My View on Driving Site Traffic (Part 2 of 2)

As I said, what I want to share with you today is what I have learned about ‘traffic exchanges’ (TE) so far.

I have only been using a few TE sites over the past couple of months and would value feedback from the more advanced marketers regarding their use, please.

There are some awesome TE sites out there like Hungry for Hits, EasyHits4U, TrafficAdBar and far too many more to list for you here – I want you awake!

The fact that there are so very many of these sites tells me they are obviously in demand and spreading like wildfire, because they are also a way to ‘advertise for free’ and if you are an affiliate marketer, can be very valuable relationships to have while driving a steady flow of traffic to your site, hopefully earning you more free traffic and money from your product sales.

However, as with much found on the Net, there are significant glitches to these systems not only in terms of how they are designed and function during surfing, or the fact that they can be addictive, it seems to me that once you start, you can’t really stop because your site traffic/visitor count will suffer considerably – as will your online Rep.

To my way of thinking, it would not look good for any site to have hundreds of visitors for a day/week or so and then suddenly drop off to only a few. I do not believe that would look good in the eyes of ‘Google’ or any of the other search engines either. So, what to do? Please read on to find out.

I have blogged on and off now for a few years and was always told that ‘content was king’ and is what drives traffic to a site. Another driver is interesting ‘products’ that are ‘Evergreen’ preferably.

However, I do not recall any mention of traffic exchanges, free advertising sites, or any kind of free advertising for that matter, other than the ‘norm’ of posting my links on all of my social networking sites, and in my email close of course.

Nonetheless, I did not have a traffic problem with any of my sites (at least in my mind) but must admit I did not achieve the high response rate I am currently enjoying since working on a number of these TE sites.

That said, it seems clear to me that if I were to stop utilizing these exchanges, my numbers would, of course, decrease, which is a bummer for any site or blog owner. The likelihood that I would end up returning to recapture my solid audience is strong while continuing to work on my site, and build a few more.

I do not totally buy into the concept that ‘content is king’ as I have analyzed a good number of sites that I thought hosted excellent and useful content, and had great online Reps – only to learn that their visitor stats were not at all much higher than my own. So, if the content is, in fact, king, what is the problem? Not enough ‘buzz’, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and on-site/image optimizations? Not enough content or consistent posting?

The funny thing is, while holding these sites that come to mind in high regard, right up there on the proverbial pedestal, they all could have used Traffic Exchanges to grow their online presence on the ‘global stage’ and had many more eyeballs looking at their work and product offerings. Maybe I’m different, but I find this fact interesting.

It should go without saying that ‘content’ is crucial to any site – you cannot market a bare site OR one that is just advertising for your affiliate programs. Creative, useful, and knowledgeable content is a MUST have of course. I am simply saying I do not believe it is the be all, end all for driving traffic to your sites.

That all said, I think that Traffic Exchanges offer bloggers and website owners a valuable tool for getting eyeballs on your sites, even if they are only used in the initial stages of your site development. All the millions of sites on the internet are competing with each other in every niche you can possibly think of. They MUST be using SEO strategies, and I suspect that part of that process involves using these traffic exchanges to gain recognition with more visitors to their sites, AND also getting FREE advertising for their products or services while earning some cash along the way. That’s pretty wicked awesome in my book. It certainly beats having to BUY traffic!

I would love to hear your thoughts on Traffic Exchanges, please!

  • What do you think of these exchanges?
  • Do you currently use any TE sites for your sites?
  • Would you consider using them after reading this post?
  • How many TE sites have you found that actually ‘pay you cash’ versus just getting more traffic, free ads, or your site higher up in their rankings?

P.S. There is another thing I have noticed using Traffic Exchanges that I think is very valuable. Reading all those ads induces some creativity for writing your own for one thing. What turns you off is likely to turn off others, but the good ones really stand out – I tend to remember those and add them to my ‘favourites’ for future reference. It really gets the juices flowing – HUGE advantage to keep in mind for your present and future sites!

Thanks so much for visiting today, much appreciated. Make it an awesome day!

My View on Driving Site Traffic (Part 1 of 2)

Image Source: Bing Images

Image Source: Bing Images

 

If you are reading this page I can only assume you either have your own blog or website(s) or are planning to create your first site very soon.

