Sunday, May 29, 2011

Creating your own banner for a blog or website...

Okay, branding is a HUGE thing when it comes to business, charities or even people. If I show you a yellow smiley face, what do you think? WalMart? Yeah, me too. So why? Well, because they know how to brand! Now it's your turn. Once you have a blog or website set up your next step is to create a banner that you can exchange with other, similar blogs or websites - or with forums or anyone else that will post it... But how do you do it??  It's much easier than is sounds - I promise!

Step One - Creating Your Banner
If you have a logo for your company, business or site, you don't need to worry about creation, but you do need to make sure it's the right size.

If you don't have a logo already, you can easily make one. Start by taking a photo or finding a picture that will go with the theme of your site or blog. You can easily do an image search on most search engines or you can look on Photobucket.

Once you find one that you like, right click and choose "Save Image As..." on the menu that pops up. Make sure you know where you save it and what you call it. - just makes things easier...

Open the file in your Paint (or comparable) program and use the "Letter" option to put the title of your site or blog on to it. Once that's done, resize your logo to 125 X 125 pixels.

Your Button is now complete!

Step Two - Creating an HTML code for your Button
Upload your Button to Photobucket. If you don't have a Photobucket account, open one.

Once you have uploaded your Button to Photobucket you will see a number of choices for Sharing it. Choose the one labeled HTML code and copy it.

Open a Note Pad, NoteBook or other word processing program and paste it there so you can make changes to it. It should look something like this:

<a href=";current=Banner-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Now you simply need to change a few things and you'll be good to go.
First, remove the current Photobucket web address and replace it with your own.

<a href=";current=Banner-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Next you just need to change the title from Photobucket to the name of your site or blog.

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Financial Fitness"></a>

And you're done! You now have your HTML code for your button! Remember to save it so you can give it to banner exchange sites or use it as an ad.

Step Three - Creating a Code Box  (so others can snag and share your button)

In that same NotePad/Word processor page where you have your Button Code, skip down a few lines and copy and pastes the following:

<textarea cols=”15″ rows=”4″ wrap=”VIRTUAL”>YOUR BUTTONCODE HERE</textarea>
Now, simply copy and paste the Button Code your created before in to it.

<textarea cols=”15″ rows=”4″ wrap=”VIRTUAL”>YOUR BUTTONCODE HERE</textarea>
<textarea cols=”15″ rows=”4″ wrap=”VIRTUAL”><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Financial Fitness"></a></textarea>
Save this code, and the Button Code together (this under that) in your word document for future use.
Here is an example of what it will look like when finished and saved together:
(note, this is for this blog if you should choose to - take and use it!)

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Financial Fitness"></a>

<textarea cols=”15″ rows=”4″ wrap=”VIRTUAL”><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Financial Fitness"></a></textarea>
Final Step - Using your codes!
Now that you have your codes you cam use the HTML "Gadget" option on Blogger or your website to add this to your blog or site. When you visit other blogs or sites similar to your own, contact the owner and offer to exchange buttons! Now you're reaching not only your readers, but theirs as well!

**NOTE: If you use, you will not be able to display the codebox. does not recognize the code! To get around this I recommend doing a blog post announcing your new badge and providing the code to your readers that way. Then you could create a widget on your sidebar, linking to that post.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Promoting with Vista Print

   If you're just starting out with your business chances are you don't have tons of money to put in to promotion. Ads, business cards, flyers, coupons... It's all expensive, right? Well, it CAN BE, but it doesn't have to be. Vista Print offers some awesome promotional items to help you build your business, and they offer them for FREE!

   BUT, there is a trick to this. You see, Vista Print offers these products for free because they know once you're on the site placing an order you are more likely to spend on "upgrades," extra products and fast shipping - which is where they make their money. However, if you follow my tutorial below, you'll get the biggest bang for your buck...

Step 1:
   Visit and join - which is free...

Step 2:
   LOG OFF!  They don't offer the good stuff to you on your first visit! So just log off and give it a day.

