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Start a Home Based Business Online

Why Start a Home Based Business Online?

OK, so you have decided that you want to work from home and you think you may want to start a home based business online

…but…

…the first thing that you may want to ask yourself is why?

Why do you want to start a business online?

Are you looking to supplement your income? Are you looking to earn some money for your son or daughter’s college fund? Maybe you want to build a big enough business that you want to fire your boss and be an Internet entrepreneur. Whatever it is, make sure YOU know why you want to start this business.

Now, before you start dreaming of living in the wild with that new “Internet Marketing” lifestyle or spending all of the money that you are going to make from your awesome Internet business, there are some very specific tasks and skills that you will want to develop.

Start a Home Based Business Online with a Built in Customer Base

Seasoned Internet marketing professionals can generally have some idea as to the odds of their ability to generate income in a specific niche by doing just a little research.

What type of research?

Keyword Research and before you start a home based business online, you will want to fully develop this skill or at the very least have a solid idea what keyword research is.

So what is it?

Good question.

The very first action most people engage in when “surfing” the Internet is to go to their favorite search engine and type in a phrase that has something to do with what they are looking for.

The results show up and the surfer will then choose which sites are most likely to answer a question, solve a problem or provide a product that they are looking for.

Those marketers that work hard on SEO (search engine optimization) in order to help their content achieve higher rankings within these search engines are engaged in search engine marketing.

While I will not get into the ins and outs of on-page or off-page SEO, I would like to point out that while the search engines do a phenomenal job of information retrieval, they are also great at keeping tabs of just what people are searching for.

As a marketer, this information is huge and the more of this type of information we can get our hands on the better and when you want to start a home based business online you are going to want as much of this information as possible.

Why?

Because knowing how many people are looking for specific information or for a specific item to buy is huge and will – or at least should – help determine if you are going to get involved with the right business or opportunity.

In other words, this information can be used to measure whether or not you will make money at all!

Keyword research is all about finding and exposing those markets, those folks that are looking to get involved with you in business or determining if a market even exists out there.

For example, let’s say I came across a product that I wanted to get involved with that helped people relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

The very first step I would take is to find out if there are people out there looking for plantar fasciitis products and I would do this by doing a little keyword research. For me, keyword research is easily done using my Jaaxy software. Below are a few screenshots.

start a home based business online

Above is a screenshot of the sign-in page for Jaaxy…

start a home based business online

Just looking at the image shows you that there are plenty of folks out there looking for information about plantar fasciitis. Does this mean we can do something?

Well…maybe…

You see, you want to make sure that you have something that people aren’t only looking for information about, but ALSO are looking to buy a product associated with that topic.

So even though there are a lot of people looking for information about plantar fasciitis, it doesn’t mean that there is a lot of money to be made.

The next step?

More research, of course!

start a home based business online

In the above image, we find that there are almost 800 searches per month with the phrase “shoe inserts plantar fasciitis.” This is a good thing, it means that there are folks out there looking for some type of a product – shoe inserts – that are directly related to plantar fasciitis.

This is also a pretty motivated market, if you have ever experienced the pleasure of this particular condition, you will know exactly what I mean.

When looking to start a home based business online, keyword research like that conducted above is crucial for your success.

Most of the time I can determine if I am going to make money with a product like the one above just by conducting this quick research. With the above example I could probably sell 10 units a month, which isn’t setting the world on fire, but is a good start.

And remember…

…the income that will come in from this one product…an income of about $200 a month or so…is passive. That means that once your site is set up with the right affiliate program or with a manufacturer that supplies the inserts, your income virtually arrives without any additional work!

When you are looking to set up a home based business online, automation and passive income are Kings!

Can You Start a Home Based Business Online in Any Niche?

Let’s say you have no interest what so ever in serving the world via foot care.

No problem

If you are like me, I love helping people discover ways to make money online or start businesses online as well.

In such a case, you will still conduct research, just research based on your specific niche or business model.

start a home based business online

A quick search using my Jaaxy keyword tool again shows that there is a key phrase that receives almost 4000 searches per month, home based business income.

You can also see that there are a .net and a .org available to purchase each for less than 12 dollars per year. This would allow you to gain excellent exposure for this exact key phrase by purchasing this domain name, setting up a blog site using the domain name and placing some decent content on the site.

*Note: if the domain name is not available, it’s probably because I have purchased it!

Start a Home Based Business Online is Easily Done

One of the greatest things about starting your home based business on the Internet has to do with the fact that it is so cost effective.

For those of you that have started other businesses, online or offline, in the past, you know exactly what I am referring to!

Typically, starting a business online is very inexpensive, this allows more accessibility for more people. There are no guarantees though and you shouldn’t think that there will be.

There are skills that you will have to develop, there are investments that you will need to make, but compared to a typical, traditional offline, brick and mortar business starting a business online is significantly less expensive.

