Wednesday, April 25, 2007

7 Ways To Win The "Make Money Online" Game

What do online product creators, service providers, and have in common?

They are all trying to make money online and they all face the same problem with making money.

While others say not having a site or not owning a list is the , I will argue that competition is the biggest problem because everyone with an online business must continually work this problem. Whether you have a site or not, whether you have a list or not, you must always be working to beat out your competition for those same dollars your competitors are trying to get. Yes, competition is the biggest problem you face when you first start your online business and it remains your biggest problem as long as you continue to work your business.

Today I am not going to share any brand ways on how to beat your competitors because you probably already know these 7 ways and so do your competitors.

However knowing the 7 ways is not the way to .

The way to make money online is to actually use 1 or more of these 7 ways to beat your competitors.

7 The "Make Money Online" Game

  1. Be the first person to promote the product or service.

    If you have a list or purchase ezine ads then being the first person to announce a product gives you a better chance of making a sale. Because your target market will probably be getting lots of ads for this product from the lists they are on, it is to your advantage to evaluate if it's something you want to market and, if it is, get your mailing out first.

  2. Always offer your page viewer a list to join.

    We all know how important this is yet most of us don't do it. I'm even guilty of not providing a list offer on most of my sales pages. But building a list is critical and a list offer should be made on every page.

  3. Offer an incentive for buying from you.

    When you are competing with a jillion other people selling the same thing, you have got to give your potential buyer a reason for buying from you. Resellers learned this way to beat out their competitors a long time ago and started offering bonuses. And now "guru" affiliates are doing it too by offering rebates and bonuses.

  4. Give unadvertised bonuses to your customers.

    Giving unadvertised bonuses to your customers can help you in 2 ways. First, you show your customer that you not only deliver what's expected, but you give them more than expected. This makes them more willing to buy from you again. Second, your unadvertised bonus may be something that includes your affiliate links or a viral product that promotes your site.

  5. Create an upsell and cross promote.
    This method only works when you are able to capture information about your customers.

    You've bought products or joined membership sites and seen the one-time-offers. This is 1 type of an upsell. But you don't have to create a one-time-offer. Just make another offer on your product delivery page or send your customers an email.

  6. Write an ezine article.

    To make money online you must sell something and you should be familiar with what you are selling. Since you are familiar with the product or service you know enough about what it has to offer to write an article. Just give enough information to get the reader hungry for more in depth information and drive traffic to your sales page with your article.

  7. Improve the sales material.

    Every sales page and email ad can always be improved. If you are a product/ service provider then you need to be testing and tracking your sales page and ads until you find the 1 that works the best. If you are a reseller then you should modify the products sales page so it doesn't look and read just like all the other resellers pages. And while affiliates can't modify the sales pages, they can modify the pre-written ads until they find the ad words that get people to click their affiliate link.

is the name of the "Make Money Online" game. You and your competitors are all working with the same product and it's what you do to market the product that makes the difference.

To Your Success,

P.S. Was this article useful? Please feel free to leave a comment.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Quick, Easy And Free Way To Create A Shadow For Your Website Images

As you may well know, CSS is used to create style sheets for web pages. Unfortunately, using CSS style sheets is well beyond the capabilities of many web site owners because most books and tutorials are written in total geek. So today we're going to take a quick peek into some of the mysterious and wonderful capabilities of CSS without sinking into the black hole of CSS style sheet programming.

As a web site owner, you probably have one or more pictures on your web site. You've got some type of photo or clip art in your page header and maybe you've sprinkled a few more throughout your site. These pictures are fine however they may look like they have just been glued to the page.

One quick and easy CSS trick can help you fix that glued on problem. Instead of just pasting your plan image to your web page, you can use a drop shadow to border your image and make it stand out.

To create a drop shadow for your web site images you simply need to use 1 of these 2 pieces of code.

CSS Trick # 1:

src=yourpicturefile.jpg width="100"
height="100" style="border:1px solid black;"></div>

CSS Trick #2:

style="width:115px;height:115px;filter:shadow(color:gray,strength:18, direction:132);">
src=yourpicturefile.jpg width="100"
height="100" style="border:1px solid black;"></div>

Here's how to understand what's going on in the above snippets of code.

First, it's the <div> tags that make these CSS tricks work so be sure to leave those tags in place.

Second, the width and height are set to be larger than your picture size. In the above examples, the picture I am putting on the site is named, yourpicturefile.jpg and has a width and height of 100 pixels. So to make sure my shadow shows up, the width and height for my <div> tag is sized slightly larger. You can adjust these numbers until you are happy with the size of your shadow.

