Sunday, August 31, 2008

What Can You Do To Make Money Today?

One aspect of making money online that often gets overlooked is providing a service for the millions of website and blog owners. Let's look at this closer.

Most website and blog owners do not have the knowledge, time, or money to do everything it takes to run an online business these days. This can be good news for you.

You can make money by providing a service that solves a problem for all of these webmasters. If you are smart you will get a pen and piece and paper and start writing after you finish reading this.

What do you know how to do that you could do for someone. One Internet marketer started an article writing company a couple of years ago for his son. They ended up developing it into a full time income.

Another service broke off from that. The service is writing and submitting articles because they had so many requests to market the articles they were writing for their customers.

The same marketer helped a friend start a business building blogs for people because blogging is so important today and many people do not know how to set up their own.

They started writing blog articles as well because of the number of blogs there are online today. They are just written little shorter than regular articles so people can paste them in their blogs.

Other people make money online providing these type of service as well...

- website customization

- search engine optimization

- managing pay per click campaigns

- creating software

- publishing newsletters for people

- posting comments in blogs

- website building

- providing customer service via phone and email

- posting in forums

- ghostwriting

- set up autoresponder email campaigns

- create videos for blog owners

- customize private label right products

- do telemarketing for mlm business owners

- create graphics and sell them

This is just a few ideas.. You may think of others.

It’s pretty much guaranteed that if there is a need for a service on the Internet there are people willing to pay you to do it for them.

The quickest way to make your service known online is to set up a sales page describing your service.

Then add a PayPal button for ordering.

Finally join several Internet marketing forums and set up a signature file letting people know what you offer. Include a link back to your sales page.

As your business grows start a testimonial page and ask for referrals from your satisfied customers.

You will probably never get rich providing a service, but you can make a very good living over time, and you get to stay at home which beats going to work everyday for someone else.

(C) Writing Career

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Freelancing from Home: Finding Clients in Hidden Markets

Whether you are just getting started in the world of freelancing or if you have been a freelancer for years, one thing that often comes up is how to get clients. Some freelancers loose sleep over their lack of new clients and they often try to look for hidden markets that they didn't know about before.

It is much easier to find hidden freelancing markets with an open mind and with the muscle behind your dreams to make it happen. What muscle? The muscle you need to develop: the ability to ask for work and clients. If you want to find new markets for your talents you will need to ask around, either to your freelancing friends, to your existing clients or by cold calling or cold emailing.

Myth: Finding Clients is Hard
There are many myths about freelancing but the worst one is that finding clients is hard. The reality is that if you don't ask for referrals from your existing clients and if you don't put yourself out there, you might struggle to get clients. But potential clients are out there just waiting for you to appear into their life and solve their problems.

Fact: Taking Action is Necessary
How do you develop this muscle that helps you ask for clients and ask for work? You simply put it into practice. Start with emailing the firms and clients that you would like to work with. Tell them in a short email who you are, what you do, how much you charge and how you could help them with their business needs. Sometimes you might be able to tell them that their competitors are doing something that they haven't done yet and you can guide them through the process.

Don't be afraid to send out cold emails. These companies or potential clients are always looking for freelancers and they might just be short one freelance designer, writer or programmer at the exact time that you write them. Otherwise they might decide to put your name and contact information in a file for when they are short of freelancers in the future.

Putting yourself out there through cold emails and by asking your existing clients if they know anyone else who might use your services is hard. It takes developing your muscle, and that takes practice. You will get rejected at some point. But the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

So what are you waiting for? Get started on your freelancing business today and send out some emails to your existing clients or to potential ones. May you find the clients you have always wanted.

(C) Writing Career

Friday, August 29, 2008

Build A Blog for Business

Blogging used to be just a method for stating your opinion, but now blogs are used to opine, to review, and to sell. In fact, many Internet marketers base their entire business around blogging.

Here's why.

Blogging is really just basic communication. All it takes is a computer and an internet connection and you can set up a free blog on one of the many blogging services.

Its flexibility is also one of its outstanding features. There are numerous platforms to blog from, from Wordpress to Joomla to Drupal, and dozens more in between. And even if you don't want to host your blog, you can set one up at one of the many free blog services like Blogger or And even if you use the free services, you can always take your blog to your own server at a later date.

