a home based business onlinehome business ideas


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   IN THIS ISSUE
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1.  Welcome and Update from Elena
2.  Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Online
 Researcher/Abstractor
3.  Feature Article - Your Online Business's Most Valuable
 Asset
4.  Program Review - AIS Media
5.  Web Watch - Flame Baiting
6.  Pro-motion Column - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"
7.  Freebies
8.  Subscriber Q&A
9.  This Week's Web Site Pick
12.  Subscription Management
14.  Contact Information

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1. Welcome and Update from Elena
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Hello again, and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers
who have joined us this week!

I hope you're all having/had an enjoyable Easter break.

Thank you for all the responses to my question last week about
whether you would be interested in receiving AHBBO in HTML
format.  The overwhelming consensus was a resounding YES!
So I guess that gives me another project for the "to do" list.
Don't worry if you prefer not to receive AHBBO in HTML format
though.  It will continue to be delivered in text format as well.

There will be a slight change to the publication date of the
next three issues of AHBBO due to various travel and other
commitments I have over the next couple of weeks.  This
means the April 28 issue will be published on April 30, the
May 5 issue on May 3 and the May 12 issue on May 14.

Finally, I'm WAY behind on my email for one reason or
another.  I know I've received emails from many of you that I
simply haven't had time to respond to yet.  I'm sorry for the
delay but I will be responding very soon, I promise!

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this week's issue.
Remember, this newsletter is for YOU! If you have comments
or suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed,
or would just like to share your experiences with other
subscribers, I want to hear from you! Please send comments,
questions and stories to Contact By Email
 

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2.  Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Online
 Researcher and/or Abstractor
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What is the single greatest commodity in demand online today?
Information.  The Internet is quickly becoming THE source for
information on every subject under the sun.  This has lead to
an increasing demand, not only for people who can prepare
abstracts for online application (condense lengthy reports, papers,
etc. for online database and information services) but also for
people who can carry out research on behalf of businesses
using information available online (eg databases, indexes,
Internet).

As an independent or freelance online researcher, you provide
information services in your chosen area of expertise to individuals
and organizations of all descriptions from the small business
owner who commissions you to carry out research and prepare
a report on trends in consumer shopping habits, to the
mid-sized corporation that doesn't have its own in-house
research department and outsources its research requirements
to independent researchers, to the major corporation that does
have its own research department but utilizes independent
researchers to handle overflow projects.

Useful Resources:

Professional Association:
National Federation of Abstracting and Information Services
1518 Walnut Street #307, Philadelphia PA 19102.
(215) 893-1561

Website:
The Association of Independent Information Professionals
http://www.aiip.org

Books:
Guide to Careers in Abstracting and Indexing
Gale Directory of Online Databases

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3.  Feature Article - Your Online Business's Greatest Asset
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By Elena Fawkner

One of the most common questions I get asked goes
something like this: "I've just signed up for your xyz program
and it's great.  But now I want to start making money by
selling it to others.  How do I find people to sell it to?"

The stock-standard reply goes like this (regular readers
of AHBBO will recognize the following words from last
week's Q&A segment):

"First off, what everyone needs to understand is that this
business is a numbers game.  Something like 2-3%
(estimates vary) of all people who read your ad will respond
to it.  Of these respondents, a similar percentage will
actually buy from you.  So, as you can see, the name of the
game is to get your ad in front of as many pairs of eyes as
possible.

"It is for this reason that spamming is such a problem.
People come to the realization that this is a numbers game
and, when they do, the uninformed conclude that all they
have to do is bombard their message to as many people as
possible and 2-3% of 2-3% will yield sales in sufficient
numbers to make it worthwhile.  This approach does have some
superficial logic to it, of course, which is why it seems to
appeal to so many.

"What the rest of us understand, however, is that this
approach simply doesn't work.  Most people will not only not
even open your message (we all develop a spam radar very
early on) but won't deal with you in any shape, manner or
form because these tactics paint you as a charlatan.  In
addition, of course, spamming is downright illegal in many
countries and parts of countries.

"So, how do you, legitimately, get your ad in front of the
numbers of eyes you need to generate a fair return on your
investment?  One approach, certainly, is to post your ads in
the free classified sites.  Superficial logic dictates that
it's sensible to see whether your free ad generates a
response before spending money for paid advertising.  Well,
your free ad WILL generate a response.  Unfortunately, it
probably won't be the kind of response you're hoping for.
Usually, you'll just wind up on some spammer's mailing list
or find your autoresponder bombarded with other people's
advertising messages.

"The reason for this is simple.  Who do you know who goes to
the free classified sites when they're looking for a
business opportunity such as the one you're promoting? Not
many.  The reality is that the vast majority of people who
frequent the free classified sites are those who are placing
their OWN free classified ads!

