Is There a Legitimate Internet Business?

Having been burnt on several “automatic income” systems, I suspect there are more people out there wondering, “Is there such a thing as a “legitimate internet business”?

And, although the answer to that question is “yes”, there are several internet marketing myths for which you might want to be aware.

The number one legitimate internet business myth is that people think it’s easy…

You may have heard people say, “it’s simple, but not easy”… So what’s that supposed to mean? In a nutshell, when people think “easy”, they think “fast”. The truth is, it’s NOT fast. However, when you compare to any other business that you own and you invest all your resources – time, money and effort, a legitimate home based business is no different.

Any business takes time, money and effort if you really want to be successful. Any business needs to be advertised, and your legitimate internet business is no different.

Can you advertise for free? Sure! That’s what I’m doing here with this article. And, by the way, it took me three years to “graduate” to a platinum author level where my articles are finally being read as soon as I post.

The reality about blogging and article writing is that nobody is likely to be reading your content, because your site is only one out of 17 million competing home business websites out there! And, when YOU search for information on Google, are YOU likely to click on websites past the first three that you see? Neither is anyone else! In fact, 70% of the traffic will never click on your link that leads to your website unless you’re at the top of Google.

And you can’t do THAT for free!

So if you’re like most people and fall for the “it’s easy”, and you believe “it’s fast and easy”, you’re liable to be quickly discouraged. The average person will look at a monthly fee and think “How will I ever be able to cover all those monthly fees?” But the successful internet marketer looks at the big picture and thinks, “This can build to something ginormous!”

Another legitimate internet business myth: “Build it and they will come”…

As I mentioned above, if you’re doing only “free” marketing strategies, people don’t just “come” to your website. After trying only “free” for the past few years, I’ve come to the conclusion that those free strategies are getting more difficult with every passing year. However, if you insist on going this route, I do have a few good internet business ideas for ways to promote “for free”.

1) Write articles or create YouTube videos that link to your blog. The more backlinks you can get, the higher you’ll be seen in the search engines.

2) Search for a high PR blog (likely one that is ranking on Google’s page one), and write a sincere comment on the blog. Be sure to add value and be appreciative and sincere. When you sign your name, include the link back to your blog. That’s free traffic to your blog!

3) Post your blog on social media. On Facebook, many people get some action by joining groups (only about five at a time), and then posting in that group. Simply write a compelling one-liner with a link to your blog post. I’ve found that this can stir up a few visitors, but not likely to continue to draw traffic because your post will very soon sink to where it’s not seen unless you get tons of likes and comments right away.

4) Use the Facebook invite tool that works with Google Chrome to invite all your friends to your “event”. Preferably, this would be an invite to a live Google hangout where you discuss the benefits of your product, but I’ve seen invites that lead only to a link to a sales video.

So what’s the difference between a “legitimate internet business” and a scam?

The FTC plays a strong part in tearing a potential scam apart, so they don’t last long. Therefore, the first thing you can look at is how long have they been in business. The thing that turns a potentially legitimate home based business into a scam is the lack of product. Even companies with the best intentions could collapse if the product isn’t one that people want or really need.

Also, take a look at the commission schedule. As a rule, the higher the commission, the less valuable the product, and the less likely people will want to buy it retail. Any multilevel company will want you to commit to an “auto-ship”, or monthly fee of some kind. If it’s completely “free”, look out! The company could be using you to promote their overpriced product – free marketing for the company; a nightmare for you!

Of course, the average “legitimate home based business” multilevel company won’t pay out more than 20% commissions, and some even less! This is just as much of a nightmare, because you’ll need to be making thousands of sales and recruits before you can really even call it your own home business.

Remodeling in a Recession – A Wise Investment?

It’s true that right now may not be the best time to sell your home. With real estate values dropping, many homeowners who want to sell won’t be able to sell their home for what they thought they may have been able to a few years ago.

However, if you aren’t trying to sell your home right now, and have been putting off a remodeling job this might just be the best time to tackle the project.  Why you ask?

Just as the cost of homes is dropping,  the cost of remodeling is dropping- including building materials and contractor’s fees. And while it may be difficult to think about spending money on your home when the values are falling- taking advantage of lower remodeling costs could be a great investment if you are not planning on selling your home anytime soon.

As disclosed in a study by HousingEconomics.com, the number of building permits in the United States has decreased in 2008 by 41% from 2007. This means less people are building, which can be good for a consumer trying to get competitive pricing from a contractor.

Not only can your contractor charge less for materials (because they are paying less) but they are also willing to charge less for labor in order to secure more work.

Even DIYers can save money on renovations right now just by saving on materials. For example, according to the National Association of  Home Builders (NAHB), framing lumber prices are the lowest they have been in 4 years.

The trick, of course, if you do have a home sale anywhere in your future, is to assess the current value of your home  and the value that your remodel will add to your home. When you sell,  you will only recoup some of the value in your resale so you want to make sure you are not investing too much more than what you may get in return. For a good idea of national remodeling costs and recouped costs, visit Remodeling magazine’s cost vs. recoup report. Note: If you do hire a contractor, make sure they have insurance to cover them in case they are injured on your property, otherwise, check your homeowners insurance policy to see if you have enough.

How To Use Google+ For Business

An effective use of social media can be a huge boon to marketing for any business owner, but it presents special opportunities entrepreneurs particularly. Google+ is the second largest social network and boasts a user base of over 343 million people.

If you aren’t sure how to go about using Google+ to promote your business, or if you just want to make sure that you’re using the service to its best advantage, here are some tips on Google+.

• Create a page for your business. First, set up a personal account on Google+’s homepage at plus.Google.com. Once you have a personal account, click on the drop-down menu that says “home” and go to “pages.” From there, click the link that says “create a page.”

• From here, you have to begin the process of gaining followers. To start out, begin following other businesses in your area, both related and unrelated to real estate. Your business page can only follow other business pages. When other business pages add you to their circles, add them back to strengthen the relationship.

• Respond to activity on your page. Once people begin +1ing, commenting, and sharing, thank them and respond to their comments. The more active your page is and the more you respond to your users, the more people will want to interact with your page.

• Promote your page: add the URL to your business card, flyers, blog, and other marketing materials. Connect your services.

• Post useful content often. If you have a blog, post the articles or photos you’re posting there onto your Google+ as well. This will also help you attract followers and page traffic.

• Add the +1 and Circles buttons to your website so that people can follow you from there.

• Add colleagues, related businesses, and friends into your circles. This allows you to share different things with different groups of people.

• Comment on other people’s pages and posts, particularly ones related to your business. That will make you more visible on the network and, again, a more active user.

• Google+ verifies your business with Google, which can help format searches for your business. There are also rumors that businesses associated with a Google+ page get ranked higher in Google’s search results.

• Like in any social media avenue, post as much and as varied content as you can. Blog posts of what’s going on in your business, content related to anything of interest in your community, photos of homes you’re representing, news about goings on in your business, links to applicable content elsewhere on the internet, and links to new content on your website or blog, can help better establish your business on the social network and help you reach out to possible clients or professional contacts.

• There’s a complaint that there aren’t that many users on Google+, but in truth, there are now more users on Google+ than on any social network other than Facebook, including Twitter. Use this myth to your advantage. Many of your competitors may not be investing in Google+, so make sure you do your homework and have an active, lively business page to show to Google+’s 343 million members.