Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The 9 Steps to Launching an Effective Landing Page!

I have people approach me all the time to design a landing page, but they do not really understand that a lot more than the design goes into the implementation of this page. Of course the design is of utmost importance, you want to portray the right image as well as collect all the relevant information for your data-base. However, just like branding your image through graphic design or building a website it is much more complicated than that. Below you will find the proper steps to putting together an effective landing/squeeze page. If you find a designer who only designs the page and does not explain the rest (or do the rest) – find someone else, you will not get what you are paying for – it is worth a few extra dollars to get the results you want. If you don't get results you are throwing your money away! Before having a professional put together a page make sure you have your free item (bonus or leader) – report, e-book, mp3 (or whatever you want to give away) developed. You want to give the recipient something of quality the best you have to offer. If you don't and they perceive your free gift to be of sub-standard quality they they will not let me repeat WILL NOT buy your service or product – in fact, they will be convinced that the quality of your company is poor, quite the opposite effect of what you are trying to portray… Remember: When you make a customer/potential customer happy they may tell a few friends. When you disappoint or make a customer/potential customer unhappy everyone will hear about it. That is something you don't want to happen to your reputation or your business. Furthermore, make sure you have researched and put together the best copy for the page. Look at other successful landing pages and see how they pull people in with the benefits that are listed. If you are at a loss for verbiage, see if you website developer does that type of work or knows someone who does. For a little more money, it is well worth the cost. The 9 Steps to Launching an Effective Landing Page
  1. Register a unique domain name
  2. Research to find the proper Keywords that will lead visitors to your page.
  3. Write the copy using the keywords found
  4. Design the page\
  5. Implement the auto responder/ form
  6. Put together a page with the downloads so that when the person signs up for the free - stuff it will automatically direct them to the free download page.
  7. Put an opt-in or thank you letter in position that will automatically go out when a potential customer sign up for the freebie's - this will thank them for downloading your free item and have a link to your website.
  8. Upload your squeeze page to your domain.
  9. Start your viral marketing campaign!

Once all this is done you are now ready to market your freebie to the world – collecting those names are so important to your business - remember your data-base is gold!

FYI: My company does landing and squeeze page design and implementation for $250. To see a portfolio of work - go to www.artistadesign.com (access the portfolio links)

Providing Creative Solutions & Valuable Results

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Great Resources...

All of the links below are products or services that I have used and found extremely helpful. I only endorse things I have used my self. If you find you have any problems with the services or products listed below please let me know. As I find great resources I add them to my website so you need to check out the website from time to time http://www.artistadesign.com Web Development & Implementation Resources My #1 Choice for hosting a website.Great customer service - prices cannot be beat for the value they give you. Click Here Need graphics - I use this resource. It is a wonderful place to get you graphics. Millions of downloadable royalty-free clipart images, photos, web graphics, sounds and fonts by subscription. iCLIPART.com Great Auto Responder Build your data base all the while automating your marketing plan! check this auto responder out I have been using it for years! Click Here Free Goodies!! Who doesn't love that.. The best freebie site I have ever seen. You designers and developers will love this site Click Here Another great royalty free service. For pictures, clipart, anything you need for your online visuals. Clipart.com
Content & Articles
Need help with articles ideas? Here is a great resource that allows you to use articles and rewrite them as well... Unlimited articles downloads and article niche packs Inforgoround.com
Search Engine & SEO Keywords and more... Keyword Tracker Google Analytics
Do you want to know if your web site is search engine ready? Go to this web site and see. It is free! Scrub The Web
Free Link PopularityWant to know who is linked to you? Fantastic Resource! Click Here
Spam CheckBefore you send out your marketing messages you need to make sure it will not be seen as spam. Here is a great link that will help you edit your messages properly! Click Here
Graphic Design Resources
Printer great price - good quality - Vista Print Click Here
150,000 stock photos for $139.95. High resolution for brochures and print items. Royalty free! Only at Photos.com.
Fantastic Free Fonts and More Click Here
Internet Knowledge Confused by web site terminology. Want to know the meaning to an internet acronym? I have the solution for you! Webopedia.com

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Delivery is EVERYTHING!

“It doesn’t matter whether your product is information or a flyswatter. If you understand marketing, you can make serious income.” Robert G. Allan, Author Multiple Streams of Internet Income How will your offerings make me look better, feel better? What will my family and friends say? Will this help me enjoy my leisure? Money is forever the great desire. Saving money and buying at a lower price are sound copy points. But they must be followed through with benefits, reasons, sound facts and lots more benefits. When designing your copy, stick to the emotionally-gratifying benefits. A potential customer may be sold, but will that person buy? Getting Your Reader's Attention Endorsements and testimonials are effective ways to dramatize facts and back up the benefits of your product, but don't use ones that look or feel transparent. If you use an endorsement from a famous or popular person, that person should use the product. Any testimonials you use must be true. Always aim for satisfaction. Self-respect, accomplishment and security are human aspects everyone strives for. Never talk down to the readers as though you know something they don't or you're better than they are. To you, the potential customer is POTENTIAL GOLD. Absolutely STAND BEHIND your word. Be cheerful and expedient in returning a phone call. Let them know that you sincerely appreciate their business and not to hesitate in contacting you, if there is any way you can be of further assistance. If you give a time limit the product will be offered for sale, or mention a limited supply, or have a reduced price for a certain time, you'll increase the impulse to act. Again, STAND BEHIND your word; and you will find customers come back again and again...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Follow Your Passion

You know. I think a lot of us get caught up in the rate race and don’t stop and really think about what makes us happy. Are you only out to make riches or are you truly following your heart desires? I heard a great saying. I am not sure who wrote it, but It is so true….

“Follow your passion and you will never work a day in your life.”

If you really love what you do - it will fulfill and motivate you. My hope is that this article will help you in evaluating your journey in business and in life. You really can have whatever you want in life - when you truly believe it and put action to it.

People have different perceptions of the ideal life, and it ranges from obtaining financial freedom to something as simple as being able to spend more time with your family. Unfortunately, many fail to reach their aspirations because they can’t get a solid, clear picture in their mind or are confused about what they really want.

How do you know exactly what you want?

Write down all your possible answers to the questions below. Write down everything, no matter how silly or unimportant it seems. When that’s done, go back and circle five to seven items that interest you the most. Then evaluate and choose with your heart, not your mind, the one and only thing worthy to spend all your time and resources on and that brings out the best in you. Focus all your efforts on that particular desire. Those who are not clear about what they want and those who give up easily when the going gets tough will never get anywhere.