I am basically a returning novice to the internet/affiliate marketing game myself, and want to share with you what I have learned so far in terms of capturing the all-importanttraffic.’

I should mention here that I have been fortunate in having made a few good sales in the past, but let life get in the way of seriously pursuing internet/affiliate marketing, social media marketing, etc. I am now ready to give it a solid shot, knowing it will take much time and effort, and involves a high learning curve to achieve true success.

Fortunately, there are a myriad of resources on the Net to help those entering the internet marketing arena for affiliates specifically. A quick Google search will reward you with pages of excellent resources you can tap into.

FOR NEWBIES – BUILDING YOUR FIRST BLOG/WEBSITE

I would recommend a ‘free’ blog if you are very new to working and sharing on the Net. If you want to start with a ‘hosted’ site, I would highly recommend WordPress Engine. An excellent first-class platform, WP Engine offers lovely themes that cover A-Z for business and hobby sites, easy to use formats with numerous layout options, and to top that off, for August you can get 3 MONTHS FREE on any Annual WP Engine Plan. WordPress offers excellent training and support, and is quite simply an amazing platform! (Coupon Code: FunnelWPE ~ Valid for new customers purchasing any Personal, Professional, or Business plan. Offer expires 8/31/2017.)

If you have never attempted this type of challenge before, it can be quite daunting. When you are feeling totally stressed out and getting confused with all the conflicting information at your disposal on the Net (and trust me, this will happen to you) do yourself a favour and take a ‘short’ break, and walk away from what you’re doing for 20-30 minutes.

If you still don’t feel confident or comfortable enough to return to your project after your short break, let it go, and go out for a while. If your goal and commitment are both clear and strong enough, it won’t be long before you are back working away to get your site just the way you want, and launched. That is very exciting and feels awesome!

Having your own blog or website takes a great deal of work, but rewards you with the greatest sense of accomplishment, while simultaneously getting you on the road to ‘building your personal brand’ on the “Global Stage.” IF you incorporate affiliate marketing on your sites, you open the door to creating substantial, passive incomes.

TRAFFIC – Well, first of all, whether you have one site or several, they will mean nothing without traffic! Ideally, of course, you will endeavour to drive traffic to your site that have a predisposed interest in your product or service, or if a hobby site, draw others that share your passion.

Whatever you decide to create, or perhaps have already created, all your hard work will be for not if no one is visiting your site.

There are several avenues you can use to stimulate interest and drive traffic to your site(s). Here are just a few examples of what I mean:

  • Facebook Page;
  • Twitter;
  • You Tube Channel;
  • LinkedIn;
  • Pinterest;
  • Tumbler;
  • Digg;
  • Forums (Sites specifically for bloggers, niche forums, etc.);
  • Your Email provider (signatures include links to sites);
  • Free Classified Ad Sites; and
  • Traffic Exchanges (FREE!).

Your site names and links should always be in your email sign-off, and on ALL social networking sites that you join, or belong to now.

Please click here to read the juicy Part 2!

Promoting an ‘L&G’ Culture ~ Influential Admin Team Leaders (Part 1 of 2)

“We should all pick up new skills, ideas, viewpoints, and ways of working every day”, Sir Richard Branson

http://www.theclci.com/products_PMMS-BSC04.htm

 

If you have an influential Admin Team Leader in place for your department(s), you are most fortunate.

An effective Admin Team Leader will listen to all of your concerns about your role; perhaps as yet unattainable tools or equipment, and of course, learning and growth training that encourage your career advancement.

The Team Leader is your ‘go-to’ to express any job-related issues, whether that looks like an associate concern, workload issues, overtime, or what have you.

While a Team Leader shoulders many responsibilities, their chief role is to make sure their assigned teams are operating efficiently and effectively, and thus, have the right programs and tools at their disposal to work at peak performance levels consistently.

Naturally, discontented employees are not going to stick with their departments or any firm that does not offer a culture of opportunity. Firms not operating in this culture are sure to face real and expensive employee retention issues.

The Admin Team Leader, operating within the firm budget guidelines, must be resourceful in sourcing either internal or external coaching and training resources, and cost-effective tools for the firm, while still offering value for your administrative teams.

