Monetizing your website or blog the easy way

A lot of webmasters and site owners are missing out on additional sources of income from their web sites. Depending on the traffic you get and how well you target your audience, you can make anything from a few dollars a month to thousands. I think everyone is familiar with Google’s Adwords, you hardly visit a site without seeing ads from them. In addition to that, you can derive income from any of thousands of Affiliate Programs, like Amazon and various Affiliate program aggregators like Commission Junction, LinkShare, or ShareASale. These are all great sources of revenue if you have the time to manage all of the programs you enroll in.

There are a couple of fairly new programs available now that really simplify making revenue from your sites, One I have found particularly nice to work with is SkimLinks. SkimLinks aggregates over 11,000 different affiliate programs from 24 different networks including Amazon, eBay, and most other popular Affiliate networks. But even better than that is you install a small java script on your web pages or a plugin for WordPress and links are monetized automatically. You simply link to the site or product in your articles, and if someone goes there and purchases a product, you get paid, or in the case of eBay you get paid per click. Even better is they provide you with a tool called SkimKit that you can install on your PC to search their thousands of vendors to find products and services to link to.

Just about all of the affiliate programs have minimum amounts you have to accrue before getting paid, with SkimLinks that is much easier and you get paid faster because it aggregates all sources in one place. SkimLinks does keep a small percentage of the commission paid, but because many of the affiliate programs pay them a higher percentage due to their volume, you actually make more money on some programs than if you were signed up individually. And the small percentage they do get, is a small amount if you think about how much time it takes to manage a bunch of different affiliate programs you sign up for individually. It costs nothing to sign up to start generating revenue, check them out at the SkimLinks Website.

Update: Another Program that works about the same as Skimlinks is VigLinks Click Here to sign up for free.. Viglinks appears to have as many or more associated merchants and may accept your application if Skimlinks rejects you. Viglinks takes a straight 25% of commissions earned, but because of their volume you probably will earn as much or more than if you were signed up with each individual merchant. As with Skimlinks, Viglinks has a minimum before they pay you.

Logo Design Buyer’s Guide

Across a period of time a logo is the image which symbolizes a corporation, its products and services in a complete explanatory manner. Its purpose is to create an unforgettable, familiar feeling on the mind of a potential client or customer. It’s undoubtedly a logo which can be termed as the heart of a company’s corporate identity. So in a nutshell a logo is a trademark of a company or organization. It’s the identity that encapsulates what your company stand for and what it wants to achieve in its lifetime. Companies do spend thousands, if not millions of dollars just to have the right logo.

So what are the ingredients of a first-class logo? Most people would reply “I just recognized it when I saw it!” Well this isn’t so far from the truth. A good logo catches the eye; it makes the observer curious and engaged, doesn’t matter if only for a short moment. And that is the moment in which an image and the subsistence of your company gets embedded into the minds of your customer rather than filtered out with a million other daily options. Your company’s logo will be your visual tool to stimulate attention and leave a greater impact to your target audience that words may fall short of. Over time, logos prove to be the simplest and most direct way of promoting one’s business presence. Make your logo give you your brand name recognition. It is your visual appeal to any document or web page because of its unique graphic image. People tend to remember a catchy logo at a much higher rate than nearly any other advertising element. When designing your logo, there are several things to keep in mind to achieve you goals: be unique, be true to the company, consider the psychology of your target market, and, above all, keep it simple.

Your business logo will most likely be used for many purposes: business cards and letterhead, outdoor designs, the Internet and promotional items such as T-shirts and mugs. The logo has to look good when resized to fit on a small 2″x 3.5″ business card. If the design is complex a lot of detail will be lost when the logo is shrunk to fit on the card and people might not be able to make out the design. Elaborate designs can also be difficult and expensive to put on T-shirts and mugs.

Complex or over-the-top designs can mean high printing costs. A decision to have a highly complex custom design logo for your firm can come back to haunt you. This doesn’t mean that your custom design logo has to be simple (and boring) for it to work. An elegant logo design can enhance your firm’s professional image. The trick is to find the right balance between design and functionality, where you have a great design that you can use for all purposes.

Design of a company or product logo should not be tagged on to an advertising campaign at the end of the planning process. It deserves to be examined and integrated into the body of the campaign; it should not be the tail of the dog. A good logo is developed at the front end, the part that bites. Planners need to communicate to the graphic designer certain key information about what the company or product goals are. They need to pass on to the artist a demographic picture of their target consumer – age, income, where they live. All of these factors are brought into play in the strategic planning process.

Too much information can be just as complicated to handle as too little. Seeing too many sources might encourage the prospective logo purchaser to select a supplier at random and hope for the best. Given the prolonged expected life cycle for a company logo and the significant part a logo plays in image recognition, playing selection games can be devastating. But what can a newcomer do to get the best bang for his logo?

These days the savvy of risk in online business is becoming quite substantial, anyone with a computer and internet access can put up a logo design business.

You could’ve pay a boy working as a freelance and charging $40 to draw your logo. Who knows? Maybe he’s good, but there is more to logo design than nice pictures. Logo designers need to recognize the association that should exist between the logo and the image the company wants to send to its customers. Logo designers have to have some business understanding and business know-how in order to design logos that increase sales.