"So, what's the answer?  It's threefold.  The first is
something to get going with right now.  The second and third
are longer term investments in your business that will yield
results over the longer term.

"Firstly, when you're just starting out, you're going to have
to rely on paid advertising to generate all your enquiry.
This means spending money on paid ads in ezines that target
your target market.  You need to write a few different
classified ads and monitor the results, tweaking your ads,
one element at a time, until you have one ad (or a few) that
consistently generates good enquiry for you.

"Once you're at that point, you can begin to start
advertising aggressively, confident that your ad "pulls".
Be prepared, also, to reinvest your profits back into
advertising.  This is how to build a serious business.

"Secondly, and longer-term, create your own website.  The
traffic to your website is a rich source of prospects since
these people are already obviously highly interested in what
you have to offer since they've sought you out.

"Thirdly, develop your own list.  This means capturing the
email addresses of your site visitors.  You do this by
inviting them to leave their email address with you so you
can stay in contact with them about developments at your
site of interest to them.

"Also, supplement your website with a newsletter that people
can sign up for at your site.  By establishing and developing
relationships with your site visitors and newsletter subscribers,
you are investing in your own highly targeted list of people
who are likely to be very interested in the programs you are
promoting not only now but in the future.

"This is the basic approach to running a business online.
Don't be concerned if you're not generating quick sales at
this stage.  As you can see it takes a LOT of time, effort
and commitment.  The good news is that your investment will
pay off over time."
 

The focus of this article is the third step of that process:
developing your own list.  As suggested above, there are two
main ways to go about doing this.  The first requires that you
have your own website.  The second doesn't.

THE WEBSITE-GENERATED LIST

If you have your own website, you need a way to capture the
email addresses of your site visitors.  Now, "capture" doesn't
mean using some devious means of tracking email addresses
without the knowledge of your hapless site visitor, if such a
thing is even possible.  What it means is directly inviting your
website visitors to provide you their email address so you can stay
in contact with them, let them know about changes to your
site and let them know about new products and services that may
be of interest to them.

Your likelihood of success or otherwise in getting people to give
you their email address is directly related to one thing and one
thing only: the content value of your site.  If your site is barely
more than a sales page for all of your various affiliate programs,
don't expect people to give you their email address.  Why should
they?  What have you given them of real value that would make
them think that you may have something of even more value to
talk to them about in the future?

To the contrary, your visitors are likely to be disappointed and
annoyed to find that, despite the promising description in your
search engine listing, your site is nothing more than a collection
of affiliate programs they could have found from any one of a
thousand or more sites they've been to this week.

So get the foundation right before you start to build your house
and way before you start inviting people over.  Take the time
to create a website that is unique, that has REAL content
and which offers visitors something of genuine value.  This
takes REAL work and REAL effort and REAL time.  That's
because you're creating a REAL business!

Once you have created a real website with real content,
then, and only then, should you invite visitors to leave you
their email address for future contact purposes.  You will, of
course, establish and adhere to a privacy policy for your
site to govern the uses to which any email addresses will
be put.  In particular, you must keep those addresses secure
and confidential and never EVER reveal or otherwise make
them available to any third parties.

Over time you are going to amass a significant number
of email addresses.  These addresses are your "list".
Once you have a "list", you have a ready-made group of
qualified prospects to whom to market your existing and
future product range.

THE EZINE OPTION

Publishing your own ezine is the other main way of
cultivating your own list.  This option doesn't require that
you have a website (although it is recommended you do
both).

Although you may not have a website, the same comments
about quality of content that were made in the context of
websites apply equally in the case of an ezine.

It is only if you publish an ezine with quality content (and
this means a LOT more than publishing a couple of
articles written by other people with a few ads thrown in
for good measure) that you will attract and, more importantly,
retain, subscribers.

Your ezine then becomes the vehicle to communicate
any offers you want to make to your list.  Because you
have been communicating with your readers week in, week
out, because you deliver consistent quality content, and
because you've been around for a while and seem to know
what you're talking about, your subscribers get to know you
and trust you.  And that makes any purchasing decision
much easier.

Some publishers add anyone to their subscriber list who
makes contact with them.  Others only add subscribers who
specifically request to be subscribed to the ezine.  It is this
latter group who will cultivate the better quality list because
the average interest level of subscribers will be much higher.

If you intend to accept paid advertising in your ezine, you
should definitely stick to the strictly opt-in version.  Advertisers
will only pay for highly targeted lists that get results.  Sure,
you may make the first sale but what you want is repeat
advertising and this depends on your advertisers getting good
returns from the ads they place with you.
 

