  • a guarantee to the lender covering 75 per cent of the loan amount, for which the borrower pays a 2 per cent premium on the outstanding balance of the loan
  • the ability to guarantee loans of up to £250,000 and with terms of up to ten years
  • availability to qualifying UK businesses with an annual turnover of up to £5.6million
  • What has been your experiences of financing your business? Leave your comments in the box below.

    Categories: E-marketing, Finance, Legal and Business laws, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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