Many people also feel that blogs create an intimate atmosphere for learning and research. A blog can create a simple credibility that can help sell your products because it helps create an "Everyman" aura, that is, a stripped down, hype-free way to talk about products.

If your opinions get read and respected, you might find that your credibility will begin to increase around a particular subject. People will begin to look to you to offer your opinions on forthcoming issues. And once you are established and considered an expert in a niche, your ability to sell from your blog will increase dramatically.

Once you are established, don't be afraid to ask people to sign up to your list. This will be a list where you can reach your readers at a moment's notice. A great way to utilize this list is to send a message to it when you have made a new post to your blog, and encourage your readers to not only read your new article but comment on it.

By using your list in this manner, your subscribers won't feel that you are using your list merely to sell to them. Of course, you can sell to them from your blog, and if your readers begin to comment on your posts, you are helping to enhance your blog's stickiness.

Blogging is a terrific tool for any Internet marketing business. Done in the correct manner (meaning that if you intend to build your credibility, you should blog in the most personal manner possible), you'll be blogging your way to success in no time.

(C) Writing Career

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Set Up A Blogging Schedule

Does the thought of scheduling your blogging seem so... uncreative? Posting to your blog shouldn't happen only when you feel "moved" to create an award-winning post. Blogging needs to be done regularly to provide good content for your readers and to maximize your profits.

Set yourself up with a schedule to post on your blogs. Take a realistic look at your business and figure out how blogging can fit in. The object is not to be constantly blogging, forsaking all else, but to bring blogging forward a bit from your low priority pile of things to do. Take a look at your business model and where blogging fits in. If your blogs are currently your only platform for making money, then blogging should be high priority.

Your blogging schedule is up to you and can certainly be changed when your circumstances change. Perhaps you're going to temporarily blog daily on your Internet Marketing blog because you're promoting an affiliate product or you're just about to launch your new ebook. On a regular week you might consider blogging everyday, but alternating between all your blogs.

The important things is to think about your blogging ahead of time and create your schedule for the week. Also keep in mind the time of day that is available to you for blogging, especially if you're a part-time internet marketer. Will mornings from 7:00 am to 7:30 pm work? And how about lunchtime from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm?

While you're thinking ahead about your blogging, get a rough plan down on paper about what your blog subjects will be for each of the posts you're going to post in the week ahead. If you can't think of something right away, it will be a seed planted in your mind and you'll come up with a great idea before it's time to write it.

Try to find ways to streamline your posting. If your blogs are in a related field, you can sometimes modify your blog post to fit all your blogs. If your blogs are in very different fields you may still want to do the same sort of post to save time. For example, if you want to post a YouTube video, you can look for different videos for your different blogs all at once.

Scheduling your blogging may not be a creative endeavor, but it can make your blogging more successful nonetheless. A blogging schedule can help you become a consistent blogger who doesn't lose readers for lack of posts and can also help you maximize your profits.

(C) Writing Career

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Improve Your Internet I.Q. Before You Earn Money as a Freelancer

It really is amazing how many people will go online and try to start a business with the expectations that they do not have to learn anything.

In this article let's talk a little bit more about that.

There are 2 keys to what the main point is here:

1. You are trying to start a business online.

2. This means using a computer and the internet.

When most people start out online they do not know what they are doing. Many of us can barely send email.

Most successful internet freelancers are naturally curious, however and that is what propels them on to the next level of their business. They never stop learning and they do get better all of the time.

Most quickly realized that if they are going to have a website they will need to learn HTML code. At the very least they will have to learn some of the basics.

This is how many start out. Take an existing page and paste it in a file and then play around with it from there. You can learn to build a table, hyperlink keywords, bold and underline, and so on just from this. Never practice live as you do not want to lose a file or mess up an existing page.

This is not rocket science and if you are going to have a website be prepared to learn how to build pages or to pay someone to build page.

Now granted blogging is just about as good as it gets for building web pages. WordPress for example will build the pages for you if you can type. That is very easy and something you will need to learn how to do if you want to compete online in the future.

You may even want to take a basic computer class if you can not send email, type very well, create a word document, copy and paste, and so on.