Depending on the scale of your firm, and the number of employees requesting (or requiring) coaching and training, your Admin Team Leader(s) may wish to consider:

  1. Sourcing experts inside the firm network to present talks to your team;
  2. Reaching out to firm mentors and coaches, to see if they would be willing to discuss the connected issues and programs together with your team; and
  3. Negotiating in-house contracts for knowledgeable, competent program trainers to keep costs down.

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Canada: Employers Minimize Holiday Party Liability by Taking These Steps (Part 1 of 2)

drunk-christmas-party1With Christmas fast approaching, I think this article is timely, as it speaks to what employers can do to make sure their holiday party is the social event of the year and not a litigation nightmare. Those employers who are planning a holiday gathering where alcohol will be served should be aware of the risks of exposing your company to significant financial liability due to the actions of an impaired guest.

The issue of Host Liability is categorized in 3 ways: Employer, Commercial, and Social. These principles and best practices are important to keep in mind, especially during the Christmas holiday season. In Part 1 of this series, we will focus on Employer Host Liability.

Employer Host Liability

Employer host liability first arose in a court case dating back to 1996. In this case, the employer had provided employees with a substantial amount of beer during working hours. After one employee finished work, he and his co-workers went to a couple of bars to continue drinking. While driving home from the second bar, one of the employees drove off the highway and suffered serious injuries that rendered him a quadriplegic. The employee sued his employer, alleging that the employer was negligent by providing alcohol to him during working hours and failing to take any steps to prevent him from driving while intoxicated. The Court held that the employer was ‘75% liable’ for the accident as the employer failed to provide a safe workplace by introducing alcohol at work.

Interestingly, however, in another court case a few years later, the employer was not held liable for an accident involving one of its employees. The employee in question clearly had a drinking problem. For eight hours before his shift, and during his shift, the employee drank steadily. Despite his intoxication, the employee managed to leave work and arrive home safely, where he continued to drink. In this scenario, he was driving home from a friend’s house later that evening, and was involved in a car accident. The Court of Appeal in this case held that the employer was not liable because:

  • the employer did not provide any alcohol to the employee;
  • the employer was not aware that the employee was drinking on the job;
  • the employee did not demonstrate any signs of intoxication; and
  • the employer did not condone drinking and driving.

Similarly, back in 1973, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench did not hold an employer liable after an employee died in a head-on collision. The employee was drinking at an informal workplace gathering. The evidence did not prove that the employer provided alcohol or that the employer was aware of the employee’s intoxication when leaving the premises. The employer’s policies included using taxis at the employer’s expense.

So, what are the Lessons for Employers?

While the office Christmas party is a great way to boost morale by rewarding staff and giving them a chance to get familiar with their colleagues on a social level, employers must remain mindful of their potential liability.

Employer host liability will generally be imposed where the following conditions are met:

  • the employer provides alcohol to the employee;
  • the employer has knowledge of the employee’s intoxication; and
  • the employer fails to take sufficient steps to prevent the employee from driving.

Recommended Steps

Employers can lower any risks of employer host liability by implementing the following best practices when hosting a company party where alcohol is served:

  • hire professional bartenders to serve alcohol – they are trained to identify intoxicated patrons and how to handle them (assuming you get ‘seasoned’ workers;
  • provide non-alcoholic beverage options;
  • avoid an open bar and, instead, provide guests with a limited number of drink tickets;
  • ensure food is served at all times when alcohol is available;
  • provide taxi vouchers to guests who require them;
  • implement a specific cut-off point where the work function officially ends; and
  • promote responsible drinking.

If you think an employee may attempt to drive a vehicle in an intoxicated state, consider taking the following preventative steps:

  • provide alternative means of transportation;
  • take away the employee’s car keys;
  • provide accommodations for the employee; and/or
  • if the employee refuses your help and attempts to drive home, call the police.

 

Supporting Article Research Sources: Cox & Palmer, Mondaq

Please continue to Part 2 of this article here…

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Considering Your Career Resolutions for 2017?

cropped-career_hdr.jpg

 

 

We are now just a few short months away from 2017, and I am confident that many of you have had success with your personal resolutions made for this year, as well as the changes you would like to create in your career; possibly, an exciting career change during 2017.

