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This website is a platform for sharing web ideas of both a business and personal nature. The site is designed to be a news-oriented site that shares current happenings on the Internet and allows our visitors to take advantage of any online promotions to maximize their business efficiency and improve their personal lives.
For this reason, I recommend that people always focus on marketing first. The website can start out as a bare-bones, basic site that has good content and presents your company or product in the right way. But don't spend hundreds of hours on your site before you even know whether or not you can get people to come to your site. Therefore, after, building a basic site, you should shift gears quickly and begin focusing on marketing.
In today's world, there are two main ways you can obtain Internet traffic. The first is to purchase traffic by buying ads. Google Adwords is probably the most cost-efficient way to buy ads on the Internet. Bing Ads is another good, targeted ad program to consider. And if you have a rather large budget, you might consider purchasing banner ads as well. For this, you'll need a few attractive banners designed. Whatever ads you purchase online, make sure you track your results closely. Give each ad buy a week to a month, and if you aren't getting results from a certain ad placement, simply remove that ad and move onto other options.
The other major way to get traffic to your site is by getting high rankings on search engines. Many people think of this as the free way to get traffic, but I disagree with this notion. In the hyper competitive online marketing environment we face today, nothing is free. And don't be fooled - Everyone who has a high position on Google or Bing paid in one form or another to get there. Some may have spent money guest blogging or lots of time networking online to get people to like their site in Facebook or link to their online presence. Others may have invested in marketing software to build links to their site. And last but not least, many people spend thousands of dollars a month hiring consultants to help promote their site. All these options cost a great deal of money.
Make sure your business is active on Social Media sites like Pinterest, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Youtube. (See a full list of the top social media sites here.) Creating videos is one great way to promote your site. If the site becomes viral, you stand to gain hundreds of thousands or even millions of views for your video. Granted, making a viral video is not as easy as you may think, but if you have any unique ideas, the cost of producing a video is not very high, and you should give it a try.
Promotion doesn't have to just be online. Print your URL on business cards and other printed materials your business may distribute. You don't need to rely too heavily on printed materials, but you should have some. If you need cheap printing services, consider printing items on your own, and buy your ink from online stores like Inkjetsuperstore (read our review here).
It's often said that content is king when you have an online website. This has been said for many years, and it remains true today. However, the nature of content has changed quite a bit. Blog posts are still quite popular, but you must include videos and interactivity via Social Media comments, etc.
Once your website starts receiving traffic, you must switch gears and focus on the content of your site. More than anything, your site must be user-friendly. People don't care about snazzy designs as much as you think, so don't spend thousands just to make your site look pretty. Instead, make it compelling so people continues to return to your site day after day, week after week. If possible try to capture the email address of your visitors so you can keep in touch with them. The best way to capture emails is by offering something to them for free. This can be an ebook, a tool, a coupon, or just about anything else.
I hope these suggestions help you get off on the right foot with your online business. Doing business on the Internet is challenging, but with a bit of hard word and creativity, you have a good chance of building a site that gains a good deal of popularity. Most likely, you won't build the next Facebook, but you don't have to. There are thousands of people who make a good living building more modest, niche sites that manage to garner a relatively small but loyal audience.
For other tips about online marketing, I recommend visiting this page on Entrepreneur.
Western society definitely has a tendency to turn to medications first when looking for ways to treat ailments. But more and more, people are becoming aware that there are natural remedies that can be equally effective at treating a variety of conditions. For this reason, when I'm facing some sort of ailment, I typically turn to herbs and supplements first. The exception of course is when I'm facing a serious, acute illness.
A good website to visit in order to find natural remedies for various conditions is Earthclinic.com. There, you will find hundreds of submissions by users who give first-hand accounts of how effective a certain treatment was for them. It's all anecdotal evidence, and not exactly scientific. However, I find it a great starting point for researching different supplements or natural remedies I can try.