If you’re a bit confused and aren’t sure what you really want in life answer the questions below. Take the next few days and embark on a fact-finding journey that will be a life-changing experience. Get a pad and pencil and start with this first step:

1. What makes your heart beat with excitement?

2. What makes you happy?

3. What are you constantly thinking of day and night?

4. What do you want to do with the rest of your life?

5.What do you enjoy doing?

6. What are your obsessions?

7. What things make you jump for joy?

Now you may wind up with something like, “I want to be a professional dancer.” If you’re over 45 I’d say that isn’t too viable a choice, but you could do something related to dance or the arts. How about starting a ballet school for children? Or perhaps a retail business related to all things dance, promote the arts through working with struggling artists, or even managing a dance troop could be the answer. You can always read books and surf the net to help you in your search. The most important thing to remember, no matter how “pie in the sky” it seems, is to USE YOUR HEART. Others may disagree with you, but you should be firm with what you really want. Others may offer comments or advice, but the final decision is always yours to make. You should concentrate on what you want, not what others want.

"You only get one shot at living your life."

There are no replays and you don’t get to do it over. Too many lives have been lived in quiet desperation waiting until - they retire, and then they depart from this life before “until” ever arrives. Don’t go to sleep tonight without making a decision on WHAT YOU REALLY WANT IN LIFE MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. Then spend a few days evaluating how to make it possible and make a living at it.

Begin living every day as if it were the last day you had – never leaving anything to be done next week, next month, or next year. There will always be bills, there may be storms and earthquakes and repairs – but there will only be one life for you to live. It can’t be put on “hold”! The outcome of your efforts may be in the future, but you’re living each day by taking steps toward that outcome.

Pamela Jacob is the owner of Artista Design. Being in business for well over a decade she delights in helping others achieve the successthat she has enjoyed. For a free consultation please email her at pamela@artistadesign.com or 801-910-4825

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Get it while it is HOT!

This is the introduction from my new ebook“The Ultimate Guide to Free Traffic” On sale now! The Importance of Web Traffic There is an enormous number of ways that you can earn online. Whether you are selling advertising space, selling actual merchandise, or selling information, You Determine Your Success or Failure by Your Ability to get Individuals to Visit Your Website Think about it: If you started a business and put all of your advertising on the side of a dirt road with minimal traffic, do you genuinely think you will be profitable? Some of your best business will come from people who just drop in while window-shopping. In the same way, you need your online store to be located in a busy part of a town where casual shoppers linger. The key to succeeding in any Internet related business is traffic. You must find ways to lead potential customers to your front page. If you believe you can rely solely on the search engines to put you at the top of their lists, then you may be setting yourself up for failure. Search engines use a complicated formula when deciding which pages show up first. Unless yours is the only business of your kind in the universe that has a web site, you will have to work hard to get one the first page of the search engine. The simple fact is Corporations buy the rights to search phrases and generally pay big money for the opportunity to be highlighted at the top of the list. One interesting point to keep in mind is that, the more traffic you have at your site, the more likely you are to slide up in the search engine results. The question: How do you get that initial flow of customers, clients, or readers to make your website a place that they regularly do visit? As a basic rule, as you make a plan and design your website, you should be looking at other sites that are in the same genre as yours (competitors). Maybe they offer similar or complimentary services. Maybe they provide information about the same topic. Look at the website and determine what makes it work – what you don't like and how when rebuilding or planning your website you can make your’s more customer oriented – What can you provide your clients that they can't or don't on there website. A good web developer/designer that is savvy on marketing and promoting websites can help you in assessing the website you want to analyze. Find sites of businesses who compliment your and see if these sites have a blog or message boards go in and try to build relationships with individuals that are running these sites. Leave comments on their blog's and engage in forum discussions. Tip: Make sure you fill out the signature card available when creating your profile – this is like a mini advertisement, leaving a link to your own page in your signature. As you become more familiar with this type of venue you definitely will want to consider adding a blog to your website. Be diligent about keeping the material on your website fresh and you will find that you begin to get repeat traffic. Others will begin to link to you from their own pages and list you as a valuable source of current information. Just as in any traditional business format, building relationships and networking will be vital pieces of your success. The important thing you need to know as you begin is it takes work to get traffic to your website. The traffic flow at your website won't happen by accident. It takes careful planning and sharp execution to make that hit number go up. In this book we are going to show you how. For more information, articles or to sign up for my newsletter go to my website www.artistadesign.com

Friday, October 26, 2007

You don’t want to miss this!

I very seldom publish an article from another author in this blog – but I happened to open an email newsletter I subscribe to and what I read hit a cord. I was going to write about the subject of copyright infringement but after reading this well written article – I really don’t need to – it has been written for me. I want to thank Kelly Sims for generously giving me permission to reprint this article.
4 Steps to Combat Website Plagiarism
Publishing your website can be one of the most exciting times for a business owner. After all of your hard work and persistence, the whole world now has access to your products or services. You have either paid hundreds of dollars to have someone write your site content for you, or you have put your heart and soul (not to mention hour upon hour of hard work) into creating content of which you can be proud. In either case, you've invested time and/or money into your website copy. Now that it is out there for the whole world to see, it may be a target for all kinds of unscrupulous individuals.
Copyright infringement is a very common occurrence on the World Wide Web.
How do you protect yourself? And, what can you do if someone steals your content?
It's important for you to know that anything you have written is copyrighted. You can register a copyright, but you don't need to in order for it to be illegal for someone to copy or reproduce your work without your permission. Any written text, painting, drawing, musical composition, photograph or computer program, be they published or not is protected by copyright law.
Unfortunately, just because your work is copyrighted doesn't mean it is safe. Some individuals don't know that copyright laws apply to the internet, and others simply don't care.
With millions of websites out there, it's difficult to know if your website has been targeted by thieves.
A great tool to use in the protection of your website content is
Simply enter your website URL and it will scan the web for you. This is a free service, but if you have been a frequent victim of copyright infringement, you might want to consider their paid service, which automatically scans the web regularly for any duplicates of your content.
What do you do if you are one of the unfortunate victims of copyright infringement?
How can you deal with the offender and avoid the high cost of litigation?
The following are some simple steps that you can take to ensure that the infringer removes your material from their website.
1. Contact the offender.
You can usually visit the "contact" page of the offender's website to obtain their contact information. If for some reason you can't find their coordinates that way, you can perform a search for "who is" to find many sites that can provide information about the website owner by simply entering their URL. The website owner's contact information should be posted here, but if not, their website host will be and you should contact them. Keep your first contact civil. Calling or emailing the responsible individual with a stern, yet professional demeanor will be much more effective than yelling or name calling. Remember that the owner of the site isn't necessarily the writer, and if they are, then being nasty may not have the desired effect and in fact may create more problems for you in the long run.
2. Send a cease and desist order.
If your initial contact didn't get the desired results, your next step should be to send a cease and desist order. You do not need to hire a lawyer to create one for you. A simple search for "cease and desist order templates" should give you an order that can be altered to meet your needs. Send one copy by email and one copy by registered mail and make it look as official as possible. Include a date by which the material should be removed. You want the offender to know that you mean business.
3. If action is still not taken, send a cease and desist order to the offending party's web host.
Again, the host information is available by performing a search for "who is". The majority of hosts will take action by temporarily removing the offender's site until the copied material is removed.
4. The situation should be resolved at step 3, but one more step that can be taken is to notify search engines of the infringement.
Performing a search for the "DMCA" or "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" policies for each search engine will provide the information you need to contact each of them in order to request that the offender's website be removed. It's always advisable to protect yourself by keeping records of the dates your content was placed on your site. This ensures that the other party can be proven wrong it they claim to have posted their content first.
About the Author: Kelly Sims is a Virtual Assistant and Owner of Virtually There VA Services. To find out more about virtual assistance and how using a Virtual Assistant can simplify your life and increase your profitability, visit her website at
http://www.virtuallythereva.com. While you're there, don't forget to sign up for her free monthly newsletter providing useful information that enhances and simplifies the lives of busy entrepreneurs.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Mystery of RSS…