Step 3:
   VistaPrint will email you every few days with "sale" emails. THIS is what you want!  Whenever you get the email from them go through the list of FREE items they are offering you. While each email is going to be different here is a list of basics that you can usually get and that are AWESOME for growing your business!
  • Business Cards
  • Post Cards
  • T-Shirt
  • Small Rubber Stamp
  • Car Magnets
  • Mailing Labels (I use these as sticker Ads)
  • Magnets
  • Sticky Notes
  • Lawn Signs
Step 4:
   Take some time to design your products, make them perfect!

Step 5:
   You DO have to pay for shipping, although the products are free. Do NOT let them upsell you on the shipping!!!  While they say the "slowest" shipping takes a long time to arrive, it rarely takes more than 5-7 days to arrive. So unless you need your products this week, do yourself a favor and use the slowest route this will save you HUGE on shipping costs!

Step 6:
   Enjoy your growing business when you use these products!

Key Points & Other Tips-
  • Vista Print makes their money on upsells by charging more than they are worth, so don't go for the stuff that's not free or hugely discounted!
  • You do have to pay shipping, so always go for the cheapest option.
  • Occasionally you will have the option to earn free expedited shipping when you spend so much, usually this is a good deal. So take it when you can.
  • Take the time to create the best products you can, these products will speak for your business even when you can't!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

65 Ways to Self Generate Leads

Here are 65 ideas for you on how to generate leads. Of course, there is no limit to the ideas a person could come up with. Have fun with this!

1) Use FREE email Signature Tags and attach them to every email you send!

2) Register your website business on Every FREE search engine you can find (first) and then start targeting the pay per click search engines.

3) Register your website with Online Shopping Directories.

4) Register your website with Online Work At Home Directories.

5) Register your website with Online Classified Ads if you are going to do any recruiting!

6) In your spare time you can list your website on FFA Link Pages.

7) In your spare time, go to other peoples personal websites and sign their Guest Book, make sure you include your info so they can find your website too!

8) Contact other webmasters and offer to exchange banners with them! If you do a online E-Zine or Newsletter swap banners with others and place them in your online newsletter and have them do the same!

9) Run a Contest on your site for Newsletter Members ONLY and then list your contest at all the FREE Contest & Sweepstakes Web pages!

10) List your website home business with online yellow page directories.

11) Add your listing into your local telephone paper-version phone book!

12) Scout out your local newspaper for the bridal announcements! You can send a business card and include a flyer for the new bride announcing your services!

13) Scout out your local newspaper for classified ads for Home Based Day Care Centers! Call & ask them if you can make up info packets to be sent home with their customers!

14) Scout out your local newspaper for baby announcements. If your company offers products geared to children or new moms you can try to match up their postal address with their name in the phone book. Drop into the mail a contact ME sheet, brochure or catalog, and business card.

15) Do an Online Bi-monthly or monthly Email Newsletter! After you get your local customer base built up you can consider doing a print version for those with NON-Computer Access! This will keep customers informed of your services!

16) Exchange business cards or flyers with other work at home business owners!

17)Network with other Home Business Owners! Schedule a Home Business EXPO locally in your area! Several of you can get together and come up with ideas on where to hold one!

18) Entice First Time Customers to purchase from you! Offer them an incentive like a personal discount or a special FREEBIE for them making their first purchase with you! Once you rope them in, give them the BEST SVC so that they will come back for more and refer you to others that they know! Word of mouth is sometimes the BEST FREE advertising!

19) Hold an Open House party! Do this 2-3 times per year! Send out invites to everyone and post flyers every where! Offer door prizes, refreshments, demo's etc!

20) Recruit Helper Friends! Have your friends help you spread the word! Give them catalogs, flyers & business cards! Tell them to pass them out, get you orders etc. Offer the "helpers" free items or personal discounts! A lot of times these helpers will end up being full recruits after they see how profitable & easy Your Home Business can be!

