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There is nothing worse than spending hours writing your web page copy or blog post, only to find someone has blatantly taken it and used it as their own. Unfortunately this is quite a common occurrence these days. So what can we do about plagiarism of our work?

There are three effective ways:

The first is a website called Copyscape. This site allows you to type in your URL or text and it will then go and find the sites that are using wording either exact or similar. You will see an option on Copyscape  to contact the DMCA to get the offending link removed.

This obviously saves you a lot of time and effort. How could you possible crawl the internet looking for suspicious sites? There is no protection mechanism that you can put in place, but at least a site like Copyscape gives us a way around it. This site should always be your first port of call if you are serious about protecting your work.

The second way is concerning blogs from blogger.com. If you find the offending content on one of these blogs then there is a link at the top to contact Google. Don’t overdo it; I understand you may be annoyed. Explain nicely that the content is stolen from you and provide links to your original content. Many people plagiarise to sell affiliate products and you could point this out also. Google should contact the blog owner and ask them to remove the offending material. Go back and check regularly if it has returned though. Sometimes people will try to hide it by putting it elsewhere on the site so make sure you check thoroughly. If you complain again there is good chance Google will remove their blog altogether.

The third option is to go through your copy and pick out some sentences or phrases that you feel could be unique to your copy. Highlight and copy the text. Now go to the Google search engine and enter a quote mark. Then go and paste your text in the search box and add another quote mark at the end. You should see your text in quote marks. Click the search button and analyse the results. Do you see variations of your phrase appear? If you are suspicious about any of the sites in the results then click on the link and investigate further. You may be able to tell right away that the content is either exactly the same or similar to your own.

Unfortunately people can steal articles, remove your link and use the article on their own site. This is illegal, but there is little you can do about this practice. The best course of action is to try to contact the site owner and complain. If you are able to locate who hosts the page then you could also try contacting them.

You really don’t want to discover that someone else is using your web copy without paying you anything. Take the necessary steps to protect your work and help keep the internet free from plagiarism.

If you are looking for ways to boost your online business profits then why not try joint ventures? This is not so well known as the traditional ways of promoting services or products, but can prove to be quite lucrative when done correctly.

What are joint ventures?

As an example, let’s say your business is based around the bodybuilding niche. You have gradually built up a list of subscribers who get your material and promotions on a regular basis. This is sent out to them via email.  The list of subscribers you have can be utilized by someone else in order to get you sales. The other person may have a niche of how to get a six pack and may have built up a very large list of subscribers also. Because the two of you are in similar niches you can trade lists. Well in actual fact you are not really trading, but promoting the services and products of each other. You tell the person with the list that you want him to promote your great new product to his list of subscribers. In return you promote anything he has to your list. Hopefully it will result in sales for the two of you. Also you are both getting new subscribers as a result of this joint venture.

You must give something of value to the other person’s list of subscribers. Otherwise it will look like you are trying to make some quick money by selling something sub-standard. If your joint venture partner is well known and has a good reputation then this trust and reputation will be transferred to you if your product or service has given value to his subscribers.

How to set up a joint venture

Look for potential partners in the same or a related niche. Don’t for instance try to partner up with a Forex business person if you are selling dog collars.  Look at their services and products and see if a deal can be beneficial to both of you. Contact them and be polite. Offer to send free items or even samples. Good will can go a long way in building trust between the two of you.

If your subscriber list is somewhat small you can still benefit from a deal. Offer to give some of the proceeds of any sales to your partner. This way you can both benefit and your small list will suddenly grow as a result.

Do you have any specialised skills you can offer? If so then this can also be of benefit in a joint venture. You can promote your skills to the other list and see if you can get any business this way.

Joint ventures are a no cost, great way to skyrocket your business and sales.  It is a low risk strategy of which you, your partner and both sets of subscribers benefit.

For many years there have been a lot of low quality websites hanging around on the internet. Many of these sites contain low quality articles. Some are just there to blatantly make money via advertisements and not offer anything to the reader in terms of quality material. Google made a change to its algorithm called ‘Panda’. The aim was to get rid of sites with content farms and articles of low quality. It has been very successful in doing so.

Google has now brought to heel those websites which offer little to the reader. The low quality websites will now have a lower rank, while the better quality websites will find they are getting near to the top of the search engines. News and social networking sites found their ranking increased overnight while sites with a lot of advertising experienced a drop in their rankings.