The truth is RSS is just an acronym for “Really Simple Syndication”. As the name implies, it is a method for syndicating the content of a web site.
An RSS file is really just another version of your web page, written in a code meant to be read by a program called a “parser”. You could write an RSS file by hand, just like you could write an HTML page, but since the purpose of an RSS file is to provide quick and up-to-date information from your site, most RSS files are built by a website’s content management system.
So what are we supposed to do with an RSS file? Read it in an RSS reader, of course. The real beauty in publishing an RSS file for your web site is in this; it allows your visitors to read your blog site in an RSS reader, it allows your article to be delivered to followers emails.

The true benefit is that some site visitors are more likely to regularly read your posts if they can read them in an RSS reader. Most of these people will read the feeds from several sites every day, and isn’t that the kind of site visitor you want to cultivate?

While you’re at it, there are a few other useful things you can do with your RSS feed.

First, you can offer blog updates by email if a person subscribes to your feed through a service like:
- http://www.feedblitz.com/

FeedBurner - http://www.feedburner.com
Second, you can send broadcast emails to your mailing list by attaching an RSS feed to your autoresponder.
Using this method you can actually publish a newsletter based solely on your blog posts, scheduling a broadcast each time you have a certain number of new entries.

Above all, the key benefit of RSS feeds is convenience. If you make it easy for your site visitors to keep reading your content, and the content is good, you’re more likely to keep them around. We all know it is cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one, and an RSS feed provides an easy way to keep those visitors reading your site.

Friday, October 12, 2007

How Search Engines Work

A lot of business owners are perplexed when it comes to how search engines work. Below you will find an excerpt out of my book “Search Engines from A to Z”. Search engines are the key to finding specific information on the web. Without the use of sophisticated search engines, it would be virtually impossible to locate anything on the internet without knowing a specific URL. URL: is the domain name that is in the address bar of a web site. ie: www.artistadesign.com There are basically three types of search engines: Those that are powered by robots or spiders; those that are powered by human submissions; and those that are a combination of the two. Spiders: A program that automatically goes over web pages and collects information. Spiders are used to feed web page content to search engines. Crawler-based engines send crawlers, or spiders, out on to the internet. These spiders visit a website, read the information on the web page, read the site's Key words and also follow the links that the site connects to. The spider returns all that information back to a central database where the data is indexed. The spider will periodically return to the sites to check for any information that has changed, and the frequency with which this happens depends on the search engine. Human-powered search engines rely on humans to submit information that is then indexed and catalogued. Only information that is submitted is put into the index. In both cases, when you go to a search engine to locate information, you are actually searching through the index that the search engine has created. Search engines are compiled of giant data-bases full of information that is collected and stored. This explains why sometimes a search on a commercial search engine, such as Google or Yahoo!, will return results that are in fact dead pages. The search results are based on the information that has been collected, if the information hasn't been updated, and the web page becomes invalid the search engine treats the page as still being active. It will remain that way until the search engine updates the information. So why will the same search on different search engines produce different results? It depends on what the spiders find or what the person submits. More importantly, not every search engine uses the same criteria or algorithm when indexing the web page information. Algorithm: is what the search engines use to determine the importance of the information on the web page. One of the elements that a search engine algorithm scans is the frequency, location and consistency of keywords on a Website. Another common element that algorithms analyze is the way that pages link to other pages. By analyzing how pages link to each other, a search engine can both determine what a page is about (if the keywords of the linked pages are similar to the keywords on the original page) and whether that page is considered "important" and deserving of a boost in ranking. Search engines are becoming wise to Web masters who build artificial links into their sites in order to build an artificial ranking. That is why it is now more important than ever to have content that matches the keywords in your meta-tags, to link to relevant sites and have backlinks from sites that are not only relevant but have a higher than 3 ranking in Google.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Why write an E-Book? Why not!

I am getting ready to launch my second book. It is amazing how sharp and clear one can get when writing a book – it really sharpens your senses and your knowledge. E-books can be wonderful tool, and they are worth all the effort you put into them – when you take the time to write down what you are an expert at and compile what you know, you will be amazed at the breadth and depth of the knowledge you have in your own expertise.

What an amazing way to let people know you are an expert in your field, it gives you such credibility.

What a fantastic way to promote your business while bringing in new streams of revenue…

Why write an E-Book? Why not!

E-books production cost is inexpensive., think about it: you don't need a publisher, an agent, a printing press, offset film, ink, paper, or even a distributor. You just need a great concept, the ability to write it or to hire a writer, and the right software.

E-books are easily and rapidly distributed online. They are also easily updated; they do not require a second print run. All you need is to go into your original creation and modify the text or graphics. Because of this flexibility, e-books can change and grow as fast as you can type.

E-books are also immediately obtainable for your audience. They don't have to go to a bookstore or search through endless titles at an on-line bookstore. All they have to do is download it from a website, and presto! It's on their computer, ready to be read.