21) Sponsor Online & Local Contests! Donate a Prize or Gift Certificate! This will help get your a lot of Business Exposure! If you do online sponsoring, make sure you pick HIGH Traffic Websites!

22) Contact Local Business owners (usually smaller businesses work best). See if you can hang a flyer in their store window or set up a small table display. Offer them a personal discount or a freebie for allowing you this business exposure or swap "bag filler" business cards with them!

23) Contact local Bingo Halls! Offer to donate a Prize for their Bingo games! Make sure you include a business flyer, catalog, business card etc with the prize you are donating!

24) Network with other Consultants and find out what works for them and share your ideas with them too!

25) Print out your own business cards or buy low-cost ones and pass them out every where! (I personally get all of mine from

26) If you want low-cost photo-copying for your business flyers try the public library! A lot of times they are a lot cheaper for photo-coping then the big print shops!

27)Distribute Flyers & Business Cards to: Apartment Complex Rental offices!

28) Get permission to hang up flyers at grocery store memo boards, school teacher lounges, public laundromats, church directory memo boards, senior centers, nurses & doctor lounges etc!

29) Contact your local hospital and ask them if they give out the FREE new baby bags filled with gifts etc to the new moms in their hospital? If so, ask if you can add a flyer, business card, or brochure to the mix!

30) Contact Local Fire companies/fire houses in your area! See if they would be interested in holding a Fundraiser or Party.

31) Do you have local Job Fairs? If so, contact them about you setting up a table with Recruiting Info at your Local Job Fair! You can also contact local temp. agencies and see about you leaving info with them about the Your Business Opportunity!

32) If you are into recruiting, place online classified ads every where! You can also place ads online at your local newspaper, TV stations and radio stations websites! Don't forget to also place a classified ad in your local print version newspapers too!

33) Contact local TV stations & radio stations.

34) Offer to hold parties for friends, co-works & family members! You can get FREE advertising by having normal bridal shower, baby shower, anniversary parties etc! Try to tie them into your Business!

35)Do you have children? If you participate in their bake sale activities try to incorporate your business in that.

36) Going to a summer picnic or family/class reunion? Wear a badge advertising your business.

37) Every time you are checking out somewhere, give the cashier a hot card.

38) Make sure you leave info about Your Business on your answering machine or voice mail message! Not everyone who phones you knows that you sell or represent a particular company! (especially those pesky bill collectors & telemarketers)!

39) Write your Website URL & email address on every piece of mail leaving your home, including the bills! Either get return address labels with it printed on or handwrite it! Do you know how many hands touch once piece of mail? GREAT FREE advertising for you!

40) Do a school fund-raiser.

41) Make up a colorful flyer and hang it in your car window! Passer-bys can see your flyer at a parking lot, red-light etc!

42) I leave my business card behind every where I go! I even include one in the Hotel MAID's Tip envelope that I leave behind with my tip in it! You can also do this at restaurants, restrooms, etc!

43) Contact your local Welcome Wagon Group! Network with them! See if you can add your business card, flyer, catalog to the Welcome Wagon Package in your area!

44) Pass out brochures in your neighborhood!

45) Talk about your business Everywhere you go!

46) Don't be afraid to ask others to check out your website! The worse thing that could happen is the word "NO" but in the future if they need service from you they will remember that conversation with you!

47) Contact local kitchen & cabinet tradesmen in your area or local cabinet makers! See if you can set up a display in their shop about your Business!!!

48)Contact local professional offices. See if you can leave brochures about your business there.

49) Contact Local Sorority Houses!

50) Contact College Campuses & Private Schools and see if you can set up a Table Display during their open house days!

51) When out and about....make sure you use an AmeriPlan® LOGO something!

52) Update your personal Business Website as much as possible! People who regularly visit our website don't want to see the same thing over & over!

53) Does your church hold spring & holiday bazaars? Don't forget to set up a table display with your business info! Volunteer your time for Church Bake Sales, Holiday Bazaars etc. In exchange, set up a table or booth with your info.