The Google Panda change meant a large percentage of sites were affected, rumoured to be as much as 12% in the United States alone.  Now the change has been rolled out worldwide the percentage is said to be much higher.

As a result Google found they had to handle many complaints from disgruntled web owners. They complained that sites using scraped material and material that was copied were suddenly getting higher rankings than their own. One can understand their frustration.

Google has introduced many new ranking factors. At one time page rank was a good indicator of how a site would rank, but now this is considered to be less important.

Ways to keep in line with the Google Panda changes

Ensure that your site is a high quality site. Google have published some guidelines for this, but essentially here are a few criteria your pages should pass.

  • If you read this article would you trust the information in it?
  • Does the author know his/her subject? Are they enthusiastic and passionate about the subject? Does it seem rather false or vague?
  • Are there duplicate articles on your domain? Do you see the same topic on another page on the site, but with different keywords?
  • Would you give out your credit card details to this site?
  • Can you see any spelling errors or even false facts in the article?
  • Does the content gear itself towards the interest of the reader or does it look as though it is written to rank well in the search engines only?
  • Is the article well edited or does it seem to be thrown together quickly?
  • Would you recommend, bookmark or share the article with others?
  • Is the article too short to be of any real interest or benefit?
  • Has the article been well researched and great care gone into its content?
  • Would you complain about this article or any other pages from the site?

Ensure that your site meets each of these points and you will have no problems with any changes that Google makes to its algorithm, now or in the future.

You should aim to produce high quality content and not simply aim to rank highly with your keywords in the search engines. The internet after all is there to inform and educate.

There has been a lot written about the effects of duplicate content on website rankings. Have you thought about writing an article and submitting it to different article sites? You’ve heard that you will get penalised by the search engines for submitting the exact same article to different places. This is a false statement and total nonsense.

The truth is you will not get penalised for submitting the very same article to many different places. Google does not like duplicate content lying about on the same domain or website. People try to trick Google by putting an article many times on their website. They think it will push them higher in the search engine rankings. Not any more I’m afraid. You will get penalised if you post the same article multiple times on your website. It is fine to post it around the web to different article directories for example.

If you have a lot of duplicate content on your website you may find your site is dropped from the search index altogether. Is it really worth taking the risk? It is a good idea to go through your site today and see if there are any duplicate articles lying about. A little housekeeping will not hurt at all. It could be that your site is clean, but it is still worth checking anyway.

Keep in mind though that some of these article directories are not worth the time of day. The main one worth submitting to is of course EzineArticles and perhaps one or two other smaller ones. The thing to remember is to first post the article to your own blog or website. Once it has been indexed by Google then go ahead and post it to the article sites. You can see if it has been indexed by Google by typing the title or a phrase from the article in quotation marks and searching for this. If it comes up in the search engine results then it has been indexed.

Personally I don’t like to see the same article dotted all over the internet. I’d rather see one copy, but that is how the cookie crumbles right now. Some websites will insist actually that you do submit original content and this is when you will have to make sure your content is indeed unique.

There is a lot of PLR (private label rights content) lying everywhere on the web. People just take it as it is and submit it, resulting in duplicate content. This I believe is a mistake and does not do you any favours at all. It is far better to rewrite what you see in the PLR article and put your own unique flavour to it. If people see the same article in the search results, but yours is different, there is a good chance they will click on yours. It really does not take long to write a unique article.

So sit back and relax. Now you know the rules you can happily submit your article to all those other article directories if you so wish.

8 Alternatives to YouTube

YouTube is the world’s premier video site. Millions of videos are uploaded each week onto the site and there is no sign of this slowing down. Video is great for getting your message across, whether it is a sales message, a tutorial, a movie trailer etc. Besides YouTube there are many other video sites worth exploring.

Let’s look at a few of these now:

1) Flickr

You may be thinking this site is just for photos, well think again. You can now post video to the site also, although only 90 seconds worth. This could be enough for a sales message as people don’t always want to watch a video that goes on and on. As a basic member you can post 2 videos a month. Pro members get to post unlimited videos each month. The beauty of this site is that it has a huge subscriber base and you will be able to take advantage of all that potential traffic.

2) Vimeo

Vimeo tends to house more creative style videos and can be seen as a kind of arty video site. You won’t find many wedding, baby or dog type videos on here. Vimeo allows you to share your video to groups or channels. Another great feature is a video school that helps you to create better videos. A basic member has a weekly upload capacity set at 500mbs, but a pro account will be higher at 5gbs and unlimited HD uploads.