E-books are interactive. This is one of the unique and specific qualities that e-books offer. You can add surveys, order forms, pictures and sound that draw your reader into the virtual world of your e-book, even direct links to relevant sites that will expand your e-book outward. The potential is virtually limitless.

E-books have a particular kind of permanence that other mediums do not possess. Television shows and radio shows air once, and may have rerun here or there. E-books remain on your computer for as long as your choose, and they can be read and reread. They can even be printed out put in a binder and stored on the shelves of your traditional home library.

E-books have no barriers in terms of publishing. You don't need to go through the endless process of submitting your manuscript repeatedly, and then once you land an agent, having the agent submit your manuscript over and over again. Nor do you have to shell out thousands of dollars for printing a self-published book. All e-books require is a writer and appropriate software. Figure out your market, write your book, post it on your website, and with the right business savvy, your audience will come to you.

Finally, you have creative control over your e-book. You don’t have to compromise with an editor or the publishing trends of the time. You don't have to haggle with a designer or wait for the copy edited galleys to arrive by snail mail. You are in complete control of the design and the text. You and you alone have the resources and power to put your knowledge in an e-book. What a tremendous marketing tool you create when you put together an e-book.

Don’t let a minute more pass you by! Start Writing!!

If you would like help in designing your e-book email me pamela@artistadesign.com or call me


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Affiliates Friend or Foe?

I am a person that likes junk mail… As a little child I loved commercials… And even now as frustrated as I am getting hundreds of emails a day (that I don't always ask for) there are times I love to go through select emails and do research. Check out the offers – see how they are put together etc. Don't get me wrong there are days when I just check all and hit the delete button (those day when I am feeling overwhelmed) – but you would be amazed at what are in all those (extra) offers. Today the realization hit me… A Hugh number of e-ads (my name for them) that come in are trying to sell people on the preconceived belief that they can become rich just by being an affiliate to thousands of products and services… Now I am a big believer in being an affiliates when I have tried a product and/or service and love it. There is nothing wrong (in fact I encourage it) with letting everyone know about how fantastic a product/service is. If you get a little something from it great – that is the way it should be – give and take – ebb and flow, a reward for a job well done. However – I personally would never become an affiliate just for the sake of pulling in a little (or a lot of) extra cash. My reputation and credibility are much too important to me… Have you ever really thought about it? When you sign up as an affiliate you are telling the world that YOU endorse that product/service. What happens if it looks like a great product and doesn't work? Or the business sounds remarkably wonderful, however the individuals providing the offer lack in customer service and/or are unethical in what they provide?? Do you believe that anyone that gets burned once from you will ever come back? You've heard the old saying – burn me once shame on you, burn me twice shame on me… Did you know that when a consumer is happy and satisfied with a product or service, they may tell a friend or two (if and when it comes up). When a consumer is unhappy, they tell everyone that will listen… As vast as the internet and all its parts are – it can still be a very small place. The movers and shakers on the internet are still a pretty small bunch (in relative terms). If you are recommending bad products and/or services you yourself will soon be out of business. If you your goal is only to make a quick buck – no matter what the scheme… Don't waste you time. Honestly, you will not get very far for very long… Be sure and check out any affiliates you may be endorsing, like I have said I do believe in affiliates – in fact, I provide a 10% finders fee for anyone who does send customers my way – and I have made a really good living with referrals, but the referrals were genuine – a lot of the people that send referrals my way didn't even know I was going to give them a payment. In fact some clients refer people to me so they can get extra services for free! Great incentive… Remember: I do believe in affiliate programs. I endorse many affiliates but I have used their goods and services and stand by them. Make sure you do the same, know the affiliates you are endorsing if you don’t heed my warning it is going to come back and bite you in the (you know what!!)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

WOW what a good idea! (Not)

Now I may be a little prejudice, but I must tell you when I get these ads that say: You can now do your own website – get rid of you web designer do it yourself – or – Build a website yourself; we give you all the tools – or - Host with us, build your own website and updated it with our new super duper template builder (only $100. a month, ugh!). I cringe, on the surface it sounds really good. Why not save bundles of money doing it yourself – after all you are on a limited budget. However, I have had too many new business owners that have gone through that route and came to me with disastrous results. Let me explain myself. Building a website is like building your store (brick and mortar). Now if I sent you an advertisement stating – build your own store, I will give you all the tools, and you will save a bundle on having a professional builder do it. You think WOW, that is a good idea – you pay me my $49.95 and I give you the tools to do it. When you look around, and you see all the saws, hammers, nails, cement mixers, wood, brick, sheet rock, pipes, etc. laying there in a pile would you know what to do? Even if I gave you a 300 page book with directions – are you up to the task? Of course not – unless you are a contractor that has had the extensive experience of building offices before. OK then let’s say you see all the stuff and think – I will just get some more books on how to build an office building… Do you genuinely think that would be the thing that would give you the expertise to know how to build an attractive – store inside and out? Then you realize you have to buy the lot to build the store front on. Then you have to do the signage… This may sound like an exaggeration but makes my point. The time and effort you would put into building your website – doesn't mean you are good at creating the look and feel that your clients would be attracted to. What about making sure that you site is a marketing machine? Do you know how to build that type of website? Do you know how to collect names from your visitors so you can market to them? Your website should give a professional presentation – the appearance layout and content should be done with the help of a professional. There are places to cut expenses and your website is not one of them. There are millions of web designer – but not all have the gift of design as well as the extensive experience to know exactly what you need in order to make your websites a viable commodity. Your best bet is to find a designer that you have confidence in – you know they are familiar with all aspects of an e-business and can guide you in the right direction. Hire a professional that has been in the industry long enough to know what it takes to have a successful website. When you hire the right professional web designer/developer you're not only getting an expert at building an effective on-line presentation, but the guidance they give you will be invaluable.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Anatomy of a Squeeze Page