Listed below are a few ideas I want to share with you that I believe may be similar to what you have pondered, and hopefully some new ideas for your Career Resolutions. Naturally, you are bearing in mind where you are in your present role, the length of time it took you to achieve that level of responsibility, and the path you perceive to be the best ‘fresh start’ that a New Year offers:

  • Learn more about your division, and the company overall (knowledge is power);
  • Establish better working relationships with your peers;
  • Become more engaged with your immediate boss and/or supervisor;
  • Attend more company-wide functions and connect with new people (Network);
  • Be more proactive in your approach and attitude toward your career;
  • Ask for more responsibility in your current role (assuming time/skills permits);
  • Register for suitable free training/courses offered at and through work;
  • Join strategic work-related committees;
  • Create & Chair a new committee theme that brings ‘added value’;
  • Uncover innovative ways to generate time & cost savings for your division/company
  • Evaluate whom you would like as your ideal Mentor or Career Coach;
  • Update your resume and references (always be prepared for advancement!); and
  • Participate in Community Volunteer programs, such as charity-driven events (check with HR about programs the company is involved in as well).

Please bear in mind that these are just a few examples of what your Career Resolutions might look like. I am sure that those of you that have spent considerable time pondering your lives and career, will have plenty to add to this list.

Having said that, I wrote this article for the benefit of those struggling to come up with ideas that would best serve their personalities and careers, particularly given our volatile job markets worldwide; which also deserves careful consideration.

I hope that this article has been helpful in getting the juices flowing for even a small percentage of my readers and followers.

Much Success to You!

 

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Your Next Chapter: Marketing Your Small Business

Over the past several years, due to our economic conditions and dissatisfaction with the ‘typical 9-5 job,’ many professionals have chosen to explore their entrepreneurial spirits by going it alone, and opening a small business operation.

We all know that marketing is an integral, strategic function of any business, and this is particularly so for the independent business operator, and/or, brand new business venture.

I am assuming that you own a website (your own domain name) or a blog that markets your products and services.

A well-designed website with consistently up-to-date product and services information will aid you in:

  • Building your brand’;
  • Creating global ‘awareness’;
  • Creating powerful email marketing tools, such as Aweber;
  • Encouraging a ‘referral’ network;
  • Better serving your current clients/customers;
  • Generating online traffic, and therefore, potential paying clients/customers;
  • Learning new strategies that will increase your website/blog’ effectiveness; and
  • Keeping you up-to-date and informed of your ‘competition.’

Naturally, the most effective advertising any business can use is their clients and/or customers’ feedback and referral networks. Word of mouth is still the best and most efficient way of establishing a credible business presence within your market niche. This is just part of the reason that ‘networking’ is so important, and it is imperative if you are to meet with success.

The following ‘suggestions’ will hopefully get the juices flowing, and urge you to ponder your own marketing strategies in our current economy for your new enterprise.

  • Press Release – services are cost-effective, some free of charge; effectively promote your business
  • Networking – sign up with ‘knowledge sites’ in your market niche;
  • Social Media Sites – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc., leverage this ‘free’ advertising;
  • Smaller News Publications – some offer ‘free’ advertising in ‘print’;
  • E-Newspapers – encourage write-ups of your services and products;
  • Articles Sites – check out free article submission sites and get your message across;
  • Brochures, Marketing materials distribution – inexpensive ‘bulk’ mail services; and
  • Video – Create a marketing video for your business on You Tube and other Video sites, free of charge.

One of the local businesses in my neighbourhood here in Vancouver did not have a website until very recently. This was in large part due to the owner’s belief that a website would be a very expensive endeavour, and a vehicle that would not prove to be cost-effective.

I am very pleased to tell you that, following my discussions with one of the partners of the business, they moved forward and developed a site, which of course has gained the shop’s popularity, and substantially increased their sales.

Any business today, new or established, must leverage the opportunities that an Internet presence can bring. The Internet is the most powerful marketing tool we have at our disposal.

With the significant decline in standard newspaper advertising methods, the Internet affords our businesses the luxury of having the most cost-effective method of ‘e-commerce’, and the enviable advantage of achieving a ‘global reach’, when compared to those that do not take full advantage of this marvelous marketing tool.