54) Fundraising! A lot of opportunities here for you to expand and grow your business! Make a list of all the LOCAL groups in your area! Print out flyers about Your Fundraising Opportunity and include contact & business info about yourself! Every month commit yourself to mail out or to contact at least 5-10 of those group contacts per month!

55) Do you know of a family in your area that had a fire tragedy recently? A flood or other home tragedy? Donate something to them and include your business information.

56) Invest in BLANK postcards or invest in Business Themed Postcards! These are cheaper to mail out than using catalogs! Include your business & Contact info on them and mail them out to everyone advertising your business! This works well with random mailings from phone books as they are much more inexpensive to do and recipients usually tack them to the front of their refrigerator until they need to contact you!

57) Business SALE aids and Advertising! If you can afford invest in getting some printed, personalized sales aids! Pass them out to everyone! Everyone loves something for FREE!

58) Encourage your current members to send referrals to you. If any of them enroll, you will reimburse them that month's membership fee!

59) Make up inexpensive Gift Baskets and put your business info in them and set them in local mom & pop businesses.

60) Offer something free for every 5 referrals!

61) Contact all the businesses in your area and provide them with printed info about your business.

62) If time is a problem for you, get yourself organized! When watching TV or a movie, stamp the backs of your catalogs! You can do this during the commercials instead of just sitting there & biting your nails LOL Enlist the help of your kids! Children love to feel that they have a "job" and offering them a few bucks or another incentive for helping you with your business!

63) Contact NEW Graduates from College in your area!

64) Get Business Themed Banking Checks! Your bank checks pass thru tons of hands that could become potential customers or party hosts! If possible get your email address or website URL preprinted onto them! I also suggest using preprinted postal address labels too!

65) Get yourself a self inking or rubber stamp made up with your Website URL and contact info on it! Stamp everything with it! Not only does this save you time but you will be more "apt" to stamp up everything and anything if it ONLY takes a second to do it!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

How To Choose a Domain Name (part 2)

Here are some other things to pay attention to when selecting domain names...

1. Domain Extensions
Many webmasters wrestle not only with choosing the best domain name, but also with the decision of what domain extensions to select for their website. The following is a general guide to what the most popular domain extensions represent...

.com - commercial (by far, the most popular domain extension)
.net - network host (often used by hosting companies)
.edu - educational institution
.org - organization
.info - informational sites

If your primary focus is in a local market, you may find value in a local domain as well.

There are also country-specific domain extensions, such as "" for England and "" for Australia. A country-specific domain might be valuable to you if you have, for example, a Russian version of your software. In that case, you might want to register the ".ru" version of your chosen domain as well. Some studies show that country-specific domains perform better in that country's search engine results. In other words, will give preference to domains that contain .au results.

2. Be Different
Distinguish yourself from competitors with a unique and easy-to-remember domain name. Choose a domain that is different. Select a domain that will not cause marketplace confusion.

3. Keyword-Rich
Including keywords in a domain name is often helpful in ranking well for those specific keywords or phrases. If you find one available, definitely consider purchasing a keyword-rich domain. Keyword domains are particularly useful for content-based web sites.

4. Domain Name Spacing
There is a lot of talk about whether a hyphenated domain (i.e. is better than one that runs the words together (i.e. While hyphenated domains allow search engines to distinguish the keywords, they also make it more difficult for customers to remember. Do not struggle with the decision of which domain to register, as both have their benefits -- just register both if possible. Domains are relatively inexpensive and worth the money.

5. Number Of Characters
Obviously, shorter domain names are better. Eight to ten characters in a domain name is considered ideal, but not always realistic. Choose a domain that is easy to remember and not excessively long.

More Info on Choosing a Domain - ... part-1.htm

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll audio recording and editing software.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How To Choose a Domain Name (part 1)

So, you have an idea or a product.... now you need a domain name for a website. How do you choose a great domain name? Here are a few ideas...

