Can you use Adzly ads on your blog?

Adzly is a new advertising network that many bloggers have taken advantage of. Google Adsense has traditionally been used for bloggers to promote their sites, but new blogs can sometimes be great opportunities to receive traffic that would otherwise have a lot of competition. However, you can’t expect to gain anything from Adzly by cutting and pasting a few quotes from your website. You will need to put some thought into your ad and make sure that it is appealing to your target audience. Hopefully, this is already the core of your marketing strategy.

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New tool for fighting Internet censorship likely ineffective

International electronic communications are essential to global trade and relations. Censorship programs of some countries can make this seem impossible. Fortunately, they are developing ways to overcome these barriers.

In a post by Fox News, an announcement made by the Defcon Hacker’s Conference details how the U.S. government is using a program called Feed Over email to bypass China’s government censors. Sho Ho spoke of the product and said she hopes it will soon help gain support for new ideas in tense political climates.

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The most blatant Facebook injustice yet

Facebook has been criticized for their privacy violations for several years. In the United States, they may be investigated by the FTC for stealing user data and selling it to advertisers. Recently, the situation has become even more insulting for the users who have already been exploited. Facebook actually was given an award after a hacker stole login information on users.

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Take risks, calculated risks

Bullet proof vest maker entrepreneur taking a shot.
You know you are a true entreprenuer when you are willing to take a bullet for your product. The man in the photo, a bullet proof vest maker, is. (source : Baris Karadogan)

Being an entrepreneur involves taking many risks. As much as most people hate taking risks, they can’t be avoided. But taking risks doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You just have to do it carefully. Read — Entrepreneurs and Risk to get an idea of the way entrepreneurs really look at risk and the role it plays in their work.

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Great ideas don’t get funded by themselves

Many entrepreneurs have brilliant ideas that could turn into Fortune 500 companies. They deserve the opportunity to prove themselves. Unfortunately, most of them are never given that chance.

Investors are usually fairly conservative with their money. They hear many business ideas and have to filter some of them out. Remember the quote from Gordon Gekko on Wall St? “”I hear a hundred tips a day and I choose one.”

Unfortunately, the metrics you use to determine if an idea is brilliant or not are probably completely different than those an investor would use. Here are some things you may need to work on to improve the odds of getting funding.

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Getting better conversions with location-based SEO

Marketers often get a lot of exposure and traffic to their website, but the actual conversions they receive may be much lower than they hope. The problem isn’t always the amount of traffic they are receiving, but who is actually coming to their website. One of the most common problems entrepreneurs face is that they are reaching people outside their zone of business.

A photographer I know told me that his website gets tens of thousands of visitors a month. Unfortunately, the traffic he is getting is coming from people at least 500 miles away. I told him that he needs to focus on developing a location-based marketing strategy so that he can reach people in the San Francisco area.

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Your virtual assistant is a partner, not an employee

Virtual Assistants

Photo from GeorgiaVirtualAssistants

Virtual Assistants Helping you get things done.

Virtual assistants provide professional, administrative or professional assistance to other entrepreneurs. Clearly, they can be some of the best business relationships you can possibly have. Businesses often underestimate the potential of the relationship.

Many entrepreneurs think of a virtual assistant as a secretary who they can unload projects onto that are too boring and unimportant to merit their own attention. You need to remember that a virtual assistant is an entrepreneur themselves, probably with similar skill sets and qualifications. You should treat them more like a business partner than an employee, because they may know just as much about running your business as you do.

If you are going to benefit from a virtual assistant, you are going to need to do a few things:

  • Develop a rapport and long-term relationship.
  • Be clear on the extent of their knowledge. They know a lot more than doing administrative work, so don’t assume they can’t help you with something.
  • Don’t treat them like an employee. They are either a professional you contract out to (like an accountant or lawyer) or you can pretend they are a partner. They may not be a partner in any legal sense (although you can offer them the opportunity if you really like their work) but you can have a better relationship by viewing them as such.

Beyond the traditional tasks people delegate to their VAs, consider using them for some of the following as well.

Graphical Presentation

A virtual assistant will be able to develop PowerPoint Presentations that will make your meetings go more smoothly. Keep in mind, they know how a business meeting should go and probably have more experience preparing clients for them than you do. Make sure you take advantage of their expertise.

Research

Virtual assistants know how to look into target markets and find you relevant information. If you sell tools to help businesses with their projects, a virtual assistant will look into that market and tell you everything you need to put into your product to satisfy your clients. They will also tell you where to advertise to reach your target audience.

Your One-man Marketing Team

Your virtual assistant can do everything you need to market your product successfully. They can help you construct a marketing plan, submit ads and track your marketing campaign every step of the way. They will even find more efficient ways to monitor your customer feedback and make suggestions for improvement.

These are only a handful of ways that a virtual assistant can help you. When you hire a virtual assistant, make sure you get your money’s worth and treat them as the experts they really are.

Why LinkedIn Groups May Not Be Working for You

We’ve all heard stories about an Internet millionaire who used LinkedIn to expand their network. Then they actually try joining a variety of LinkedIn groups and fail to create a single connection. After a few weeks of frustration, they throw in the towel.

If this scenario describes you, then you are probably starting to doubt the effectiveness of LinkedIn. Instead, you need to come up with a different practice for finding the groups that are actually going to be worth the time you put into them.

There are a few variables you need to look at while you identify LinkedIn groups that will give you what you are looking for. Keep in mind, you can always leave a group and focus your energy elsewhere if it’s not giving you a return on your investment.

What is the group’s purpose?

This is the first filter and probably the most important thing you take into consideration before joining a group on LinkedIn. There is no sense investing weeks in a group that isn’t relevant to your goals. Fortunately, the title and description can help you with this. Keep in mind, some groups titles are a little misleading about the niche they are trying to serve and sometimes the group takes on a new direction from what the creator originally intended. That is why you will have to be open to changing your mind later on.

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Laws bloggers should be aware of

The Internet is the fastest and simplest way to communicate to the rest of the world. As I’ve mentioned before, this is a double edged sword. The statements we make online can destroy our business image if we are reckless.

The consequences for not being careful online may be much more serious than we think. In the United States and many other countries, bloggers are now treated as journalists in some regards and can be sued or even prosecuted based on what they say. This article discusses some of the laws that bloggers need to be aware of.

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