Third, after the size of my picture you see a style for the border around my picture. If you don't want a border then replace the 1px with a 0px. If you want a thicker border then change the 1px to a larger number. Just be sure to keep the px part.

Now here's the difference between these 2 CSS tricks. The first snippet of code generates a simple shadow that is always the same color, brightness and in the same location for every picture it's used with. The second snippet of code give you control over the color of the shadow, how bright it is and where it is located. You can play around with these attributes until you are happy with how your drop shadow looks.

Now when you go off and use 1 of these tricks, you will find that your pictures don't appear exactly where you want them. To position your picture beside some text, the easiest way is to create an HTML table with the text in 1 column and the code for your shadowed picture in another column. If your picture is all by itself and you want to have it be left justified, centered or right justified then use 1 more CSS trick to put it where you want it.

To position your stand-alone picture put a <div align="center"> before the code from 1 of the above pieces of code and a </div> after it. Keep the quotes and use either the word, left, center or right to put your picture where you want it.

See how easy it was! You don't have to be a CSS expert to put shadows on your images when you know a couple of CSS tricks.

To Your Success,

P.S. If you found this tip useful, please leave a comment.

Tags: , ,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How To Link The Titles Of Your Blog Posts

1 of the things I've been trying to figure out is how to make the titles of my blog articles link to themselves since this is recommended for search engine optimization.

I've done quite a bit of reading and found several sites that give the code for doing this on Blogger. Unfortunately, most of these directions totally confused me. Then, by accident, I found that Blogger actually does what I wanted automatically if I just let it do its own thing.

So here's how to get your to themselves on Blogger.

  1. Under the Setting tabs go to Formatting

  2. Enable "Show Link Field"

  3. When you write your blog post, do not enter anything in the URL field under the Post Title and the URL for your article title will be the article's page on your blog.

If you want your title to link to another URL, then of course you will want to enter the URL into the field when you create your article.

Sometimes it's the simplest things that really slow us down.

Have a great time blogging and feel free to leave a comment.

To Your Success,


Friday, April 13, 2007

Fix You Ordered and Unordered Lists On Blogger

Until today every list I posted on this blog showed up as an unordered list (bullet list) - even the ones I formatted to be ordered (numbered).

Well, no longer will I have that problem here because I discovered the fix and here it is:

In my blogger template I found the code that looked like this:

/* unordered list style */

ul {
list-style: none;
margin-left: 10px;
padding: 0;

li {
list-style: none;
padding-left: 14px;
margin-bottom: 3px;
background: url( no-repeat 0

And all my lists were coming out unordered (ul).

I simply removed the code to let all my lists default to the standard and now everything is working the way it should.

So if you're having problems with getting both types of lists to display on your blogger blog

  1. make a backup copy of your template (in case you mess up and have to start over)

  2. look for code that is like mine above

  3. copy and paste it somewhere in case ever want to put it back

  4. remove the code from your blogger template

  5. preview your blog to see if it worked

In case your blog is always showing numbered lists then the code you need to look for will be very similar but will start with ol {

Hope this helps and please leave a comment and let me know if it did.

To Your Success,

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Free Editing Tool For Bloggers

While looking at all the neat tools that are now available to add things to your blog, I stumbled upon a free tool that makes writing blog posts a lot easier for those of us using

No, it doesn't come up with content, although that would be a nice feature.

What it does is it allows you to write your post in a window like this:

Now the great things about using this window is that it lets you do everything the blogger post window does plus it lets you check your spelling and makes it easier to format your article.

Ever tried to indent with blogger? I just did it.

Ever tried to copy and paste from a web page only to find that there was a lot more editing needed to make it look right?

That's no longer a problem since this let's you copy to your hearts delight and it looks like you want the first time.

Lists like this always gave me trouble before.

  1. type a line

    ad some more text

  2. type another line

    and even more text

  3. got the idea?

Since I just got the tool a few minutes ago, it may even do more that I haven't discovered yet.

Here's where you can get your own copy of this wonderful free tool

Hope to see you blogging more.

To Your Success,

P.S. I just discovered that depending on your blog's settings and the other blog tools you may have installed on your blog, your post may only be put on your list of postings as a draft and you'll have to login and publish it manually. Still, with the spelling feature and the extra formatting features I think this is a great find.

Let me know what you think about this tool by leaving a comment.


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Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Answers To Your 5 Most Recent Questions"

It's a well known fact that if 1 person asks a question then there are others with the same question but afraid to ask. So today I am going to answer the 5 questions I've received over the last few days.

Question 1: How do I post comments on your blog?
Since Alan and Paul have both asked this question and because posting comments on blogs is a good way to get links back to your site, everyone needs to know how to post comments on a blog.