There are many ways to make a decent income from an
online business but none of them come with shortcuts.
Because online marketing is a numbers game, you must
somehow find a legitimate way to get your message before as
many pairs of eyes as possible.  But as we've all heard
many, many times before, it takes an average of seven
exposures to your message before someone will make a
purchase decision.

Sure, if you spend sufficient money you can generate enough
exposures to make the sale.  THAT sale that is.  But then you
have to start all over again to make the next one.  You lose your
investment of time, money and energy as soon as that one ad
campaign is over.

The point to take away with you is that, as well as being a
numbers game, internet marketing is as much a relationship
game.  By cultivating your own opt-in list you have created an
established bank of pre-qualified, targeted, interested prospects
who know you and trust you.  You'll find that your response rate
will be much higher than from a cold-start ad campaign in someone
else's ezine.  But it's not easy.  It takes a lot of work, time and
effort to create a quality list.  And so it should.  You're building a
business, after all.

So treat your list like gold.  It's your online business's greatest
asset.  Besides you, that is.

-----

**Reprinting of this article is welcome!**
This article may be freely reproduced provided that: (1) you
use the autoresponder copy which contains a resource box;
and (2) you leave the resource box intact.

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4.  Program Review - AIS Media
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This is one of the first affiliate programs I joined and it is still
one of the best.  In fact it's consistently rated as one of
AssociatePrograms.com's top 10.

The AIS Media "Dealer Program", as AIS calls its affiliate
program, consists of a stable of four different products/
services:

=> webhosting;
=> credit card merchant accounts;
=> iLynk (never pay retail again); and
=> "Secrets" internet marketing program.

You can choose to market all products or only one or two, it's
up to you.

Enrolling as an affiliate (dealer) is free and you get your own
website (also free).

Commission structures:

=> webhosting - $5-$60 (residual commission structure)
=> credit card merchant accounts - $70-$175
=> iLynk - $15
=> Secrets - $15.

Not exactly earth-shattering commission rates (unless you make
volume sales of high-end webhosting and credit card merchant
accounts) but a solid, easy to sell, well-supported group of
products from a reputable, professional organization.

Well worth considering adding to your affiliate portfolio.
 

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5.  Web Watch
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This week's web watch concerns the proliferation of flame-baiters
who have apparently decided to target ezine publishers and
(presumably) other list-owners.

I received this question from a subscriber during the week.  I'm
including it here rather than in the Q&A segment because it's
really a 'web' issue and relevant to anyone managing a list or
thinking about starting one:

"Hi Elena:

I've just started my own ezine following the advice you
gave in your recent tutorial.  One thing I wasn't expecting
was how RUDE some people can be!  They sign up for
my newsletter and then, when they don't want to receive
it any more, send me nasty emails ordering me to remove
them immediately and accusing me of all sorts of untrue
things!  It's as if they think I'm spamming them or something
which I'm not because everyone who is on my list has signed
themselves up!

Is dealing with nasty people like this part and parcel of
publishing an ezine or am I just unlucky?  If this is what I can
expect for my trouble I don't think it's worth it!  Thanks.

Sara"

Hi Sara.  No, unfortunately, you're not just unlucky.  This
sort of thing seems to have become an unfortunate fact of
life for those of us running opt-in lists I'm afraid.

There are two groups of people who play this game.  The
first do it for kicks.  Using multiple aliases, they sign up to
newsletters (invariably using free web-based email
addresses) that they have absolutely no interest in reading.
This is the group whose mail is returned undeliverable because
their email boxes are always full of newsletters others have
been sending them.  They do it for pure nuisance value.

In addition to the "bounce" problem these people create,
they are also "flame baiters".  They'll send you a provocative
email trying to get you upset and to try and engage you in
email warfare.  As you can see, they obviously lead very full
and productive lives.

I know of some publishers who refuse to accept subscriptions
from the free email addresses for this very reason.  I don't
have that strict a policy.  There are plenty of people who
subscribe using free email accounts who are perfectly
legitimate so, I figure, why penalize them?

What I HAVE done, however, and primarily to try and protect
the integrity of the subscriber database for the benefit of AHBBO
advertisers, is to institute a zero tolerance policy for mail returned
because of full mailboxes.  This policy has been in operation for
the past month or so and has resulted in many email addresses
being deleted each week.  To give you an idea, the first week I
instituted this policy, I culled over 300 addresses (out of a total
of, then, 4200 or so).  Now I'm deleting about 50 "full mailbox"
addresses a week on average.

