Is Your Content Mobile Friendly?

Common Guidelines for Mobile Website Design

* Keep file sizes small for better load times.

* Make sure your graphics fit the phone space.

* Most important information at the top: Name, Address, Phone, Directions, Map.

* Make efficient, easy to read use of space. Don’t clutter.

* Don’t make users scroll horizontally.

* Use good contrast with text and background.

*Use click to call for phone number.

* Show only the most important buttons for navigation. Make them big enough. Put the buttons in easy thumb zones.

* Edit content for most relevant.

* Use bullet points.

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A Much Maligned Business Model

What is the direct sales business model?  The ‘dirty word’ of business? Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)? A pyramid?

Think Mary Kay or Tupperware or Amway.   These are companies where the products and services are sold in person by entrepreneurial sales reps, who make a commission on those sales, but also get paid for sales made by people they bring into the business.  The incentive then is to sell the product and build a team – helping others to sell and build their own teams.

What’s the attraction?

For the business that creates the products, there are many:  no expenses for brick and mortar stores; wide scale distribution; the potential for viral growth; a sales force that invests in marketing; a sales force that is paid on performance not salary and who’s training is done at their own level.


For the sales reps, there are also many advantages: start your own business; flexible hours; the potential for serious income; back end infrastructure already in place; intellectual property and products already in place without having to create your own; national/international data on sales; marketing materials and tools available; training; mentoring and support.


Direct marketing companies will have one or more regularly scheduled conferences per year where everyone gathers in a large convention space for business in a party atmosphere.  Reps learn about new products, get new selling and marketing tips, listen to inspiring “if I can, you can” stories from their peers worldwide, and see the new tools the company is unveiling to take advantage of leverage and Internet Marketing.


In his book, “The Warren Buffet Way,” Warren himself extolled his enthusiasm for direct sales companies stating that his best investment ever, dollar for dollar, was in the Pampered Chef, a direct sales kitchen equipment company.  Not,  as one might guess, Geico, Amex or Coca-Cola.  Warren Buffet and his company Berkshire Hathaway, now own several direct sales companies under a management group called Scott Fetzer Companies, going all the way back to Kirby Vacuums.


Direct sales model negatives: Companies often end up promoting low end products, forcing reps to seek out high volume opportunities to make any money. Mainly the emphasis falls on recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. This can lead to churn and high turn over with salespeople often ending up with a closet full of unsold goods that had to be purchased up front.


Direct sales model positives:  Low capital expenditures because of no brick and mortar;  customer acquisition happens at the time of sale, not up front with expensive ad campaigns.  Reps can be in business with low investment because all the infrastructure is in place.  They can spend more time finding new customers and less time working on systems.  There is a high touch component that can help, especially in luxury or high ticket categories.  Reps know their customer’s needs and desires, profiles, budgets, etc. Annual conventions are as much of a motivational seminar as a professional conference. You get the big earners sharing their stories, encouraging everyone and building belief that it can be done.


Some of the same dynamics as franchising, only in direct sales, it’s franchising on steroids.  Direct sales also builds strong brand identity, has efficient front and back end systems and offers training and support.  By selling directly to the consumer, you can cut out the middleman of wholesale and retail and have margin left for commissions. By training and nurturing sales reps, a company can be sure that the brand is preserved and inspire trust in the customer base.


But, you can’t treat it as just a numbers business.  Technology is crucial and you have to embrace all media: email, social, video, custom Apps. But you have to remember that if you don’t build the relationships with people at all levels, the business won’t happen.  It is high touch.

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On Page SEO for Blogs

Are you neglecting important Search Engine Optimization?

Here is a check list to use before you hit “Publish” on that valuable content you just created.  You may not use them all, but the more the merrier.


Key word density   (4% is probably too much)

Keyword usage in header and title tags

Prevalence and spread of the keyword throughout the page

Keyword is in image alt-text

Keyword in the starting few sentences (and last) of the first paragraph

Keyword  in the URL

Use  synonyms and similar words throughout

Build an internal link to other pages

Use keyword in H1, H2, H3 tags

Use Bold, Italicized, Underlined for keywords

Use rel=nofollow for external links



Facebook Tip

Here’s a tip from a Social Media expert  Sarah Garrison using your business page and your personal page:


Facebook requires you have a personal account to create a business page, you will always have to use your personal page to get to your business page. So seeing both on your hoot suite account is perfectly normal. You do not have to select your personal profile. Once you have signed onto Facebook through hoot suite you can select only your business page.

You can find more from Sarah at her blog:  Thank you Sarah!


Social Media Trends this Year

I found some interesting tips on Social Media for 2013.  These came from Edelman Digital.

What’s the first tip to be aware of:  Optimize you social content to make it easy to use and share on mobile phones, tablets, computers and TV’s.

Here are the others – (click on text to enlarge)

Social Media Tips 2013







Social Media Tips for 213












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click here to check out Empower Network.

Networking “Rules”


I got these from a presentation I heard by Jordan Adler, author of Beach Money.


Here are some ‘rules’ of networking that you should be aware of:


*  Even though this is the era of high tech, don’t forget the high touch.  Build relationships not sales funnels.


*  Networking is not get rich quick.  It’s farming, not hunting.


*  Products and services go viral because of word of mouth.  People must know, like and trust you.


*  If you don’t put relationships first, the business won’t be there.


*  Look for prospects that a) have a list of contacts that know, like and trust them, and b) know people who want to improve their lives in some way.


*  People are more likely to business with you if you invest time and interest in them.


*  People will get involved on their schedule, not necessarily yours.  You want them to sign up when they are ready, otherwise they won’t do the work.


*  Get personal. Build relationships.  People will join a friend rather than some stranger on the Internet.


And here are some tips from author Johah Berger’s new book:   Contagious: Why Things Catch On (Simon & Schuster, 2013)

Companies/products go viral when there are:


1)  Social currency         people will use your product if it makes them feel special or ahead of curve

2)  Triggers                    your product must become a part of every their daily lives, be used/thought of regularly

3)  Emotional impact      they’ll evangelize your product if it effects them emotionally, solves a problem or brightens their day

4)  Visibility                   your product must have a distinct feature, color, shape so people notice and recognize it

5)  Practical value          your product must have many advantages, it helps users be more effective

6)  Stories                     they must be able to tell your story, explain your benefits