Expanding Your Brand and Earn Income From the Web

I came across and interesting new blog called, W Revenue Dot Com. The author is guy called Scott Wainner. What I like about this guy’s opinion is his straight forward attitude. I’ve read countless articles and opinion on making money on the web and frankly his is a breath of fresh air.

There isn’t a lot of hype and he shares a great deal of knowledge. Most other blogs tease a great deal, and are essentially excuses to sell something. They brag a lot about themsleves and don’t share ideas. Scott does not share these shortcomings. If you are researching strategies on making money on the web you might want to subscribe to his blog.

A colleague of mine, Robert Kingston from Bracing Your Brand, put me on to Scott’s contribution to blogging, and for that I’d like to thank him. Although my opinion was initiated as a sponsored review, I genuinely value it’s content. If you check the many comments, you will see that others share my opinion. Your visits here to my blog, and the communities we all build together, allow us to expand our successes, thus improving our personal and corporate brands. Selling relevant products on the web helps your audience to appreciate just how much you can assist them in their quest to improve. Following some of Scott’s opinions and case histories will go a long way to helping you realize your goals.

I hope that W Revenue Dot Com will be a welcome addition to your blog reading.

Email Marketing for Australian Small Business – BigResponse.com.au Review

Researchers estimate that US businesses alone spent $400 million on email marketing in 2006. This indicates it’s a pretty decent market, and probably because most businesses now know that email marketing works.

For small business owners who are just starting out, or just getting online, the only real decision left to make is, what service do I use?

The team over at BigResponse.com.au believe that email marketing is the most affordable and best-performing type of marketing available. They offer email marketing solutions to Australian small businesses and would like Aussie business owners to choose them, so they contacted us for a sponsored review.

Big Response cofounder Mitchell Harper says they wanted to create an affordable, easy-to-use email marketing service that any Australian small business could use.

I qualify to test-drive this service for two reasons. Firstly I’m an Aussie, and secondly, considering that I can read maps more easily than I can read websites, I figure if I can find my way easily around a site (and get the task done without swearing too much), then anyone can.

So let’s take a look at how they stacked up in terms of affordability and ease of use.

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Measure How Effective Your Website Is Using WebsiteGrader.com

Ever wanted to know exactly how all your efforts at online marketing measure up? Well, hang onto your hat because now there’s a way to find out. And guess what, it’s free.

Website Grader contacted us here at Small Business Branding and asked us to review their website (by the way – did you know you can get your site reviewed on our blog by purchasing a paid review?). Website Grader offer a new software tool that measures the online marketing effectiveness of a website. It assigns a numerical score, or “grade”, ranging from 0-99 (apparently 100 isn’t possible) to a given website. The score is based on a variety of data points about the website including the structure, popularity, traffic, search engine optimisation, marketing features and a host of other factors.

The grade itself is calculated as a percentile score. So, if a given site gets a score of 60, this means it’s more effective than 60% of the other sites that have been graded. And therefore, the more sites that have been graded, the more meaningful the results. During their 3 months of operation, so far they’ve processed and graded over 35,000 unique URLs.

I took it for a test drive on Small Business Branding, so let’s have a look at the process and results.
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Marketing With Blog Directories – BlogCatalog.com Review

Blog CatalogBlogging, it’s all the rage these days. If you know me, you know I love blogs and I love blogging. A good chunk of my living is made from blogs and blogging and I constantly recommend them as a means to market your business and develop a personal brand (see Small Business Branding – It’s Not “We”, It’s “Me” for details).

Today the folks behind BlogCatalog.com contacted me for a sponsored review here at Small Business Branding, so I’m going to give you my opinion of using a blog directory like BlogCatalog as a means to market your blog.

Directories Generally Suck

I’m going to start with the harsh truth – I’ve never been a fan of directories. I find them next to useless for search engine optimization purposes, although many people will tell you to use directories to build some easy incoming links. The direct traffic you get from directories is often minimal and in my experience isn’t worth the time it takes to submit your entry – you are better off writing an article or producing some form of content.

That being said, there are a few top directories – authority sites – that are worth paying attention to. BlogCatalog is definitely the highest ranking blog specific directory I could find, so you if you do choose to spend a few minutes of your marketing time using directories and you have a blog, this catalog is a top choice.