The software I use to automatically process subscribe/unsubscribe
requests automatically deletes bounced messages (using criteria
I specify, such as full mailboxes).  I never even see the email that
bounces.  So if the object of the exercise is to annoy me, they're
wasting their time.  And I don't respond to provocative emails for the
same reason.  The first sentence is usually enough to identify
the message as flame bait.  These emails just get tossed unread
and without a second's thought or any response.

The second group of people hide behind the anonymity of
the internet and use it as a shield from behind which they
spew forth nasty invective which, of course, they wouldn't
dare do face to face.  They're just cowards, plain and simple.
I can only think that they're so ineffectual at asserting themselves
in real life that they try to make up for it by acting out their
"assertive" fantasies online where it's nice and safe.

So, in short, develop a thick skin and don't take it personally.
Think of it as a cost of doing business.  It's these people who
have the problem, not you.  They're simply not worth the
time or energy getting worked up about.  Focus instead on the
many subscribers who value the information you provide and
spend your time and energy on them.
 

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6.  Pro-motion - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"
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Q. Can you please tell me the difference between an ezine
and an electronic newsletter? Are they one in the same?
(Elizabeth)

A. This is a great question since a true professional should
know the difference. Very specific differences do exist
between ezines and electronic newsletters.

The word "ezine" came from "electronic magazine." However, we
all know that ezines are much shorter in length than magazines.
Most people use these terms - ezine and electronic newsletter -
interchangeably.

Technically, a newsletter of any kind is geared to specific
subject matter relating to an organization or one topic. A web
site owner might send out a newsletter containing only
information about his/her web site, affiliate group or
organization.

Ezines, on the other hand, will have articles on many different
subjects. They are more like an off-line magazine and geared to
a more public audience.

As a general rule, a newsletter would not carry ads. The
newsletter is simply to convey information of a specific nature
to a specific group of interested people. It does not stand
alone but is only relevant to a larger interest. Ezines, like
off-line magazines (or even newspapers), would carry
advertising since this is how the ezine is supported financially.

Example:
For the International Association for Professionalism Online, I
send out an electronic (rather than printed) newsletter to IAPO
members only. This newsletter only contains information
relevant to IAPO. No ads are inserted since it is merely a
means of keeping members informed on matters related to the
organization.

I also publish an ezine which is sent to anyone who is
interested in subscribing. The "general public" so to speak.
This ezine is supported by paid advertisements and contains
several different kinds of articles on various subjects of
general interest.

I hope I haven't added confusion to the subject for you. For
online purposes, most people just consider both the same.
As a professional, it's good to know the difference and choose
the proper term for your publication.

jl scott, ph.d., Author
Copyright © 2017, All Rights Reserved

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7.  Freebies
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If you're new to A Home-Based Business Online, be sure to
visit http://www.ahbbo.com/ for many more freebies like
this.

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8.  Subscriber Q&A
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Hi Elena!

I've received several emails lately from people who tell me that
I can make $50,000 within 30 days just by sending a $5 bill
by snail mail to the first 5 people whose names appear on a
list of names at the bottom of the email.  Then, all I have to
do is delete the first name from the list and add my name to
the end and send the message on to others.  Eventually, when
my name reaches the top, I will be the one receiving $5 bills
in the mail from thousands of people.

It sounds too good to be true (so it probably is) but I also
don't see how it can fail if everyone plays by the rules and
they must if they are to receive money themselves!  Am I
breaking the law if I participate in this?

Jim

------

Hi Jim:

In a word, YES!  This is nothing more or less than the good
old chain letter that's been around since time immemorial.
Unfortunately the Internet, with its ability to reach heretofore
untold numbers of unsuspecting potential victims, is fertile
ground for those perpetuating chain letters (along with practically
any other scam you can mention).  So, put these emails where
they belong, Jim, in your Trash folder, and repeat after me:
"there is no such thing as a free lunch ...   there is no such thing
as a free lunch ...".

For more on this and other current scams, see this week's
website pick, Scambusters (segment 9.).

------

If YOU have a question for the Q&A segment, send it along!
 

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9.  This Week's Web Site Pick - Scambusters
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http://www.scambusters.com

This site is probably the web's most authoritative source
on all things scam.

The site includes (among many other things):

=> Scam resources - preventative resources to protect
 yourself or, if it's too late, how to get justice.
=>  How to minimize credit card fraud.
=>  Urban Legends - check here BEFORE passing on that
 email message to 100 of your closest friends.  It may
 be a hoax.
=>  Real Viruses - the few REAL email viruses to watch out
 for.
=>  Stop Spam - things you can do to reduce the assault on
 your mailbox.
=>  Recent scams - website, email and other.

Sign up for their monthly newsletter too, to stay ahead of the
game.
 

_________________________

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