Your database is gold and one of the most important things you can do when you start an online business is capture names of visitors that come to your site. That is where a squeeze page can become invaluable. Having an auto responder and being able to market to that person, keeping your company/business name in front of them,letting them know when you have specials (etc.) is essential.
That is where a squeeze page comes in – it should be an integral part of you online business. It’s a technique that works to build your ‘op-in’ list.
A squeeze page is really a 'trading' page - you are trading something of value to your visitor and they in turn give you information about themselves.
No matter how great your site is people get distracted and your visitor can be gone before you know it. Not only that, if they become distracted they may not remember what site they were on or why they had navigated there in the first place. This is why using a squeeze page and getting permission to follow up with your visitors can be so powerful. Caution: Make sure and reassure you visitor you will not be selling, trading or other wise using their information for anything other than what they are signing up for… Anatomy of a Squeeze Page Layout:
Keep the layout simple and to the point.
Capture only the minimum amount of information needed for the follow up - name; email address is all you really need. Asking for state, country or phone should only be done if it is important to the follow up.
People are often reluctant to give up a phone number - especially on the first contact. They fear being put on lists or being called at all hours of the day or night.
It is important the visitor understand his/her information will be kept confidential. Remember that you can, and should, acquire more information as you develop the relationship between you and your customer.
Make a template with your HTML editor, which you can use over again just by making minor changes to the information, depending on your present offer.
Hire a designer to build a professional template squeeze page for you. This is especially important if you are not technically savvy. The cost of a good squeeze page is an excellent investment and well worth the money. Graphics & Content:
Graphics can project the image you want to have.
Do you want to display only the product?
Do you want to display the product and your logo for branding purposes?
Would you like to put your picture a short bio that will lend credibility to your offer?
You need a quality offer to entice the visitor to hand over her/his information. Preferably, this will be something of a free nature and should be something that solves a problem for the visitor.
Free reports are great items for squeeze pages. And these items need not be your product but can be products for which you are an affiliate.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Success is Not an Accident

I am currently working with a client who I know is going to be successful. They have the passion and excitement but more than that, they have done the home work that should be involved with building a strong foundation for their business.

Have you really set up a sound foundation for your business? It is so much easier to build a business right the first time than to try and save a company that is floundering. The mistakes I see individuals make when starting an online business would surprise you. An amazing amount of people really do not take the time to research competitors, find out who their target market is or even figure out what they will need in order to market their business/services once they have website is developed.

In our society, we (me included) want it all right now. We don't want to have to wait… We want instantaneous wealth, success, fame that is why it is so easy for those unethical few to bilk people/businesses out of billions of dollars a year…

What have I learned being in business for over a decade? There are no short cuts…

To be successful in any endeavor you must first do what it takes to build a strong foundation, this includes:

  • Researching
  • Putting together a business plan
  • Figuring out and setting aside a marketing budget
  • Figuring out your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Learning that you don't cut corners on the important stuff.

Put together a blueprint for your success – it takes time to be able to hammer these things out. It is so crucial it literally can make a different on whether your company will live or die.

Did you know that 99% of these overnight success stories are simply not.

These “lucky few” have been dreaming, planning, and structuring this “over night success” for sometime in some cases for years…

Don't be fooled – Success is not an accident, and it is not a fluke… When you plan well and build a strong foundation. Success is up to you.

Pamela Jacob is the owner of Artista Design. Being in business for well over a decade she delights in helping others achieve the success that she has enjoyed. For a free consultation please email her at Pamela@artistadesign.com

Monday, August 20, 2007

Why I Do What I Do

Initially I envisioned this blog to be a series of articles about what you need to design an attractive website, market it, optimize it etc. It has become so much more than that. A client or potential client will email me and ask me a question, or I read something that sparks a view/reaction in my mind and I write about it. This information is something that is invaluable to you my reader – this type of pertinent information you may not be able to find so easily in a structured article. This type of information gives you the nuances that make a business successful… I am telling you this because so many times people don't start blogs because they genuinely assume they have nothing to say – well if you have nothing to say then I suggest you don't even start your business until you understand it fully. And once you understand your product/service then you will have tons to say on the matter. Blog's are powerful connections for your business. In developing this blog I truly found out why blogs are so powerful when promoting business. It gives you credibility – it allows people to see you are who you say you are. It is true that you need more than a blog to be successful. You need to ping your blog – you need to submit to blog directories, and most of all you need to know what you are blogging about!! Search engines love blogs because it gives them new fresh material all the time and that is so important when trying to stay on the top of search engine listings. As I always say there is so much to know and then so much more… That is the one thing, I love about my business – I am here to help businesses detangle and understand what they need to have a successful online business… Helping clients and watching them grow gives me so much satisfaction – it is why I do what I do.. Pamela Jacob

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Do You Want Lasting Success

After talking to a prospective client the other day – a thought came into my head that I hadn't even though of in years.

“People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

This is the bare bones truth… As a young person one of my first jobs was in sales. I was quite shy and really hated the hard sale or the pushy image sales people could give off.

Sales have had a bad reputation – there is still a misconception that sales people are insincere and manipulative (anything for a sale). Don't get me wrong these people are out there, and they give everyone a bad name.

I am a strong believer in what goes around comes around, this type of person seldom becomes a super star, they quickly fade – and dye out, or go out with a bang/bad reputation and what have they got left??

Being ethical and honest in your business is the only way to truly love what you do - (and we are all in sales don't kid yourselves).

The 3 secrets to having a successful business, as well as being an amazing sells/marketing person are:

  • Believe in your product/service.
  • Believe in yourself,
  • Believe in what YOU CAN DO FOR OTHERS…

If you cannot say yes to all three of these things then you must find a different career path, or a different product to sell/promote because I promise you will never be successful...


And always remember this simple truth..

“People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care!”

For help in all your online needs contact me pamela@artistadesign.com

Visit my website at Artista Design

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Take a Deep Breath

Everyday when I go to my email I am bombarded with fantastic offers, once in a lifetime report's and never to be offered again information … I myself am guilty of putting time limits on offers and sending them out – real genuine offers. Offers that shouldn't be passed up… But even I must admit I have gotten to the point where I don't want to open 99% of my email… If it is a client or an adviser that I am truly following great if not it goes right into the trash… Are you on information overload? Is your day spent scouring zillions of emails and trying to find nuggets of gold in them their hills? How many of you find that as you are browsing through your email looking at the great offers – reading (must have) information your day is gone, and you really have not accomplished anything with your business? What are you really after? I assume in reality it is to have a successful business, retain previous customers and honestly attract new clients. I believe this is true no matter what your business is. How long has it been since you have really looked at your business, analyzed it and decided what you really need and where you want to go? How many of you have gotten so caught up in learning the latest and greatest (make 2 zillion dollars this month) thing to come around the pike that you failed to diligently maintain the business you have, you have been chasing the elusive secret that will bring you unprecedented wealth and fortune? And all the while your current business is slipping through your fingers? Pulling it together and settling down with the truth can be a sobering task… Making sure you stick with what is working while learning what will grow you business can really be a challenge. As someone who has to constantly learn, research and study all the newest and greatest marketing and development techniques (and has a firm grasp on what it takes), even I get to the point I just feel frazzled and fragmented with all the information floating in my head… I too have to remind myself to do the following… Take a step back, take a deep breath and don’t forget your core business practices, extraordinary customer service and the thing you have done that provided you the great customers you have now. Find a some really good resources and successful business people you know are ethical and will tell you the undisputed truth, not fill you full of hype and false promises. Follow them and what they have to teach you… Most of all constantly remember your core values, use your gut instincts and get out there and give it all you've got… Pamela Jacob Artista Design

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I Came Out Victorious!!