We have not even talked about internet marketing yet. Getting traffic is so important. Converting it into sales pays the bills. Finding products to sell is a must. Anyway, you get the idea.

Remember you are going to try and make money online using your computer so you need to improve your internet I.Q. This can be done by anyone with average intelligence so do not chicken out just be prepared to work at it.

Effective Internet Marketing Tools that Work

Anyone who owns a website knows the importance of internet marketing tools. You may have a terrific idea for a website with an excellent product or service, superb design, content and functionality but if you do not use the right tactics, your site may not attract the all important highly targeted traffic. Getting a lot of traffic into a site has very little to do with the site itself but with how the webmaster or site owner advertises it. With hundreds of competing sites, you must employ the most effective internet marketing tools that will truly deliver results.

There are different internet marketing tools that you can use. All these techniques and methods aim at increasing your website traffic. You must find a way for web surfers to find your site. To do this, you must put yourself in the shoes of your prospective visitors and future clients and see the internet through their eyes. Where do they usually go whenever they are looking up something on the web? The answer is the search engine; in fact, the two most popular websites on the web today are both search engines and portals. Thus, you should focus your internet marketing efforts on the search engine.

People will usually search for something using a search engine and click on the top results that these engines give. Therefore, you must use the right internet marketing tools to get a high search engine ranking. To gain a high ranking in search results, you can use several internet marketing tools. Search engine optimization is a set of methods that are aimed at improving the visibility of your site in search engine results. Since a search engine indexes sites by looking at its keyword density, your site's content must have favorable keyword density that is search engine friendly. Content is one of the most important internet marketing tools itself. If you have excellent content that is geared towards achieving a high search engine ranking as well as provide information then you can expect a high search engine ranking. However, this is not as easy as it sounds. Countless other sites may be using the same internet marketing tools as you do. Thus, you must continuously find new ways of attracting more traffic.

Aside from the traditional marketing techniques such as print ads, billboards, brochures, testimonials, flyers etc. you must use other more effective internet marketing tools to gain more traffic. One of the most popular internet marketing tools today is the use of Pay per Click advertising. In this method, you will bid for a particular keyword in a specific search engine. If you have the highest bid then your sites link will be the top result. This internet marketing tool is now being used by thousands of sites. It is also gaining popularity because of its relatively high success rate in attracting high traffic.

(C) Writing Career

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ace Your Ad Copy with These Tips

What percentage of prospects come your way as a result of your ad copy? What percentage of sales do you close because of your ads? Well, increase both percentages with some of our tips, tailored to your own ad campaigns.

1. ERRORS -- It's tough to have 100 percent perfect ad copy. Nearly impossible! So tell your readers that whoever spots five errors in your ad copy due to grammar issues or misspelled words, wins a reward. This way your readers will not only be reading your copy longer, increasing the likelihood of purchasing awhile they're at it, you'll get editing done at no charge for your revised printing or online publication.

2. YES -- Lead your readers to the conclusion you want; that is to say, "Yes" to your offer, by asking them several yes and no questions in your ad copy that have affirmative answers. Have the questions be based on the main offer and focus on what will happen if they do not buy. But don't set a negative tone by having them reply "No." Or by the time they're through reading, they might say, "No" to you!

3. CHARITY -- Tie in a percentage of your sales with one of your favorite charities. And make mention of this in your ad copy. This is a win-win strategy because your company gives back to society plus your clients read about it; it improves your image in their eyes and shares your concerns. And they give, too. Everyone helps each other.

4. GUARANTEE -- Include a good, solid guarantee in your offer. For examples, look at the last thing you purchased and check out the guarantee. In a nutshell, make it a lifetime offer and / or give them back MORE than they gave you.

5. PS -- Since most people look for this feature, add it! Say something in your P.S. -- like give them a Bonus offer if they reply by a certain deadline. Or focus on your best reason why the reader should buy -- and NOW.

6. CONTACT -- Do include complete contact information -- that works! Test any email addresses and telephone numbers before going to press

So next time you need to ace your ad copy, go back over what you wrote and tweak it here and there for improvements. Better yet, have a contest and invite your readers to do it for you! How's that for a win-win solution?!