Create a list of words or phrases that relate to the product, service, information, or brand that will be promoted on the website.

Experiment with variations of the words in the above list. Change the order of words in phrases to create unique combinations for possible domain names.

Check Availability
Check the availability of the potential domains, using Network Solutions or a similar domain registrar. If the desired name is already taken, most domain registrars will provide a list of alternative similar domains that are available.

Check Trademarks
Search to see if a trademark exists for a specific word combination. The USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) has one of the largest searchable databases of trademarked words or phrases.

Check Search Engines
Enter the potential domains in the various online search engines and examine the results. Do the desired domains already have existing websites? Will the selected domain result in any marketplace confusion?

Test It Out
Pose the potential domain to friends and acquaintances. Ask how the name makes them feel, and ask for their initial reaction to the names. Ask people from other countries, too! Remember: words do not always translate well into other languages, or not as you might expect. If you sell in a global marketplace, you do not want to unintentionally alienate or insult your audience with an offensive or confusing domain name.

Purchase It (And Variations)
Once you have settled on a domain name, purchase it... before someone else does! Domain names are relatively inexpensive, so we recommend that you also purchase variations of the domain name, in order to lock them up as well. You can then redirect the any traffic from the variations to you primary domain.

How to Choose a Domain: Part 2

Tools For Selecting Domains
Domainr -
Dot-o-mator -
Bustaname -
Domize -
DomainsBot -
dnScoop -
StuckDomains -
Nameboy -
dyyo -
DomainTools -
Ajax Whois -
DomainTyper -
Instant Domain Search -
Make Words -
PCNames -
Domain Pigeon -
ChoiceBits -
Wordoid -
Squurl -
Unwanted Domain Names -

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll audio recording and editing software.

Monday, May 9, 2011

How To Twitter

Twitter, the latest social networking craze, is a micro-blogging platform where participants post "tweets" which are short comments limited to 140 characters or less.

Getting setup on Twitter is not terribly difficult. There is a slight learning curve in regard to Twitter's culture and tweeting practices, so it is a good idea to monitor the posts for a few days before you jump in and begin tweeting, just to get a feel for the community. Many Twitter participants monitor the posts (tweets) of other people they find interesting, which is called "following". Twitter is interactive, and allows others on Twitter to reply to tweets and engage in a conversation with the original poster or others who add comments to the original posts/tweets.

Here are the setup steps for both Business and Personal usage...

For Business Use:

1. Choose A Name
Select a name for your Twitter account. If the Twitter account is going to be for company use, you should use your brand name as your account name.

2. Create A Profile
Write a business profile that includes a description of your company, products, and services.

3. Add An Icon/Avatar
Upload a customized avatar that will reinforce your company brand, such as a version of your company logo. Twitter icons that are eye-catching will draw more attention to your posts.

4. Customize A Landing Page
Customize a landing page for your profile, and reinforce your brand and company message there. Use the profile space to provide additional information.

5. Follow
Follow friends or others with similar interests, products, or company focus. You can also follow industry leaders.

For Personal Use:

1. Choose A Name
Select a name for your Twitter account. This can be a nickname or your real name.

2. Create A Profile
Write a profile that reflects your personal interests. This will help people with common interests to locate you.

3. Add An Icon/Avatar
Upload a Twitter icon/avatar. Eye-catching Twitter icons will draw more attention to your posts. You can use a photo of yourself, or another image that reflects your personality.

4. Customize A Landing Page
Customize a landing page that reflects your personal interests or passions.

5. Follow Friends
Follow friends or others with similar interests, media personalities, or just about anyone you are interested in.

Keep in mind that Twitter is not about shouting your message -- it is about engaging in a two-way (or more) dialogue. Begin tweeting by interacting with those that you are following.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll audio recording and editing software.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chalene Johnson's How to Deal with Negative People

This Video is a MUST WATCH! No matter if you follow my blog to help you in business or just day to day finances... This video will really be a benefit to you!

Thanks Chalene!! You're an angle!!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...