3) Blip.tv

This site tends to prefer video in episode type format and encourages people to post regularly. Content must be of a high standard. Blip distributes through the major video platforms such as YouTube so you will have little trouble maximizing exposure. The site will support uploads of 1gb and a pro account will offer even more features. You are also able to sign up for an advertising account and the revenue is split 50/50. You can use the dashboard to plan out your web series as well as use analytics.

4) Veoh

What’s great about this site is that the video you upload can be of any size. Short clips as well as full length movies are common here. Because of the unrestricted video size, this site has attracted many great quality films and clips. The interface is also clever enough to make uploading a video a joy. If you don’t want video size restrictions then Veoh could be the video site for you.

5) DailyMotion

Videos of different lengths, organised by category are popular here. You will find a lot of amateur material, but the site generally is heavy on the promotion of professional quality video. The site is community based and you are encouraged to add others to your contacts and supply feedback. Video storage capacity is limited to less than 150 mb and clips should be less than 20 mins each. High definition video is only available to pro accounts.

6) Viddler

This site is more suited to business and companies. There is not so much in the way of amateur looking content here. You are allowed to distribute videos to iTunes, use analytics, customize the video player as well as add comments to videos. There is even an ad network that enables you to monetize your video.

7) Metacafe

Founded in 2002 in Tel Aviv, this site focuses on short form entertainment and gets more than 40 million unique viewers each month. It has exclusive technology that helps it expose the most entertaining content. Also it rewards the creators of video for their best work.

8) yFrog

You may be familiar with this site for its photo sharing facilities for Twitter, but did you know it also supports video? It allows you to upload a video and post to Twitter all from the same place.  yFrog is really a site that blends well with social media so your video stands a good chance of mass exposure.

In recent years link building has been the recommended way to push your website higher in the search engine rankings. The higher your site is positioned the better traffic you will receive as a result.

There was a time when one could create a website and do nothing more. Visitors would somehow find it and things were very easy. Those days are now long gone and you will not have a business unless you put in the time and effort. There are a number of tasks involved in internet marketing. One of them is link building and it will do wonders for traffic generation.

There is a famous saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. This same saying holds true when it comes to internet marketing and link building. There are various websites out there which may be of interest to us. Take for example YouTube the famous video hosting site. We can create a video related to our niche and load it up onto YouTube. We then add a description and a link back to our site. If our video is of interest we may get many visitors as a result.

It would be very easy to sit back and say I am going to get all my traffic from YouTube. After all, this is a worthy site in Google’s eyes to place your link.

To think that YouTube alone will propel our business and traffic into the big time is very foolish. It may do for some, but in general it is better to diversify your link building.

How can we diversify our link building?

If you have a blog do a search for related blogs in your niche. Many of them will allow you to leave a comment on a post that may be of interest. At that point you can also leave your link. Make sure you add value to the conversation thread and not simply spam it with something that makes little sense.

Bookmarking is another way of building links. These have high page rank in the eyes of Google and are certainly worth placing your link on. Sign up to sites such as StumbleUpon, Delicious and Reddit. Add your bookmark with your link. This could be for things such as the latest article you have written or a web page or post.

Facebook is a very good site to place your link on. You can comment on another person’s post and leave your link or set up your own fan page.

Writing articles should be in the arsenal of every internet marketer. If you write a 500 plus word article and upload it to the article sites this is seen as very good link building by Google. Don’t just write any old garbage however. Create good content which the reader will find of interest and value. Article sites have the advantage of syndicating your content elsewhere so your link could end up in many other places. The result will be more traffic for you. The best site to send your article to in the eyes of Google is Ezine Articles.

One thing you should avoid doing is sending your article to thousands of article sites. Most of them are of low quality and although you will get a backlink it may be seen as spamming. Stick to the main article directories of which there are about four.

Try to avoid adding your link to sites which have nothing to do with your subject material. For example there are some services that offer to create backlinks on places such as education and government sites. These are seen as worthwhile sites by Google, but you may find your links get removed at some point if they are seen as having no relevance to the site.

If your site is about losing weight do not go adding your link to a site about vintage cars. The site owner will remove your link and you will have wasted time and effort. If your site is about losing weight then look for diet or health related sites as these are more likely to welcome your link. The result is that you will be getting targeted traffic which is the best type of traffic there is.