Let me tell you a little tale that may have you changing your mind about using PayPal… Years ago before I began using PayPal I would hear intense horror stories about how they would seize your money and run… Clear out your bank account and disappear… Now I had not been able to verify any of this , but it did scare me – I was almost afraid to even try it… Then I opted to take the plunge – after all I didn't have to pay monthly fees just a small percentage when people paid me on-line (the same with any merchant transaction) and the shopping cart was free, what did I have to lose?? With most other merchant account you have to pay for monthly processing, the initial gateway and various other sundry items… With Paypal it was effective and didn't cost me anything up front, great for those of you just starting out… I did open up a savings account just to be on the safe side, one that had no other money in it… Just in case my assets were frozen (horror of all horrors)… Years later I still have had no problems, Paypal sends me the pertinent information when a business transaction has taken place, I go in and transfer the money into my account or ask for a check… It has been a wonderful tool… But the best reason for using them came to light just the other day when I had an unresolved problem getting information I had purchased online… I am sure you have all had a zillion letter's about buying this information for $7.00 buy this for .99 today only and on and on… I decided to buy some list building information for the small fee of $1.97 I didn't know the character of the person who had initially sent it to me so I was taking a gamble… But what is $1.97?? I paid for this e-report using PayPal… I didn't get the info… I even emailed the business/person who sent me the original sales letter and no feedback.. I received nothing, I thought to myself it's not a big deal just move on than the though struck me … How bad this makes us all look! How many of us do promote products on line and this gives everyone a bad name… Maybe this was a con how many $1.97 did they collect, just think about it, if 1000 individuals bought the e-report for $1.97 that is close to $2000 dollars!! I was not going to tarnish the reputations of all of us who do sell e –products so I went in to fight the good fight! I came out victorious!! PayPal has a system that will help you get what you have paid for. Once you buy a product, if you are not satisfied you can log into your PayPal account, click on the electronic merchant number (on your PayPal Receipt) and lodge a complaint… That is just what I did, I am not exaggerating when I say I heard back from them within 10 min! The dispute was resolved within 24 hours… The funny part is they asked me once the dispute was settled to please close this case and say that you are satisfied… They wrote back to me twice within 20 min… Obviously they didn't want to be dropped by PayPal, that is the power of having PayPal in your corner. Pretty powerful stuff if you ask me!!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Chicken or Beef

Not to sound like a broken record... But here it goes! Get a grip everyone… I am still hearing the same old stuff--- but so and so said content is the most important don't worry about the look of the site so much… It is content that sells. Once again may I remind everyone that if visitors are not impressed with the presentation of the content what makes you believe that a person will stay around and read the content??? If a casual visitor to your site, loves the presentation (look) of the website then reads what you have to offer – and gets nothing except fluff or the same old thing he/she gets everywhere what makes you think they will stay at your site and look further??? Do you like Chicken or Beef? Chinese, Mexican or American Quisine? You get my drift – why not just have a fantastic looking site with great content…. Then you will get the best of both worlds people who love visuals, people who are driven by content and those that know the value of both!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Are You Serious About Success?

I was recently contacted by a woman who took me up on my offer (free website critique). She first sent me an e-mail and asked if we could talk, I then e-mailed her back with a time. 

She called me the minute I said I would contact her. You may be thinking so what? 

You may be amazed at what I am about to tell you, but there are so many people who claim to want to have a successful online business, or they say they
really, really want to do what it takes to make it to the top. 

Even so, they don't put the action behind the words… 

This woman showed she is serious about doing what it takes. 

In my many years of experience, I have had many people who have e-mailed me or sent me a project request, when I answered them they didn't even bother to reply – or they did not send me their telephone number because they were too busy to talk and say, “just send it to me in writing." 

This tells me one of two things, 

1. They are not serious about building a successful business. 

2. They don't respect my time - and want something for nothing.

In ether situation – it is not the atmosphere in which I will work… and as a professional – neither should you. 

If you are like me, you have very little time so every second counts. I only want to do business with like-minded people – those people who are willing to put in the work to do what it takes and those businesses that respect my professional expertise. 

Only 3% of people ever reach their goals in life – and get to where they want to go. The reason the other 97% don't is because they are not willing to do what it takes… 

Those that are successful are:

  • Have a Plan
  • Persistent
  • Take action
  • Do what it takes. 
  • When they make mistakes, they pick themselves up, brush themselves off, learn from it and tread forward. 

Winston Churchill said "never, never, never give up." He was right...

Pamela Jacob Artista Design


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Always take the time to harvest the fruits of your labor…

Let me begin by saying writing articles is a fantastic way to get your name on the Internet as an authority in your field – it is also a wonderful way to gain exposure for your website, blog or e-zine. I would go so far as to claim it is one of the best ways to build your online database… But (and there is always a but!) You need to do it the right way or all your time and effort will be wasted, you will be one of the nay Sayers going around whining “I have tried it, it doesn't work”. Sometimes we have to step back take a deep breath and look at what we are doing and most of all how we are doing it. I have learned over the years that everything has its price. We all have to go through the process and do things right – when we take short cuts things don't work. And then one has to start the process all over again… This is true with everything in life, creating articles and using them for marketing is no different. I recently started consulting with a company, helping them put together a marketing strategy that would work for them. They eventually want to write articles to be posted to an article distribution websites, are so busy at this time it is next to impossible. We decided in the initial phase of the marketing plan we would work to get a blog up and all the SEO (search engine optimization) done correctly so that we have a solid foundation. The decision was also made to go out and get some free articles to place on the blog’s we are creating. In researching and pulling articles I begin to discover that the articles I found and liked had a resource box at the end they did not have a link back to their website! I was totally astounded - did they really think that a link was not important? You must must make it easy for someone to access information about you and your business – a link is like the key to unlock your store… Did they really think that anyone would take the time to find them through researching information in the byline? Hardly... I as a consumer would click on a link but would probably in all honesty not go to the trouble of finding them any other way. Even more astounding – I went a step further - I really like a few of these articles, I thought it would be great to be able to look at a website they had or some information they may give me. I decided to e-mail them through the article submission website. I e-mail about 6 individuals that had taken the time to write these articles and submit them (not always an easy task). I did not hear back from any of them, not one!! Amazing… Lesson to take from this: Please make sure you pay attention to details that could (will) cost you business… Please make sure and follow up with all emails What can we learn from this? Always take the time to harvest the fruits of your labor… After all if you were a farmer would you go to all the painstaking trouble to plow the orchard – plant the seeds, pamper the trees to maturity – fertilize and spray so the bugs don’t eat the buds and destroy your fruit. Then when the fruit is beautiful, ripe and ready to be consumed you let it fall to the ground and rot… Isn’t that exactly what is happening in the above scenario?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Does the Host You Choose Make a Difference?