(C) Writing Career

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Writing Better Ad Copy for Your Freelance Clients

Ever find that some ads just don't quite get the pull as well as others? Maybe some flounder while others even failed miserably. And you just seem to have a little difficulty figuring out what works and what doesn't.

Well, start counting. Here are some pointers on what makes good ad copy work.

1. Compelling Headline -- Look around. What grabs your attention in today's newspaper or main ezine headlines? Check the New York Times and USA Today. Use buzzwords or whatever it takes. Reach out and grab your targeted industry reader.

2. Sub-Structure -- Readers today have tired eyes. The Internet and email keep growing and cranking out more and more each day. So make your copy appealing. Chop up your copy by using sub-headings and bullet points. Don't make people read endlessly to find major points.

3. Contact -- People want to communicate and not just toss money away. Offer a phone number with a human on the other end. Skip the automated menus and elevator music. You don't like it; your clients don't either. You are busy; so are they. Tune into THEIR needs.

4. Order Options-- Buyers want choices. So give them some. Set up ordering via as many ways as possible; email links, toll-free phone and fax number, online and postal forms. One size doesn't fit all here.

5. Free-something -- People want free samples, trials, bonuses or anything.

6. Price – Don't shy away from sharing price – at least a range. Don't irritate readers and make them search. How much? Make it clear.

7. More info -- Offer a place for people to learn more. Make they reply email address a domain name with information, maybe a free ebook or report with photos, testimonials, etc. In other words, don't have readers reply to; have them reply to Be creative!

8. Ad Errors -- Test your ad BEFORE it goes out. Do you links work that you mention? Does the phone number work? What does the voicemail recording say on the phone? Does your email address work that you've included? Make sure to check details and look for spelling and grammar errors.

9. Legibility -- Can you read it? Is there so much content that your ad is too tiny to read? Make sure to see a proof beforehand. Then print it out and look it over.

10. Font -- Don't get fancy & use scripts that people can't read. Keep it simple!

In summary, before you head to the press with your next ad copy, count and see how many good points you've covered. Put your copy to work and make it a return on your investment, not a write off.

(C) Writing Career

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Starting a Freelance Internet Business

The siren call of starting a business on the Internet is hard to resist. Work when you want, do it from home, make lots of money (even when you're asleep) - what's not to like, right? You'd be a fool not to jump in and start building that website or writing a blog!

Not so fast. There are more Internet millionaire "wanna-bes" than you might think. And many have spent more than a few years and more than a few thousand dollars in a vain effort to start a profitable Internet business.

It may seem that "everybody" is making money online, but that's simply not the case. And not many people will admit their frustration, partly because no one hates admitting failure but also because perception is everything online. If you are perceived as a failure, no one will buy from you, which makes you fail even faster.

So what are the disadvantages and roadblocks that potential Internet entrepreneurs encounter?

The first is the learning curve - it's steeper than you might think, and there's no single "how-to" process to follow.

Succeeding at an online business requires mastery of several key abilities, not all of which directly correlate to doing business offline. For example, you not only have to build a user-friendly and relevant website or blog, you have to drive traffic to it, all without making any mistakes that cause you to lose credibility in your prospect's mind and cause them to click away from your site.

Not easy!

And though there are countless experts, books, and how-to courses on how to start a business online, it's hard for a beginner to know who to believe, and there are multiple online business models to choose from as well.

The second issue, which was mentioned above but which warrants more attention, is the problem of driving traffic to your website. Novice Internet marketers know they want their site to be found in the search engines, but often vastly underestimate the amount of competition they have for the keywords and search phrases they desire.

The Internet reality is that top-ten rankings for most popular keywords is extraordinarily difficult to achieve - which means that the novice "Interpreneur" will need to master the art of advertising online, which can become quite costly.

The third and final obstacle mentioned here is that it's very easy to become distracted when building an Internet business.

If you subscribe to Internet ezines or visit Internet discussion forums, which are recommended methods to build knowledge and connect with potential customers or partners, you're bombarded almost daily with new ways to make money. New advertising strategies to try. New top-secret, never-before-revealed-to-the-public ways to get more targeted website visitors than you've ever imagined. And so on.

And while some of these strategies may be an excellent fit for a particular online business, many will not. Since inexperienced Internet marketers find it difficult to make that distinction, they waste time and money delving into new income models before mastering the income method they're using now.