To give you an idea of the various natural remedies and supplements out there, here are some conditions I've been able to treat naturally:
Acne: I was able to resolve acne problems that lasted for decades by using Vitamin D, zinc, and lemon juice. This combination has been just as effective as using antibiotics like minocycline.
Depression: This is a condition that has been more difficult to treat. However, I've had a lot of success using a herb called Rhodiola, which is widely available from sites like Lucky Vitamin. Some people argue that you must buy high-quality Rhodiola for it to be effective. I have had success using the NOW brands of Rhodiola. To get Rhodiola cheaply, make sure you use these Pureformula coupons - http://www.referralbusinessbuilders.com/pureformulas.php.
Digestive Disorders: In many cases, digestive disorders can be alleviated using digestive enzymes taken before meals. Such enzymes will help your body digest the foods you eat more easily. You'll need to experiment with the dosage a bit to find the amount of enzymes that work best for you.
For more information on natural remedies, make sure you check out Health.com.
There are a couple major dating sites like Plenty of Fish and Okcupid that you may have heard of or even joined at some point. And while it's true that people do find love by using free dating sites, I personally do not recommend using them. The reason is quite simple: It takes a lot more work to get results when you use a free dating site.
On free sites, I've noticed there are a greater number of phony profiles and scam artists. Yes, they are outnumbered by legitimate profiles, but many of them are inactive. This all means you need to wade through a greater number of profiles, contact more prospects, and spend more time on the site to find people who may be interested in you. This is fine if you enjoy the process, but be aware that it can be quite time consuming.
I've had better luck using paid dating sites such as Match.com. Such sites require you to purchase a monthly membership, but the benefit is that the pool of potential matches on such sites tend to take their online dating more seriously. This is quite understandable. After all, wouldn't you take a product or service more seriously if you paid to use it?
The subscription fees at Match.com can vary on a number of factors:
- How long of a subscription you sign up for - The longer the time frame, the cheaper the monthly price. I think your best bet is to buy a membership that lasts 3 months. Unless you're lucky, you won't find love overnight, and will need a subscription that lasts at least 3 months anyway.
- Whether or not you use online coupons - There are coupons that give you up to a 20% discount. To find current coupons, use your favorite search engine and search for "match.com coupon" or similar terms. More information about coupons are available at the dating site, Couponleaf.com.
Make sure you take advantage of any and all Match.com coupons and sign up for a lengthy subscription plan if you want to get the best deal possible. I also think it's a good idea to use a Match.com free trial before you join. You can just head over to Couponleaf.com if you want to take advantage of the latest, 3-day free trial of Match.com. The free trial is a wonderful way to compare the activity on Match.com when compared to free dating sites. I'm sure you'll find the Match.com more active and responsivle as I have. With online dating, the old saying, "You get what you pay for," definitely rings true.
By now, you've probably heard about Audible, but in case you haven't, it's the world's largest audio book membership site. Audible offers over 100,000 audio book titles to its members. You can also purchase audio books from Audible even if you don't have a membership. However, this is not a smart way to buy audio books since you'll end up paying much more than you would if you had a membership. Members, in fact, get one free audio book per month. So even if you're purchasing just one audio book, it is wise to subscribe for just one month so you can claim your free audio book for the price of membership, which is only about $15 a month at the current time.
One advantage of audio books in today's world is that you can listen to them just about anywhere, on any device. As long as you have a tablet, a phone, an mp3 player, a laptop, or just about any other computing device, you should be able to listen to your books. Audible is available as an app on numerous devices, and their app is fantastic and easy to use. It doesn't matter if you're tech savvy or tech challenged; Whoever you are, you should have little to no issue getting started with Audible.
Below are what I consider some of the best ways to use Audible:
1. In your car
This is really a no-brainer. Listening to music is always fun, but so is listening to books. So why not give it a try the next time you're driving for a long time, you'll probably find that your drive becomes much more enjoyable when you're listening to a great book using Audible.