Do you ever think about who is hosting your website, do you think it matters? Yes of course it does!

A web host is someone who “houses” you website/pages. A good analogy is it is like you are renting an on-line store. So it is important when renting this space that it is big enough to hold prospective customers that come into it. It is equally as important to have a space that will be able to manage all the inventory – and products you need to put in it. You also need a big enough door for you customers to fit through.

This is a simplification but honestly a host is so very important when considering the success of your online business. There are many hosting companies on the internet, some look great but are terrible, some charge an arm and a leg but do no more than a hosting company that charges a reasonable amount.

I have worked with hosting companies that I loved in the beginning then they cut the customer service (I left – I do not work with any company that does not offer excellent customer service). I do not work with hosting businesses I cannot get responses from or will not help me directly… I will only work with hosting companies (personally I have one I love) that enable me to get into the back end and add or take away an email and really manage my site.

This is so very important – yet sometime overlooked. You need a host that is up 99.99 % of the time. If a visitor comes to your website and it is down, chances are they will not come back. What happens then? A missed sale and a chance to have a life long customer.

One hosting company I highly recommend is Hands On Web Hosting I have had nothing but great customer service from them, I have actually gotten to know them quite well.

Word of Caution: Do not use a free host for you online business… They are NEVER what you need- some of them will not even let you use your own domain name. Most free hosting site have you put up banners and ads - how unprofessional is that!

If you are serious about your business, you must appear successful and if you cannot even afford a host for your website - what is that saying about you? It is so obvious to visitors that your business must be floundering - or not very successful…

This may seem like a small thing, but it is a big thing when marketing your business online.

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Providing Creative Solutions & Amazing Results

Monday, July 9, 2007

If you are not using this tool, you are missing the boat!!

I am sure by now all of you must know about Google Analytics. If not (where have you been?) You will hear me roar about it today. I just recently decided to get off my lazy duff and really take the time to use it. I also put it on a client's site – I am overwhelmed with the expansive amount of information that I can gather with this fabulous tool. I don't see why Google would give this away for free… Don't tell them that however. This amazing tool will do everything from telling you where your visitors are coming from – what nation – what search engine – what web page. How long did they stay on your site? Was it a new/unique visitor or a repeat/loyal web visitor? It has graphs and even a global map, when you go over this map you will be amazed to see where people are accessing your website from – I have people in Africa – Europe and everywhere in between accessing my site. This is just scratching the surface – you can set goals and look at many more details. If you don't have it on your website get it – if you have a web person have them put the code on the pages you want to track and go in and monitor your site make decisions on what is working and what is not by using this wonderful tool… Believe it or not they are now in the process of having an upgraded version that should be launched by the end of this month – this will replace the old version and is widely touted to be new, improved and easier to use… I don't know how it can be easier or give more information than it does right now but WOW!! To register for this free service go to : http://www.google.com/analytics If you are serious about your business don’t wait a second longer… Have a fabulous day!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

So you think your need traffic? Think again!

Are you ready for visitors? Maybe not!

I have a project request form that I have potential clients fill out when contacting me for possible services. It asks various things, and provides me with an overall idea of where they stand now and where they hope to go, 60% of the time their main concerns is attracting visitors to their website. I have found in getting these requests that many times these companies are not even close to having a website that converts their visitors into paying customers or clients. Quite the contrary – their website is just an online brochure without any legs (and sometime not a very good brochure at that).

An online brochure may have been all that was needed in the past, not anymore. You will not even see a fraction of the success you could have if you were to put all the proper pieces in place. *Note: It is better to have an online brochure than nothing at all.

Businesses need to have a website. If you have this type of website it should be upgraded as soon as you can afford it. You can have a million visitors a day and if your website has nothing of interest you will not benefit from traffic to your website. Worse yet if your website turns them off by, looking unprofessional – tacky – or not targeted to your individual target market guess what? They will go somewhere else.

It doesn't matter how great your service is, or what you know. It really doesn't even matter how great your product is– you will not get the business. They will not stick around long enough to find out.

One thing that is very important to understand, businesses and individuals alike go online to actively research products and services, before they decide who they will do business with. Visitors really need to believe in your ability to deliver. They need to know you are not just a bunch of hype. If you are selling goods or services, they want to know you are credible, and they are getting what they pay for.

It is a fact a visitor who goes to a website will go to that website several times before making a purchase or inquiring about a service. This being the case – what do you have that will bring guests back? How will you keep your business in front of these potential customers/clients? They are visiting your site, they are obviously interested in what you have to say or sell. They are just not ready to make a commitment yet.

Having worked and developed websites for years, I understand that businesses are different, and you may not need a lot of bells and whistles. You do, however need a website that stands out from your competition. So what do you do?

Offer more to your visitor – great information, a free report, fantastic resources. Have them sign up before you disperse the information. You definitely want to collect the name and emails of people who are interested in your product or service. Using an auto responder will make this task so much easier. Do not have them fill out more than just a name and an e-mail. I personally hate long forms, unless I am ready to purchase the goods and services. Using an online Auto Responder will add names and emails to an online database. This allows you to stay in touch with people who are interested in your business.

They may not be buying your services today but may need them tomorrow. A database is gold and if you use an auto responder to collect emails – to keep in touch with your potential clients and visitors you will be amazed at how your business will explode. One word of caution, make sure you have a privacy policy.

Do not under any circumstances provide or sell your list to anyone.

The bottom line - – get your website in the best shape possible – put marketing pieces in place. Get your SEO (search engine optimization) tweaked and then start submitting to search engines and utilizing other online marketing strategies.

I have an e-book that will give you many ideas on how to get a stream of visitors to you website. I am offering it for free, go to http://artistadesign.com - you will get immediate access. If you need help in constructing a plan for your online success, consulting – as well as hands on work, send me an email. A lot of business owners just don't have the time or expertise to do this on their own. That is why they hire me – I break it down into phases, and we do what is required to reach your goals. To Your Success!