A domain name may run you $10 or $11 dollars.

A hosting account may run you a few dollars a month.

You can create digital products for pennies. You can even get involved with an existing referral or affiliate business for a few thousand or even a few hundred dollars and be able to operate your business in the “black” in a very short period of time.

There are many, many good reasons to start a home based business online and cost is just one factor, but maybe the biggest one for any would be entrepreneur. There are many other factors to consider, but with the cost of starting an online business at a more than reasonable level, skill development and additional costs to purchase tools or training are within the grasp of anyone ready to get started.

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Easy Way to Generate Tons of Leads!

Who Wants to Generate Tons of Leads?

Are you looking for an easy way to generate tons of leads?

Who isn’t?

Well, I’m about to embark on a whole new training series that I think many of you, especially some of you folks new to Internet Marketing, are going to love!

For those of you that do not know this, Google, and many other search engines, will give priority to sites with keyword or key phrase specific domain names.

For example…

…if I wanted to find a site that dealt with WWII Model Airplanes and that was the search term I used, the site http://wwIImodelairplanes.com would have a better chance of ranking well than just about any other site out there.

Of course, my site would need to have quite a bit of information about World War II model airplanes, but as long as the content was relative to the the domain name itself, that domain should find its way to the top of the heap more quickly than a site with a more obscure name.

Marketers that use this information and create sites with exact match domain names can do very, very well. This technique is called “sniping,” and is nothing more than doing some research and finding a key phrase that gets a generous amount of traffic, registering that domain (the exact key phrase or keyword matched name) and creating relative content.

With just a little work – and maybe a couple of weeks – you will find yourself at the top of the heap for the key phrase or keyword.

So now when people go to Google and they type in WWII Model Airplanes…you site, http://wwIImodelairplanes.com will be at the top of the search engine results page or SERP.

You Still Have to be Consistent and Persistent

Now, understand that this tactic works, but only if you are consistent with your content creation and consistent activity!

If I have a site out there that is key phrase specific, I’m not just going to automatically rank well.

However, if I actually do some work on the site, write a couple of new articles and post them every week then yes, I will probably start seeing some good results and that makes me happy!

Now, there is some more good news here.

Watch: Generate Tons of Leads With a Simple Technique

First, I’m making the video series on this technique and am posting the first part right here and right now! It’s the video below!

Now…

Great video and all, but isn’t this post suppose to be about generating tons of leads?

It is and here’s the deal.

If you can create a good, informative website for a very specific, very targeted audience and generate a bunch of traffic – in this specific case I’m talking over a million visits per month – and then place an opt-in form in the side bar or on the page then you are going to generate a whole bunch of leads….

In other words, find what the crowd wants and build it for them.

When they come, your job is to make sure that you provide them with quality content and maybe a free ebook or marketing course. Something.

Just keep checking back for the next installment in the series…you will see EXACTLY what I am doing, step-by-step.

And, hey, if there is a problem, just let me know. You can leave send a message to me via email at mark@markgrahammarketing.com or you can comment below…whatever works best for you!

No matter what, go ahead and give me a comment or two…I’m always looking for some good back and forth!

Anyway, if you are interested in generating a ton of leads or just making money online, you will want to start watching the series.

See you at the top!

 

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Online Marketing and Ethics

I wrote an article just the other day about a so-called watchdog site that reports on “scammers.” The name of the site, realscam.com.

Now, I for one do not think that the folks over at this particular site are really concerned about the public’s well-being.

Nor do I believe they are doing a service for anyone. As a matter of fact, I do think that the folks over at this site may be actually hindering a great number of people in their quest for opportunity and disguising their efforts as being a watchdog sort of site against all of the “evil” marketers, programs, opportunities and sites out there on the Internet today.

While I may share in some of these ideas about the need for marketers to be honest in their representations of their products, programs and anything else they are marketing, I’m not sure that these folks are really acting that ethically in the first place either.

I’m not going to get into any playful or not so playful banter with anyone over at RS, but all of this got me to thinking about the responsibilities that we have as marketers…and I mean responsibilities of an ethical nature.

online ethicsMarketing and Ethics 101

For whatever reason, we as an industry are constantly having to defend our positions to many people out there that wish to attack our integrity based on an assumption that because we are promoting a MLM program or some other type of business opportunity program then we must be scammers or at least in the business of talking people into things that they do not need.

What?

Yep, so many people believe that if you are promoting a business model that they disapprove of (and I’m NOT talking about gifting here) that you must be in the business of lying and taking money from seniors that have saved all of their pocket change during their entire life.

The truth of the matter is rather different.

For the most part, the people that are here online trying to earn an extra bit of income or even replace their incomes entirely, are good people. These folks are typically hard working, they set and often times achieve goals, they are ambitious and enjoy helping others.