2. When you're doing chores
Things like vacuuming and doing the dishes has become much more productive for me thanks to Audible. I find that I can easily slip in 30 - 60 minutes of solid listening time while doing simple chores that don't require much thought.
3. Before bed
Many people lie in bed for a good 30 minutes or more before falling asleep. This is a great time to listen to a book in my opinion. And the great thing about audio books is that you can listen in the dark and not bother those around you.
Audible isn't the only web service I've fallen in love with. A related but different service I use is called Gamefly. For those of you who don't know about this service, Gamefly is a monthly service like Audible, but instead of audiobooks, it allows you to rent video games. These games are sent to your home, and the best part of the service is that you can keep the games for as long as you like. When you eventually sell the game(s) back using prepaid first-class mail, they will send you the next games you have on your list, which you can manage online. If you are a gamer, I highly encourage you to try out Gamefly. Fortunately, it won't cost you a penny to try out this service, since there is a 1-month Gamefly free trial that you can obtain if you visit freetrialspot.com.
So what happens when you love a game you rent and want to own it? Gamefly allows you to keep the game permanently by purchasing the game at a discounted price. Note that when you buy a game from Gamefly, it will be already be in "used" condition, so you can purchase it at a price that is lower than retail. Currently, Gamefly has over 8000 games available for all major game consoles.
If you go online to sites like Youtube, you'll encounter many videos of people reviewing e-cig flavors. At first blush, this may seem like a great resource for helping you find e-liquids. After all, what's better than listening to someone's first-hand experience using a certain product? I used to browse tons of videos online on Youtube, and even bought certain flavors based on recommendations that other people made.
But it wasn't long until I realized there is a serious flaw to this method of choosing e-liquids to try out. The problem is that when it comes to something like e-cig flavors, people's opinions can be highly subjective. I can't tell you how many times I bought a flavor because it got rave reviews from a user online, and for me personally, the same flavor just didn't taste all that great at all.
Because of this, I've learned that you simply have to be your own guinea pig when it comes to e-liquids. This can get costly, or course, so if possible, you want to find an e-liquid store that offers small sample bottles. If you can't find a good store that will provide samples, the next best thing is to look at the consensus rating an e-liquid has. While it's true that you can't rely on a single opinion to choose a flavor, I've found that the consensus rating is often a more accurate way to gauge how good an e-liquid might taste. While a 5-star e-liquid may not always be the best for you, it's rare that a highly rated e-liquid will taste terrible (unless your tastes are wildly different from those of most people).
One great site that offers hundreds of e-liquids and has has consensus ratings for its flavors is Vista Vapors. I'll be honest - I also like this site because it sells e-liquids at a cheap price. A 17 ml bottle, for example, only costs $4.99. At that price, you could almost think of Vista Vapor's smallest bottles to be the equivalent of a sample. If you shop at this store, make sure you obtain a Vista Vapors coupon from E-cigbargains.com. I do this each time I place an order, and end up saving 10% on my order each time.
When most people need ink for their printers, they purchase new ink cartridges, which are often referred to as OEM (original equipment manufacturer) cartridges. But unfortunately, such cartridges are also the most expensive kind you can buy. Although it's not well known to many casual consumers, there are ways you can get ink cartridges more cheaply.
One thing you can do is to simply find the lowest priced vendor that sells new cartridges. This is easily done online by using shopping comparison sites. Typically, the lowest priced store will end up being Internet vendors like 123inkjets and Inkjetsuperstore. If you would rather purchase the ink right away, I have found that Walmart tends to have the lowest prices for new cartridges. I generally avoid Officemax, Officedepot, and Staples, as I have found their prices to be higher compared to what Walmart offers.