Answer: - For my 2 blogs where I've asked for your comments you simply go to the bottom of the article and find the line that has:

Comments (xx) Trackback

(The x's above are a number.)

Click the word Comments and a popup box appears where you can read the current comments. Scroll to the end of the box and that's where you will find the form to fill out to leave your comments.

The form has a place for your name, email address, URL (that's the page you want to be your "Homepage" in your comment) and, of course, your comment. When you click the "Publish" button, the name you entered, the URL and your comments are added to the article's other comments. Your email address is optional and if you include it, it will not appear in your comments. Your comment will appear on my blog almost instantly and you can read it if you click the "Comments" link again.

As for other blogs that accept comments, their method of getting your comments may be slightly different but it will be very similar. Just look for a place at the end of their blog post that identifies the comments for the posted article and click the link. Then follow the directions for posting your comment. Because some blog owners must approve all comments before they allow them to appear, it may take some time before you'll see your comment.

If you search a blog and can not find a link to read the posted comments then you are probably reading a blog that does not allow comments.

Question 2: I've just taken over a site and need help getting members
While Chris's question was specifically about getting members for a new site, others have asked similar questions because they wanted help with getting traffic or conversions.

Answer (First Part): To get members/conversions you must first get some targeted traffic to your site and because most of those who write don't have money to spend to get targeted traffic I usually recommend the following free methods of getting traffic:
  1. Writing and submitting articles for article directories.
  2. Free or inexpensive ezine ads.
  3. Offering something in a give away (this is a form of Joint Venture).
  4. Listing your site in a directory of similar sites if there are any.
  5. Joining and posting comments on blogs and forums where readers are interested in things related to your site.
  6. Do what you can to optimize your site for the search engines.

    Depending on the type of site the reader has, I sometimes recommend:

  7. Traffic exchange programs.
  8. Safelists.
  9. Setting up an eBay store.
  10. Finding sites offering related products/services and partner with them to promote each others site. (A Partner or Joint Venture, Not Just Adding A Link On A Links Page.) This may include putting a link on each others site and sending out a recommendations to their list.

Answer (Second Part): If you are getting some targeted traffic and not getting members/conversions then make sure:

  1. Your site is focused on the 1 thing you want your site visitors to do. Do not confuse or distract them by making too many offers, posting a lot of banner ads or sending them off your site to check out other things of interest.
  2. Your site doesn't have a lot of typos, bad grammar and misspellings.
  3. You've got an attention grabbing headline that can be seen when the visitor first arrives on your site.
  4. You've listed the benefits of your product/service.
  5. You've told the site visitor exactly what to do.
  6. You've made it easy for them to perform the desired action.

Question 3: My site has been hacked into, what do I do?
Since mine was not the only site hacked into recently, Gaida asked what she should do.

Answer: From my own experience, I found that the following steps worked the best.

  1. Contact your hosting provider immediately if they have not contacted you first and work with them to get your site clean.
  2. If your host hasn't disabled your site then you must while you're cleaning it up. The easiest way would be to set up a redirect link to another site or a page stating the "site is temporarily out of service" for your index page.
  3. Before you start cleaning, make sure your pc is virus and spyware free and keep it that way. It's easy to re-infect your pc while working the pages of your infected site so you'll need to check it often.
  4. When your pc is clean, immediately login to the admin panel of your site and change your password. You may have to do this again if you infect your pc while cleaning your site. Just make sure your pc is clean every time you do this.
  5. If you have a clean copy of the pages of your site then you can simply upload all of them except for your index (home) page. Then check to make sure everything is working correctly. If it is then upload your index page and check it.
  6. If you don't have a clean copy of all the pages on your site then kick yourself really hard because you should. But if you don't or if you have a really large site with lots of pages then you may want to do some spot checking and only replace the infected pages. Because it is easy to re-infect your pc doing this, you'll need to check your pc often.

    Since you know at least 1 of the pages that was hacked, start there by either reading the code or uploading a clean copy. Also, you'll want to either read or upload all the other files that may be used by this page, i.e. javascript, xml, shtml, etc. Then check to make sure this page works correctly.

    After you've gotten your corrupted page working properly, surf your site and see if you can find any other corrupted pages. If you do then clean them and their called files.
  7. After you've gotten your site cleaned, contact your host provider so they can reactivate you site. If they did not deactivate your site, you should still contact them so they know you've worked the issue. (You should always try to keep a good working relationship with your host provider.)

Question 4: Will you join me or will you look at...?
These types of questions come in a lot, too many times to list all the senders' names.

Answer: I read them all, look at the offer and try to send a reply. Hopefully I haven't missed any. Usually the answer is, thanks for sending me the information however I am not joining anything right now. However, there are always exceptions.