These types of marketers want to take responsibility for their own lives and for their own economic outcomes.

When it comes to online marketing and ethics, most of the people that fall within this category are spot on and possess high levels of honesty and integrity. We may join a program or business opportunity that some would see as a scam of some sort and make it work for us and help others make it work for them.

We will offer our services for free. We provide free training to those that get involved with us.

We know that the “best way” is by helping and serving others.

The only litmus test that is required here in terms of ethics is whether or not the marketer in question is living by the “Golden Rule,”

Treat others as you would have them treat you

Is there anything wrong with that?

Of course not.

It’s Really Pretty Easy When You Think About It

If we sign someone up into our business opportunity and they are not successful with the business, does that mean we have somehow scammed someone?

Is that person even a victim?

How much responsibility does the prospect own when it comes to their own success and failure?

I would say that they have quite a bit of responsibility as we all do…

…but…

…I also firmly believe that we, as marketers, have an obligation, an ethical obligation, to make sure that they prospect or new member gets honest information as well as the most up to date training that you can possibly give them.

In other words…

…people that join your team, your opportunity, your program have every right to expect good and honest information from you as a mentor.

After that, the burden of failure or success is with the prospect.

After all, you can drag a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink and while you may promote the best opportunity and provide the most comprehensive and accurate training ever developed, you will never be able to insure or guarantee the success of anyone else.

The only thing you can ever do is be as honest, up front and as helpful as anyone could possibly expect from you.

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Pocast: Being Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I just wanted to make a quick podcast recording for everyone and hopefully give you something to think about…

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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I love it when people start talking about scams and scammers.

I like it even more when they start touting their “know it all” position without really doing ANY real research.

I have been dealing with the folks over at realscam.com for a while…well, I say dealing with them…actually, no one has ever directly contacted me in anyway shape or form although they do have quite a bit of information (all of it can be found if you spend a whole 5 minutes looking online) about my Internet endeavors including many of the sites that I ran as well as personal information about myself.

I don’t mind these folks doing this at all, but I do want to make sure that you get, if not the “full” picture, at least my side of the story.

First…here are the screenshots from realscam just so you have an idea of what I am talking about…

real scam realscam.com realscam3 realscam4 realscam5

These are images from the website realscam.com (no, I’m not giving them a backlink) and as I said, they have quite a bit of information, personal and otherwise, about myself.

I believe this all started back when I was promoting a cash gifting program called The People’s Program. I am still a member of this program, although I have not promoted it in a couple of years and probably will never promote this program again…for many reasons.

Opinions…Everybody Has One

Now, let me start off by saying this…

I have no problem what so ever with people expressing their opinion. If you believe that the programs that I have been involved with are not legitimate then I believe you have every right to express your opinion the way that you wish.

Obviously, I have not made a significant effort to hide from “Professor Higgins” or anyone else associated with the realscam site. My phone numbers are listed here, many of my email addresses are listed here and I have yet to receive a call from anyone that might be interested in asking me a question directly.

While I am no longer marketing The People’s Program, or any other cash gifting program, I am not one to say that those involved with cash gifting are scamming people, nor do I feel that anyone writing about it is “protecting” the general public.

So why am I even writing about this today?

Because I want people that come to this site, that place their trust in me, to do so knowing where I stand on these particular issues and to explain my side of the story so that maybe folks will have a more complete understanding of where I stand…even to this day….on these matters.

First, let’s talk about a scam, what it is and why I don’t think the programs that I actively marketed were or are scams.

What is a Scam?

According to freedictionary.com a scam is:

scam (skæm)
n
1. a stratagem for gain; a swindle

vb, scams, scamming or scammed
2. (tr) to swindle (someone) by means of a trick

and…

scam (skæm) n., v. scammed, scam•ming. n.
1. a fraudulent scheme; swindle.

v.t.
2. to cheat; defraud.

v.i.

So basically, let’s go with fraudulent scheme designed to swindle others? That sounds right to me…

From Wikipedia:

A scam or confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence.

Now I could probably search for more definitions of the word scam and find some more information, but I think for the sake of the argument here that the above definitions work perfectly well.

What I would like to understand from anyone over at realscam is how in the world did I or anyone else that was being honest with our site visitors “scam” anyone?And I must ask the following questions:

Was it possible to generate “gifts” with The People’s Program?

Yes.

Was it possible for those that qualified with myself to generate a “gift?”

Yes.

As far as I am concerned, if a person was willing to do the work, learn the marketing techniques and methods then they would have just as good a chance as anyone else to become successful with their program.

Are there some people much more successful than others?

Yes.

Are there some people out there lying to get signups?

I’m sure there are or were, but that has no bearing what so ever on whether or not the program itself was a scam, i.e. designed to defraud the unsuspecting out of their hard earned dollar, that is a problem with an individual marketer.