Hopefully, if you're considering starting an Internet business, this article will serve as a "reality check" for you. It's certainly possible to make a substantial secondary or primary income online - but it's much more likely if you have a good grasp of the obstacles you'll probably encounter along the way.

Good luck!

(C) Writing Career

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Sure-Fire Structure for Writing Articles for Your Website

With a little effort and a sound, reusable structure, you can write articles to draw traffic to your website, ad copy to sell your products, and generally enhance your presence on the Internet. With these methods, you will gain the attention of those all-important search engines and get your products and ideas seen.

There is no mystery about the basic structure for writing website articles. Each article should have a beginning, or lead, middle, or content section, and an ending, or conclusion. Not that difficult, is it?

The extra ingredient you want for website articles or ad copy that will draw traffic is this: targeted keywords or phrases. Don't be frightened by the idea of writing an article structured around keywords. It is much easier than it sounds. If you have researched a keyword(s) you want to get traffic for in the search engines, a good rule of thumb would be this: Use your keyword(s) once in the title, once in the beginning or lead, once in each paragraph of the article content, and once in the conclusion.

If you can use this basic structure -- keyword(s) rich title, lead, content, and conclusion -- you will find it easy to write content that will draw search engines to your website.

Take this sure-fire structure and combine it with a bit of research on the Internet or better yet in a nearby library.

Libraries are your "secret weapon" to find material for your sure-fire article structure. Here is the "offline" advantage -- if people are writing articles targeting the keywords "electronic dog fences," for example, by researching the Internet, they are bound to be seeing similar articles. This may not lead you to duplicate their content, but it certainly won't help. If you go to a local library and find some magazines or newspaper articles about "electronic dog fences," you'll be ahead of the competition.

Use that research material with your keyword(s) and write something in the range of 300-500 words and you have your article. Don't be frightened at the idea of writing 300-500 words. Think of it this way: One double-spaced page printed out with one-inch margins all around holds about 200-250 words. If you've read a few articles and taken notes, you probably have more than enough ideas and information for two double-spaced printed pages.

Using the above example "electronic dog fences," you might try the title: "Four Ways Electronic Dog Fences Enhance Your Pet's Life." That isn't the snappiest title you could find, but it does tell someone and the search engines what the article is about -- while using the keywords "electronic dog fences."

Then take the research you have done and come up with four major benefits for dogs and their owners related to electronic dog fences. Your lead might be something like: "Electronic dog fences not only make happy neighbors, they can make life better for your pet, too."

Use each of the "four ways" you mentioned in the title as a section for your article. If you want a short article, make a paragraph for each of the "four ways," a longer article may require two or three paragraphs about each of the "four ways."

When you reach the conclusion, you want to do two things: Try to summarize the lead or title in the conclusion by using the "electronic dog fences" keyword(s) again, and quit.

Use this sure-fire structure and you'll find you can build successful, keyword-rich articles for your website -- even if you don't think of yourself as a writer!

(C) Writing Career

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

4 Tips to Make Extra with Online Marketing

If you are trying to sell a product or service on the Internet, then you are probably doing so through an affiliate program. You signed up as an affiliate (usually for free) and they gave you an affiliate ID (user name or number). They may have even given you a basic marketing package which includes text ads, banner ads, and solo ads with a link to your affiliate sales page. All you have to do is use these tools to get traffic to your affiliate sales page.

Well that sounds pretty easy, doesn't it? This process actually works too, except that your probability of converting your traffic into sales is very, very, very low. In other words, you may have to have thousands of people to visit your affiliate sales page before you ever see your first sell. Now those aren't very good odds, are they?

Unfortunately, that is what most people do. They spend a lot of time, effort, and money getting all of those people to that affiliate sales page and then they finally make a sale and earn a referral fee or commission. But wait, it can get even worse. Let's say that you made one sale and earned a $10 commission. That's great, right? Well not really, because in the terms and conditions of your affiliate program, you don't actually get paid until you have accumulated at least $20 of commissions. So get back to it and get another sale and finally get paid. Good grief!

Don't quit! Internet marketing is a great way to make extra money, but you have to know some of the secrets. Here's one. "Don't advertise your affiliate program directly." You must use a four step process.