If the offer is for something that would really benefit you, my reader, I usually accept even when I don't get anything more than you. Examples include the free hosting we had available for awhile and some of the free ebooks donated by readers.

If the offer is for something that I think can help me with my business but I'm not ready for it yet, I save the offer so I can use the sent link when I do join or signup. (Recently I pulled up an old email to join a paid membership site.)

Telling you this doesn't mean I want you to send me an offer nor does it mean I want you to stop sending them. It simply means that, like most people who have been online for awhile, I am already in a lot of things and have become more selective with what I join and do. Also, I know more about what works for me and what I am planning for the next step in my business. If I don't accept your offer it doesn't mean that I necessarily think your offer is bad (I'll tell you if I do) or that what your recommending is bad. Remember, there's only 1 of me and I can't do everything everybody does. So if something is working for you, stay with it.

Question 5: Solo Ad
This is not really a question but I get several every week from readers so I've decided to respond to these mailings.

Answer: When I receive an email with a subject line that looks like an ad from an email address I don't recognize I always delete it without even opening it and this may include yours. Sorry to have to admit this but I don't have everyone's email address memorized.

If you use my contact email address to send a pre-written solo ad I can almost guarantee I didn't read it. But whether I read it or not, I can guarantee I didn't click the included link unless I was somehow able to identify you as a reader. And using the standard statement of "I read your ezine and thought you would be interested in ..." doesn't work.

While I don't use a spam blocker of any type, I do have my email automatically sorted into the proper folders when it arrives. 99% or more of your email will find it's way into the proper folder and the remainder will land in my Junk folder. The subject line of all the email in my readers folder gets read and unless its a pre-written solo ad subject line, it will get opened. As for the ones that make it to the Junk folder, most of them will get automatically deleted unless you are using a subject line I've directed you to use. (Some of your classified ads go into the Junk folder but I retrieve them and file them correctly. It's because of these ads that I post the classifieds online rather than email them since the classified announcement has a better chance of not being filed as Junk.)

The reason I am mentioning the solo ads from readers is so you'll know that you are wasting your valuable time sending them to me. While I love getting personal messages from you, solo ads I can live without.

I hope the above answers helped you. If your question didn't appear then send it to me and I'll get back to you.

Remember, there's no such thing as a dumb question if you don't know the answer. And if more people asked these questions there would be a lot less confusion in working your business.

To Your Success,

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Restoration of service in progress.

Have you ever gone to a site and seen the message:

"There's been ..issues. Restoration of service in progress."


"Account suspended ..."?

If you went to 1 of my sites a few days ago you did and here's
what happened.

My hosting provider discovered I had some software on my susancarrollhome site and immediately closed it down and sent me an email. As soon as I saw the email I replied to their request to help them determine if I had placed the illegal software on my site.

Since I hadn't placed the software there, my provider and I both worked quickly to get it off and to get my site back up again.

Finding the "bad" code wasn't easy since the hackers had not placed it on any of my html pages. They had placed it in several java and php files. However, with both of us working the problem, we managed to get through all my files to get them cleaned up and working properly again.

How did the get their software on my site?

They logged in to my ftp port and edited some of my files to place their code.

Was my ftp port password protected?

Yes, and I don't share my private login information for my hosted accounts with anyone. Nor do I keep them written down where anyone can find it. I also do not use easy-to-guess passwords.

Who hacked my account and how did they find my password?

While I don't know the name of the person who performed this illegal action, both I and my hosting provider know their IP address and the country where it is located. (My host may know more however they did not share that information with me.) As to how they discovered my password, who knows?

What can you and I do to protect our sites?

For 1 thing, we must start changing our passwords regularly. This is something no one, not even me, likes to do. We get used to a password and it's easy for us to remember so we tend to be lazy and keep it around. Unfortunately, the longer you use the same , the more vulnerable it is.

How often do we need to change our passwords?

Good question and I really don't know the correct answer. As for me, I intend to start changing my passwords at least once a month.

Will changing our passwords more often keep our sites totally protected from hackers?

No, but it's a start.

How about getting a "" certificate?

After reading this article and this forum, it's not something I recommend right now.

What other measures can we take?

The 2 things I discovered about the who invaded my site was that they were lazy and smart. They only infected files that were in my main directory, my image directory and my recommends directory. All of these directories get the most traffic and it's easy to identify what's in them. Possibly giving directories names that don't imply what's in them and moving most of your pages and scripts to subdirectories may help keep them safe.

Currently all my sites have new passwords and are safe and I am working to keep them that way because I don't want you to see:

"Account suspended ..." again.

To Your Success,
Susan Carroll