Do you create tutorials? If so then there are many tutorial sites that allow you to add your blog post tutorial or even a video tutorial. You can add a link back to your site at the tutorial sites.

Some sites may insist that you add their link to your site in exchange for them adding your link. This is known as link exchange. You will need to think carefully about this as some sites insist that their link is shown on your home page. If you are particular about the design of your site then you may not want this. If possible create a separate web page that can be used for holding the links of other sites.

Backlinking is a powerful technique that can gain your site authority as it moves higher up the search engine rankings. Build your backlinks carefully and you will be rewarded with good traffic.

A squeeze page or opt-in list as it is sometimes called can be a great addition to your website business. It really can be the difference between making sales and your business falling flat. It is unlikely these days you will see a big company without some kind of opt-in list on their website.

An opt-in list will enable you to market your products and services to your subscribers. You are able to let your customers know about current and upcoming developments in your field. They have given their consent to receiving your information so make sure you deliver value.

Because the customer has given you permission to send them further material, the emails you send will not be seen as spam. They will have agreed to receive your mail, newsletter, tutorials etc. Your list will grow if you have good content on your site. A monthly newsletter can bring visitors back so always ensure quality is maintained.

Try to sign up as many subscribers as you can. The reason being, the more people on your opt-in list the better chance of you making sales. Here I outline 7 ways you can make money using just your list.

1) Allow placement of adverts. Many companies will pay to have their advert or banner shown on lists that have a lot of subscribers. What does this mean for you? Well, it will mean more money for your business which could be put to good use.

2)  Experiment with P4P or pay for performance. What this means is that other companies that have subject material related to your site will pay you when someone clicks on their link. They will give you a link and description of the product which you promote. For each click leading a subscriber from your site to theirs they will pay you. You need to investigate companies that offer affiliate programs.

3) Ask for a percentage of each sale made as a result of someone buying from your list. You need to set up deals with companies and convince them you have a responsive list. If people go to their site via your newsletter there is every chance they will buy. As more do buy then you will see your earnings increase.

4) Sell products from other sites to your list via the newsletter. Add photos and descriptions of the product in your newsletter. When people purchase, simply order the product from the other site and sell it to your customer.

5) Compile your articles into an e-book and sell it to your list. Many people are hungry for information about different subjects. You have already got the trust of your subscribers so why not put together an e-book from your own knowledge or articles you have written.

6) Get your subscribers to spread the word about your site, services or product. The more people you get on your list the more people will click affiliate links or purchase products. The result can only be beneficial to you.

7) Why not make subscribers on your list partners? They can get more people to your site, grow your business and increase your sales.

If you are apprehensive and don’t want to jump head first into internet marketing then one way of dipping your toe in the water is to set up throw away websites.

At first you will be overwhelmed with information overload and may not know how to start. This can stifle your creativity and hold you back from pushing on with your website.

We all have different talents and creative skills. Some are good at writing, others at creating videos. Perhaps you are good at site design. Whatever your creative skill you need a way of experimenting in order to bring out the best in yourself.

Sometimes our fears can hold us back. We learn by doing and the best way is to experiment, make mistakes and then correct them.

Nothing worse then seeing all our dreams disappear down the pan and along with them we have gone and blown a rather large hole in our wallet.

What exactly are throw away websites?

It is a website where you can test your ideas and put into use anything you have learnt. For example, setting up a WordPress site takes time. There are many things to put in place such as permalinks, plugins, categories, posts, pages etc.

By setting up a throw away website you can freely practice everything you have learnt.

You can optimise your posts for the search engines as well as add any videos, images you want.

Install WordPress and try out the many different themes available to you.

Experiment with driving traffic to your site. Set up Google analytics and monitor how many visitors you are getting each day as well as where they are coming from. Analyse the keywords people have used in order to find your site.

How do you create throw away websites?

Firstly you will have to decide and then purchase a domain name. The best domain to buy for a  throw away website is a .info domain. Decide on what name you want for your domain name and head over to godaddy.com and see if it is available. You can also host your site at godaddy, but I would recommend using Hostgator for this.

A .info domain and one year of hosting will not cost you very much.

You don’t really care too much if the site fails because it was only an experimental site that you did not have to shell out too much of your hard earned cash for.

You will be free to explore your creative side and be able to test, test and keep testing your ideas. Once you have mastered internet marketing on a throw away website you can then transfer what your have learnt to your main site.

So you see, throw away websites could save you hours or even months of wasted time and effort.