Four Step Process

1. First, you must provide something of value. The easiest valuable thing that you can give away is information. An informative email course, special report, or ebook are all great ways to give away free information.

2. This step goes along with the initial step above. Don't give away your free information until you get an email address. You must capture the name and email address of your prospective sale in order to be able to implement the next step.

3. If the information that you are providing is good and helps people, then you will earn some trust. If someone gives you some information that saves you time, money, or effort; then you are going to closely read anything that they send you - as long as the information is still valuable. This is why it is so important that you get that name and email address before you start giving away your information. Now you can keep the information flowing through an occasional email to your prospect.

4. Finally, if you have been providing valuable information and earning trust from people, it is much more likely that they will buy something that you recommend. This is especially true if you can convince them that what you are recommending will help them and that it is worth their money. The easiest way to do this is to recommend something that you have actually purchased and use yourself. Just tell them how it helped you and why you think that it was worth what you paid for it!

(C) Writing Career

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Boosting Your Freelance Article Marketing with a Creative Commons License

A few years ago Yahoo! had launched Creative Commons Search in Beta. This Yahoo! search service finds content across the web that has a creative commons license. While almost anything you find on the internet has a full copyright, the creative commons license allows an author to share their content with others, under certain conditions. This type of license is very beneficial to the freelance article marketer.

The creative commons license is gaining wide acceptance across the internet. Yahoo and Google have now both incorporated creative commons search into their engines. The main creative commons search engine is located at A creative commons search has even been adopted into the Firefox browser.

Why is this important to Article Writers?

Every smart article writer concentrates on wide exposure. You want your articles to be on as many web sites as possible. By putting a Creative Commons License on your articles, you are allowing other web sites, e-zines, online publications and print publication to publish your article, therefore expanding your visibility.

Now, with a powerhouse like Yahoo! coming in with their new Creative Commons Search, you can have hundreds of your articles to be placed in a select search on Yahoo!.

To get your articles into Yahoo's Creative Commons Search, you must follow 3 simple steps.

1. Select the license that suits your preferences at .

2. You will then be prompted to choose whether or not you want to allow commercial use of your work and whether or not you will allow modifications of your work. After you have set your preferences, hit Select License.

3. You will now be taken to the page that will let you cut and copy a piece of text to paste into your webpage. This text will indicate that your articles have a creative commons license.

You should choose the license that meets your preferences. However, if you are going to be using the license for article marketing, there are some preferences that would be more beneficial for you. It is best not to allow any modification of your articles because this could dilute their value. You want to brand yourself as a trusted resource in your area of expertise. If someone is allowed to modify your content, this could lead to negative branding for you and your web site. With than in mind, do make sure that you put a lot of thought into the type of creative commons license you choose. Creative commons licenses are non-revocable.

Once you put up the license on your web pages, it shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks for Yahoo! Creative Commons Search to find your pages as long as you have some well-placed back-links.

This strategy can create hundreds of very targeted links pointing to your site through the creative commons search engines. These are indexed pages in the Yahoo and Google specialized engines. You can do the same simply by applying the Creative Commons License to your site and letting Yahoo discover you.

The Creative Commons license allows you to declare a certain amount of rights to your article, while still encouraging its duplication across the internet and ensuring that you are credited as the author.

However, while the creative commons licenses hold much value, there are still relatively few people who are taking advantage of it to gain more visibility for their articles and their website. Therefore, now is the perfect time to move into this lucrative market. With Yahoo Creative Commons Search leading the way, you know there is sure to be significant growth to come.

(C) Writing Career

Blogging Attracts a Larger, More Diverse Crowd

Internet usage has evolved greatly in the past few years. People today use it for a variety of reasons, such as networking, keeping in touch with family and friends, shopping, and doing research. With the ever-growing dependence on the Internet for communication and information, people are also becoming more active in creating their own web content, like blogs. Blogging is becoming an increasingly mainstream activity, attracting a broader segment of consumers who actively write, read, and/or comment on blogs.

While many people may still have the idea that the majority of active bloggers are tech-savvy teenage boys, this does not seem to be the case. According to the Simmons New Media Survey, today's blogging population now includes more women and older generations of people. Those who are actively posting content on the web do tend to be younger in age, but the age range of those who read or comment on blogs is broader.