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Providing Creative Solutions & Amazing Results

Monday, July 2, 2007

Is Your Ego Holding You Back?

I must say – I really had to struggle with this one…

I have always been a person who prides themselves in listening to my clients. I also know I have a great eye for style and design (that is where the trouble comes in). Art is subjective and so not everyone will like everything someone designs or has designed.

That is just a reality.

As a professional designer – I tend to want my personal designs/websites etc. to lean toward the dramatic, that is something I enjoy designing as well as looking at – that is who I am.

When you access my website you will see what I mean. One day I received an e-mail from a visitor to this blog, they were really frustrated with the dark background. In fact they continued to tell me that they would not read my information as long as it was on a black background – then doubted my ability as an artist (at least that is what I read…), they then preceded to tell me they would never take the time to read it based on the design .

Initially I was a little perturbed at this, then I begin to feel insulted, I genuinely thought “It has such great information how could they just dismiss it – besides I am an Artist and Designer how dare they question my ability”.

How many of us find ourselves doing this?

After the indignation and a polite e-mail (with a few of my credentials) I had to let them know they were not dealing with an amateur (somebody immature perhaps – but not an amateur!!).

After stewing about it for a day or two I then thought.

Had my ego actually gotten that big? When did I stop listening to the critical but important messages and e-mails I was getting from my viewers. I really needed to take a step back. I have always prided myself on the fact that I didn't have an over blown ego. Well guess what – reality hit me and knocked me down a peg or two.

How many of you have ever felt like I did, dismissed something that would benefit you and/or your business (perhaps a little ego check would be in order)?

Do you really think about what your customers or visitors are telling you even if it struck a raw nerve? I know I am an expert in a lot of areas, however shouldn't I take a good look at what is being said before I dismiss it, shouldn't you, think about it.

How many people really felt the way this individual did but did not take their precious time to e-mail me – and just never came back?

Because of this epiphany (basically being honest with myself). I have decided to change the black back ground. After all, my ultimate goal is to help anyone that wants to benefit from my experience and knowledge – even more important I want to benefit from your knowledge.

Most of all I need to thank that person who took the time to write me a personal e-mail. I am going to invite them back…

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Providing Creative Solutions & Amazing Results

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I thought it was a good idea... What do I do now?

I am always getting e-mail from business owners who, in their crunch for time have opted to conveniently go to a host/web design/web development/domain registrar all rolled into one…

Not a good Idea!

Let me tell you why, this is just my view, but it is an educated one. I have dealt with many, many business owners who have been burned. They now have to deal with the difficulties of redoing mistakes that didn't have to occur in the first place.

Many business owners who are brilliant at what they do are also clueless when it comes to the Internet and all the things that must be done to develop a website, register a domain name and host that website.

On the other hand, they may know enough but want the convenience of a one stop shop, so they can be free to operate their business.

Sound like a great idea right! WRONG…

Reasons why you “SHOULD NOT” put all your services in one basket.

Mistake #1 ************************************

When you register a domain name through a host you are at the host's mercy.

Unless you know what you are doing – the host that registers your domain name may actually be putting it under their name - you are not the domain name owner you are actually “renting” the name. Scenario, you register your domain name with a hosting company and find that you do not like the host – your website has a lot of down time – you cannot get the emails to work right etc.

You go shopping for another host – then you find out you cannot transfer the domain name, and you have built your business using that name … That can be devastating – you have worked so hard to build your business what now?

Let's say they just don't want to transfer the domain name, don’t release the domain name and play games. Where do you go?

Well, that is the 24 million dollar question.

Solution: Register your domain name with a service like godaddy.com. They have inexpensive domain name's, you have complete control over where you point those names and host your website.

If or when you find you are unhappy with a host you have chosen, find another host and re-point that domain name, with no interruption to your business

Problem solved.

Mistake # 2 ****************************************************

Scenario, You have found a host that also designs. They will design your website inexpensively. So you have the host put together the website for you.

Guess what – you more than likely will find that you do not own the website, the website you get will have to stay with that host, you cannot transfer it… On top of that – a lot of these hosts will give you a brochure site that is not a true marketing site.

Let's say initially you are happy with that small static website, then you get educated and realize you need more and want to market to your visitors. You want an auto responder, and you need to build an online data-base. That is when you will pay - they usually charge you an arm and a leg to update your site.

You end up spending more and you may find your so called custom site is actually a cookie cutter site that is customized (the same site as other businesses just a different banner).

Solution: Find a web developer that can converse with you about your needs. If they are a true professional they will have no problem helping you with questions you may have about hosting, domain registration, auto responders etc. Make sure you are comfortable with the individual you are thinking about hiring.

Don’t mistake – arrogance with knowledge. Do make sure you have an experienced professional, someone who knows the tricks of the trade, a person who understands how to build a marketing website, with knowledge, who will know how to really help you reach your ultimate goals.

When you pick the right professional they will be willing and able to direct and guide you. Educate you on how to build your online business, helping you to break down the costs and work within your budget. If you can’t initially afford to get the whole thing done in one shot – it shouldn’t be a problem for your web developer to build your website in phases.

Make sure you are working with the designer/developer themselves, and you are not working with the sales rep.

Mistake # 3 ****************************************************

Scenario, let's say you have found a host that allows you to build and design your own website. How cool is that!!

Sorry to break the news, but let me remind you – most of you are not designers!

Seriously, most business owners do not have the talent or the knowledge to design a website that will look professional. Most of these programs that allow you to build your own website are very limited in what they can do. You have to use their graphics and banners.

On the other hand, you have to be a graphic designer to know how to design and upload your own graphic, on top of that these hosts are usually very expensive.

So what should you have done?

Solution: When you realize you will be hosting your website (basically forever) at such a high monthly fee – you will realize you can afford to pay a professional web developer to build a beautiful site you will own, pay a host a small amount each month and save a lot of money.

Get my drift?

I could go on forever telling you horror story after horror story - but the bottom line - in essence, - be careful, do your home work, make sure you are working with a credible professional.

One option you may want to consider is hiring a consultant/project manager that knows the ropes.

This profession should be seasoned and have worked with the internet - someone who has been in the business and knows the ins and outs, someone who can outline your options and give information that will lay a solid foundation for your business.

Someone you can trust to guide you to make the right choices…

To success beyond measure - and friendships that last a lifetime...

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design