PayPal has been the standard payment system for internet marketers for many years, but now get ready for a new way of making online payments – Square Cash.

The interface is clean and easy to navigate for both buyer and seller. The fee taken by PayPal is not going to burn a hole in anyone’s pocket and the experience is seamless. Sure security has been compromised at times, but it was not a widespread problem or recurrence.  For anyone wanting to sell online PayPal makes it so easy.  Creating buy now buttons for a sales page is done with a few clicks. Set up single sales or recurring billing for memberships sites with ease.

PayPal is a name people identify with and for many it is safer than directly handing their credit or debit card details over when paying online.  I know myself I welcome the PayPal sign if I am dealing with someone I’m not familiar with.

Other payment systems have since arrived such as Google Checkout, but PayPal still held its own and continued to be the leader. There is a rumour that Amazon are planning to release a rival to PayPal soon. In the meantime there is a new kid on the block, namely ‘Square Cash’.

Square Cash could be the simplest way ever to send money online. Now you can send money to anyone with an email address.

Square Cash works with any email provider and any email address. To send money all you do is enter the recipient’s address in the ‘To’ box. The amount you are sending is typed into the ‘Subject’ line’.  You do not need to remember a login or password and it does not matter what bank either party uses.

Use any email service, use it on your PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone – the choice is now wide open.  The service currently is only available in the US and with debit cards using the Visa or Mastercard service. You can send up to $2500 a week all at once or split into several transactions.

Hopefully Square Cash won’t be plagued by internet marketers who tend to swarm onto anything new.  This is one crowd I’m certain PayPal don’t like dealing with and who can blame them? The refund rate for internet marketing related products is astronomical and PayPal have had to deal with their fair share of disputes between buyer and seller.

Square Cash is part of San Francisco-based company Square which was founded in 2009 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. If it is anything like the Twitter brand then expect it to revolutionise the online payment system.  Initial reports have been good with no problems reported.  Could Square Cash be a game changer in the world of online payments? Early reports indicate it’s starting to look that way.

The downsides at launch are that there is no way to check the history of your transactions.  Also in case of fraud you may not get your money back from Square Cash. PayPal as you know refunds you from their own funds. Square Cash will reverse the transaction though.

It’s fast and it’s fun, but is Square Cash the way forward? We will have to wait and see.

Square Cash lets users send money instantly to friends by EMAIL

 

Without traffic you will find it very hard to accomplish anything with your website. To make your site successful it is absolutely vital that you have a good stream of continuous traffic. In this article I will cover 7 proven ways to increase traffic to your website.

You may feel you have the most wonderful product to unleash onto the market. However, if nobody knows about it then what use is all that effort? No traffic equals zero sales and nobody wants that.

You need to work on traffic generation as soon as your site is ready.  If you have around ten posts or pages then you are ready to go.

Here are some ideas to help you put your traffic generation plan together.

1) Search engine advertising

Google uses a system called Adwords. This allows you to bid for keywords and place an advert in your niche. When someone clicks on that advert link you are debited an amount. Yahoo and Bing also operate a similar system. The advantage is instant traffic and you are able to test whether your product is going to sell. It can be costly so be careful and plan out how much you are willing to spend each day.

2) Viral Marketing

This method involves adding your link or business name to a post, video, article etc. If people like it they will spread the word around and your material will end up being seen by many other people. This is another low cost or even free method of gaining traffic back to your website.

3) Swap links with other websites

By placing your link on another site, people will see it and if interested will click back to your site. The same is true when you place the other person’s website link on your site. The result is beneficial to both of you because you both end up getting traffic.

4) Write Articles

There are many article sites that accept articles in different niches. Write an article on your chosen subject and include good keywords. Then add it to the article site and also add a description and a link back to your site.

5) Identify good keywords or keyword phrases for your site content

When people type a word or phrase into a search engine such as Google, the search engine sees this as keywords and then performs a search based on these words. Use a keyword tool to identify the keywords which are popular for your niche and incorporate the words in your post or article.

6) Produce newsletters

Newsletters keep people updated on the latest developments in your chosen niche. It can even be about you or your website. Provide good regular content for your list of followers and they will keep coming back and may even spread the word about your site. The result will be more traffic for you which can only be a good thing.

7) Sign up to forums in your niche

If you can answer questions on a forum you will be presenting yourself as an authority on your subject. Add your website link in your forum profile. As you answer more questions you will gain trust and people will click back to your site.