These and other characteristics of bloggers can be viewed in the Free Download.

79 Percent of Professionals Are Looking For a Job Closer to Home Due to High Gas Prices, Inc. polled members across its network of more than 15,000 sites to discover how professionals are compensating for rising gas prices. The poll received a record number of responses, with more than 20,000 professionals weighing in to voice their thoughts on the poll question:

"What alternatives are you considering as a result of high gas prices affecting your commute to work?"

79 percent - Find a job closer to home
13 percent - Telecommuting from home
6 percent - Public transportation or walking
2 percent - Carpooling with colleagues

High gas prices have caused many professionals to consider taking drastic measures to save money on their commute, even if it means leaving their current job. A past poll conducted by discovered that 27 percent of professionals travel 25 miles or more to work. However, if gas prices continue to rise, the number of workers commuting long distances could decrease significantly as many workers make the decision to find a job closer to home.

When searching for a job with a shorter commute, niche job sites such as will become increasingly valuable to job seekers by offering the ability to connect with local employers within a reasonable commute to their home. However, professionals who are not in a position to leave their current job should consider sharing rides or taking public transportation when possible to reduce monthly gas expenses.

"In a time of economic uncertainty, it is surprising to see how many professionals are considering making a career move due to high gas prices." says Rich Milgram, CEO of, Inc. "Given the number of workers looking for a job closer to home, employers need to be aware of these concerns and should find ways to help their employees by offering alternatives such as telecommuting or a shorter work week to retain valuable resources and reduce high-turnover."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

How To Conduct A Market Analysis For Your Freelance Business

The term "market analysis" is often confusing to freelancers, especially for people who focus on a specific niche or market segment.

In fact, many small business owners don't understand the process or complain that conducting a market analysis is too complicated or too expensive and wonder why or if it is necessary.

What is market analysis?

In the most basic terms, a market analysis is an assessment of:

- A particular problem or opportunity in a market.
- The needs of the target market relating to the problem or opportunity.
- Ideas for marketing a particular product or service that fills the needs of the target market.

When should you conduct a market analysis?

- When you are starting a business.
- When you are entering a new market.
- When you are considering a new product or service.

Why should you conduct a market analysis?

- To minimize business risks.
- To understand the problems and opportunities.
- To identify sales opportunities.
- To plan your marketing/sales approach.

The process of conducting a market analysis can be divided into three parts:

Part 1 - Understanding Market Conditions

This gives you basic information about your entire market -- the size, the competition, the customers.

Part 2 - Identifying Market Opportunities

This gives you more targeted information about potential problems or opportunities in the potential market, and includes information about growth, current and future trends, outside factors and more information about specific competitors.

Part 3 - Developing Market-Driven Strategies

Here is where we get into what market research does for you. It helps you to pinpoint opportunities to grow your business. By understanding the market and knowing what opportunities are available you can create a marketing strategy that leaves your competitors in the dust!

Here are 10 questions that can help you get started:

1. What is the market I want to reach?
- Who are they? (Basic Demographics)
- What is their biggest problem in relation to this market?
- Are their needs being met by the products or services provided in this market?

2. Who is my competition in this market?

- Are they successful in this market?
- Are they marketing a similar product or service?
- What is the market share of the three biggest competitors in this market?

3. Is there room for growth in this market?

4. What is the size of this market?

- Is there room for growth?
- Is the industry growing? Stable? Saturated? Volatile? Declining?

5. How is my product or service different from the competition?

6. How can I reach this market?

- How is my competition currently reaching this market?
- Is it the most effective way?
- What are the alternative ways of reaching this market?

7. What are the business models of my competition in this market?

- Are they effective?
- Is there a way to do it differently or better?

8. What do customers expect from this type of product or service?

- What are the core competencies of this product or service?
- What would make the product "new" "different" or "better" for the customer?

9. How much are customers willing to pay for this product or service?

10. What is our competitive advantage in this market?

Knowing the answers to these questions will not only help you figure out if there is a need for your product or service, it will help you figure out the best ways to reach your customers, price your products or service and ultimately make more sales!

(C) Writing Career