However, if you are interested in finding the most aggressive deals out there, I recommend NOT buying new, OEM cartridges. The fact is, there are equally good cartridges you can purchase for much less. If you take this route, your two main choices are:
- Remanufactured cartridges - These are used cartridges that are refilled with new ink. If the refill is performed professionally, remanufactured cartridges should work just like brand new cartridges. Therefore, you get the performance of a new cartridge at a much lower cost. The only caveat is that you must purchase your cartridge from a trusted source. Currently, my favorite online store that sells remanufactured cartridges is Inkjetsuperstore.com. You can read more about this excellent store at this website: http://inkjetprinterdiscounts.com/.
- Compatible cartridges - If you feel uncomfortable buying recycled cartridges for whatever reason, you can buy new cartridges that are not made by the original manufacturer. Once again, you need to be sure the company that manufactures the cartridges are reliable. If so, you can expect OEM cartridge performance without paying OEM prices.
As I mentioned earlier, Inkjetsuperstore is one great store to consider if you want to buy either of these kinds of printer ink cartridges. Before you buy from this store, however, make sure you get some Inkjetsuperstore coupons from this site.
If you run a small business, you probably have a variety of printing needs, regardless of the industry you're in. At a minimum, you're going to have to print things like flyers, brochures, and business cards. And unfortunately, such materials can be quite expensive to print. Unless you want your business to appear amateurish, you're going to have to hire professional printing services. And such services usually charge quite a bit of money.
For me, the ideal solution has been to utilize online printing companies instead. By ordering your printing online, you are able to streamline the process quite a bit. For example, you can upload your artwork through a browser and approve proofs over the Internet. What's more, you can usually take advantage of templates and pre-designed pieces, allowing you to often forgo the cost of hiring your own designer. Such "out of the box" solutions may not work for large companies, but for small businesses, they prove to be a valuable, cost-effective way to get your printing needs met.
The printing company I have had the best results working with is Printplace. This is a small online printing company that delivers high quality products. While it's not as cheap as some other print shops I've found online, they make up for it with their high quality printing and reliability. In addition, I have found that there are usually more than a couple Printplace coupons I can find online, which brings down the cost of my orders significantly.
Some small business owners decide to skip printing things altogether and instead rely soley on digital promotion. This may work for some industries, but you risk losing potential business unless you have some way of promoting yourself using more traditional channels. For this reason, I recommend that you continue using printing services, and cut costs by using online companies and by using coupons and promo codes from Printplace or other similar services.
Filing tax returns is probably one of the least popular things in the world, despite the fact that many people get refunds worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. No doubt, the tax code is quite complex, and it is difficult for most people to figure out how to file returns on their own. Sure, there are IRS publications and websites with helpful information, but that doesn't change the fact that the majority of people will still find the process of completing tax returns to be quite daunting.
The good news is that you have quite a few options. Here are three methods I've use to file my tax returns in the past.
1. Use a CPA or Tax Preparation Service
This is probably the easiest way to have your taxes done. Just give your CPA or tax preparation service all the relevant documents such as W-2s and 1099 forms, and let them do the rest. Using a professional also ensures that your taxes will be completed accurately. This may lower your chances of being audited as well. The one big disadvantage, however, is that using a service will cost hundreds of dollars.
2. Use Tax Preparation Software
If you take this route, there is one and only one software you should consider, and that is TurboTax. This program has long been considered the best tax preparation software available. TurboTax is prices affordably, and for basic returns, the price starts at around $20 to $30. Don't forget to purchase the state returns as well. Using TurboTax, I've been able to complete my returns in a couple hours. You can get started on your return at no charge if you use the Turbotax Free Edition, available from Freetrialspot.com.
3. Use IRS Free File or Free Fillable Forms
If your income is below $62,000, the IRS allows you to use a number of programs to file your taxes for free. If your income is above $62,000, you can still use the IRS's Free Fillable Forms, which are online forms that you fill out and e-file. I would not recommend you do this, however, unless you are familiar with the tax code and confident that you can complete the forms manually without making any errors.