Not For Search Engine Optimization

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How Important Is Foreign Currency To A Small Business Website?

One of the main reasons I love living in Australia and working online is how weak the Aussie dollar is compared to the USA. The difference is not as “good” as it used to be, but there is still around an 15%-20% benefit on the dollar when I make a sale in USD.

I have some friends who sell online in USD and live in places like Malaysia where the dollar is significantly weaker than the USD. In some countries $500 USD is equivalent to a months salary for the average worker, and for Internet marketers they can make that in a day. If you can get to $1000 USD in profits online per month, which isn’t too hard with a little effort, in countries like Malaysia you can live like a king (thinking of moving to Asia?).

The online world is truly a global economy and while the USD is the main currency, there are reasons to consider offering other currencies, especially if you target a specific country that is likely to shun your services if they don’t see local prices.

I bring all this up because I’ve just been sent a sponsored review request from Dynamic Converter, a service that lets you display your web site product prices in your visitor’s currency and your business currency simultaneously.

Depending on the markets you target, a service like Dynamic Converter can be very helpful. Viewing their website homepage you can find examples of how the currencies are displayed, which are simple and clean. There is a free service you can try out to test on your site, and you will find paid upgrades which provide additional services like tax calculations and less restrictions (remove the button advertising the service).

What I like about this service is how simple and focused it is. The company offers one thing and I expect if they have sound business goals they hope to position themselves in the market as the default provider of currency conversion for websites. They face competition from shopping carts that provide currency conversions built-in, I’m never sure how accurate they are though, and other similar services you can plug into your site to perform conversions.

Dynamic Converter has a great testimonial in the Australian online shop dstore.com.au, which is a real blast from the past for me – I remember watching this company back in the dot com boom days when it was the focus of speculation and venture capital. I’m actually surprised to see it still running, but it does have a solid and well established brand online in Australia.

The Dynamic Converter website does an okay job of selling the service, it’s clean and simple and focuses on examples as the main sales tool. I think it could use some work on how the examples are displayed and perhaps a little more copy should be added both as a selling aid and to help with the site’s search engine optimization.

If you sell online and offering different currencies for overseas buyers might increase sales, the free service from Dynamic Converter could be the perfect system to run a test with. As always I recommend testing before deciding to purchase since the outcome could reduce sales, you want to be certain that you will actually benefit long term before committing funds to a program like this.

Yaro Starak
Loving Euros

“Lightning In A Bottle” Book Review

Lightning In A BottleI’ve just finished reading Lightning In A Bottle (aff) – A book on how to develop great ideas by two consultants at a leading market research firm. I decided to share this now, since many people have a New Years resolution to start a business or launch to a product — BUT this book is not delimited to these people.

It begins by making some bold claims such as “Why Market Segmentation is a Sham” among others. The most surprising claim of all, is that the authors, David Minter (President) and Michael Reid (Principal) of Minter and Associates state that their process for developing ideas will improve new product success rates from 1-in-10 to a staggering 1-in-2!

In other words, how to reach a success rate of 5 times the American national average! [Read more…]

Text-Link-Ads Review – A Monetization Solution For Small Business Bloggers?

This is a sponsored review containing affiliate links. I’ve been using Text-Link-Ads on this blog for a while as a means to monetize it. Far and away Text-Link-Ads is the best method to make money from a blog like this, focused on small business marketing and branding. The people behind the company contacted me through the ReviewMe.com site and requested a review, and I since I have a good history with Text-Link-Ads I decided to oblige.

Bear in mind this isn’t an article about marketing or branding a business, rather a service that other bloggers may consider as a monetization method to use on their blogs. The small business niche can often be hard to monetize given the nature of the audience, so if you blog about small business or similar topics you might consider testing Text-Link-Ads yourself.

If nothing else this article will serve as a fantastic example of an online business model that generates revenue as a “middleman” service using a many-to-many system, which is ideal and affords the owners near-unlimited potential for growth and scale without significant increase in infrastructure costs. You may also find the ReviewMe model interesting because it is also many-to-many and is owned by the team behind Text-Link-Ads. Two great small businesses concepts that created unique ways to make money online and satisfy the needs of two types of users – publishers and advertisers – using the new darlings of the web media world – blogs.

How It Works

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