If a program, any program, is designed to generate income or gifts or whatever through the successful efforts of someone promoting that program and it in fact does accomplish what it states it will then how in the hell is that a scam?

Honesty is the Best Policy? Really?

So am I to assume that those over at realscam are being absolutely honest about their reviews?

One thing that has always bothered me is the “emotion” that comes with some of the reviews. The over the top name calling and “finger pointing” that many engage in over there at RS. It reminds me of a story…Oh yes, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Crucible.

And is this just another witch hunt of sorts?

I would say yes, with the exception that there are and have always been marketers out there that do engage in fraud to cheat would be entrepreneurs from a dime. The work from home or home based business industry as a whole has always had charlatans that would promise anything that the reader wanted to read or the listener wanted to hear all in an effort to get the newbie to the game to open up their wallet and fork over the cash.

These people engage in activity based on human greed…on both sides of the issue.

The marketer is engaging in his or her greed by promising all kinds of rewards…much of the time with very little effort and the potential “victim” is actively engaged in their own for of greed by believing everything that they want to about a too good to be true image of online marketing.

HOWEVER…

…there are actually people out here that do care, that do want to help, that are available (that’s why my information is all over the place by the way), that do want to make a positive impact on other people’s lives  and we are genuinely interested in seeing our students prosper and succeed.

Are we successful every single time?

No, we are not, but does that mean that we have swindled the unsuspecting public? Hell no!

I think it would also depend on how you define success.

Yes, I Have Been Scammed

I can’t tell you how many times I have paid good money for a program or for some flashy software only to realize that it was not what was promised, that the product or the opportunity was never going to work like promised and what did I do?

Was I up in arms wanting to tell the world that this person or that person screwed me out of a dollar?

No. Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware. I became more cautious, I became motivated to learn what was “real” and what was an illusion. I became smarter, not by being successful, but by being lied to, by realizing early on that there were no “easy” paths to success even though success doesn’t have to be necessarily hard.

I am an adult. I realize that there is a significant amount of risk that one must deal with when it comes to opening up a business or joining someone in an already established business. I have owned my own businesses, whether it be online or offline, for most of my adult years, I still do and never once did I believe that my success was guaranteed or automatic. Why would I? Who in their right mind would ever tell someone that it was and more over, who would choose to believe that? The desperate? Perhaps.

What I do know was that there are principles at play here and these principles work in ALL business online or offline.

One of these principles is that if there is a market for a product or an idea or a method then you have a good chance of promoting that product, idea or method, tangible or intangible to that particular market.

If a specific market is larger than another market then it should be a bit easier to promote to the former due to the numbers, BUT you have to know how to promote, you have to know how to market and more importantly, YOU HAVE TO TAKE ACTION AND DO IT!

If a program works for one person, why will it not work for another? Why are we not focusing on this?

Because it is EASIER for people to blame others when things do not work out.

We live in a society where all problems, all things not perfect are the result of someone scamming us? That because we don’t come onto the Internet and succeed with an opportunity that somehow that sponsor, that evil marketer that got us to buy is to blame?

No. I refuse to believe that and will not believe that.

My failures are mine, my inability to successfully market, promote and eventually sell that product or program to another is MY problem whether it be a lack of knowledge or a lack of action.

I appreciate my failures, I learn from them every single time, which means that they aren’t necessarily failures in the first place, are they?

No, at the very most they are lessons of what NOT to do.

Making a Choice to Succeed

Success is a choice.

So is failure, even if it is due to a lack of choice, which is still a choice to do nothing.

If you truly want to succeed. If you truly want to make a difference in your financial life with an online opportunity then that option is available to you.

Will you automatically succeed with the “right” program?

No.

Will you automatically fail with the “wrong” program?

No.

You simply have to LEARN how to be successful with your program and with the marketing methods that you choose.

And guess what?

If those methods do not work well for you then you may even have to change things up again!

The only way, the ONLY way that you will fail completely is when you stop. When you stop trying, when you stop learning, when you stop dreaming.

As for you folks over at realscam…

I understand what your original motives are, I think, but in some ways you are doing much more harm than good. People need to be able to dream and hope and wish and sometimes people need to be smacked with the reality of failure of things not being what they thought they were.

Do marketers need to be ethical?

Absolutely, you will get no argument from me, but what you may want to do is realize that there are actually some of us out here that really do want to help, that believe that we can change things for the better, that we really do care about our fellow man.

I am one of those marketers. You want to know how to do something online?

I will show you.

You want to know how I market my programs?

I will show you.

You need help with marketing your program?

I will teach you.

As for you folks at RealScam.com, you probably should do a little more research, you probably should call up some of the people you attach the title scammer to. You can always call me and ask me directly how I feel about it. After all, you have my email addresses and phone numbers.

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