Don’t fall for cheap prices, they say “Quality never comes cheap” and yes it is so very true, at one hand you tend to choose a cheap logo design plan but on the other hand you sacrifice some of the things which in turn those logo designers will get benefited with. Some of those like things are:

1. A limited number of Formats Mostly the cheap plan logo designers won’t provide the final design in multiple formats such as a bitmap image and a vector image. Knowingly these both formats are very necessary, you use bitmap for your website and interrelated purposes whereas vector for printing up of the visiting cards and corporate stationery.

2. No Money-Back Guarantee Usually cheap logo designing plans are not backed up by any money back guarantee, might be the reason can be, they don’t really possess any satisfied customers.

3. Limited Alterations Some logo designers present very affordable logos where you get no or very few alterations. In additional words, they’ll give you one logo. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem. Typically they then charge extra for alterations. This in itself isn’t really dishonest – as long as they are upfront about it. It does become deceptive when it’s buried in fine print.

Creating a logo is always a process – though different designers have their own methods. Many designers will begin by sketching thumbnails or playing with shapes on the computer screen, until something “clicks” and they follow that path to see where it leads. One way to start is to select a shape which represents the concept of the company, and begin playing with it. The idea is to come up with something interesting or clever, whether a viewpoint which is different, or an unusual combination of shapes. Perhaps it will be something which will require some guesswork on the part of the viewer, but then be crystal clear when they look at it another way.

The accurate logo, with the accurate distinctiveness, will enhance your visibility, reliability and impression; which mean more business for you. Few are the things that are needed for a robust logo making activity and an outstanding product, before choosing this service of logo designing make sure that the designer firm follows this trail, following this will ensure maximum credibility, firms like follow this trail and has been achieving recorded success ration over a period of years, these factors are:

Consistency Consistency in use of logo, tagline, materials. Repetition of similar elements, used in the same or similar ways. This helps people to remember who the company is and what do they do?

Memorability Must contain an element of memorability so that the logo stays at the forefront of potential clients’ minds. That way, they’ll think of the company next time they have a need.

Meaningfulness Meaningfulness so that the logo can spread the message about the distinguishing characteristics of one’s business.

Uniqueness The uniqueness factor helps one stand out from the crowd. For example, if everyone in one industry uses a particular symbol (i.e., airlines often uses airplane tail), try to use something else that way, the logo doesn’t just look like everyone else’s.

Professionalism Professionalism in the eminence of the graphics, the printing and the paper on which the materials will be printed.

Timelessness Timelessness in the logo will ensure that one don’t have to redesign the logo in just a few years and that the investment and equity in the design will be lasting.

Remember, logo design is an essential element to your general marketing strategy. Put in the necessary time, effort, and creativity, and you will end up with an effective, memorable logo that will go miles towards developing the positive brand appreciation and recognition you desire. A logo is essentially at the heart of corporate identity. It is the face of an organization. The right logo design can be one of your strongest marketing tools. It delivers the message to the public that a company is unique, credible and professional. Make it stylish. Make it elegant. Make an impact.


Harris Jhosta is holding the market experience of IT industry and immense business solutions for about 2 decades now. His vast experience in the related field gave him the acclamation and renownship in many sectors of business.  Author Profile

How to Design an Effective Web Site

1. Introduction

A web-site can be a very handy and useful tool to almost anybody these days. Before one begins to design or build a web-site it is very important to understand your reason for building a web-site. Websites are built for a variety of reasons and could be used for:

  • Information purposes
  • Generate online sales
  • Obtain leads for services
  • Create brand awareness

This article helps put some structure to the process of building an effective web-site to allow you to better think and plan through the process to increase the effectiveness of the finished product. The discussion is broken into the following topics on how to:

  • Planning for a Web-site
  • General Content and Look and Feel
  • Selecting the right development path
  • Leverage your asset once it is online

2. Planning for a Website – what should you focus on?

Web-site goals and objectives

One of the first items on your list is – what is my web-site going to achieve? Is it going to help me sell a product or am I using it to make people aware of information? These questions will drive the rest of the plan of your web-site so it is important for you to spend time thinking about what would make your web-site a successful web-site. Try not to set too many goals for your web-site as this could complicate your design and confuse your customers (anybody visiting your web-site) making it less effective. Rather have several web-sites meeting separate objectives than a single web-site with a confused objective. Also ensure that your goals and objectives are SMART: –

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Attainable
  • R – Relevant
  • T – Have a time measure attached to it

Target Audience

Once you know what you wish to achieve with your web-site you probably already have a good idea on who your target audience is as well. It is important to describe your target audience in enough detail to be able to differentiate them from anybody surfing the net. This provides you and the developer as to what the design, the content and the general look and feel of the web-site should be like.

Analysis of competitor’s web-sites

Whatever the purpose of your web-site it is always useful to see what is already out there. This will provide you with many ideas on either what you want to do or what you do not want to do on your web-site. It also gives you an idea of how effective your web-site could be to serve whatever you need wish to achieve with it. This is a quick task that can add immense value to your final product.


With an understanding of the above issues, one can begin to build the web-site map. This is a description of the various pages, high level content and links between all the pages on the web-site. This will help you organise your thinking into something that begins to take the structure of what you would like to see on the internet once development is done. The sitemap is also a useful tool for the developer to quote you costs on as it quickly provides them with an idea on how complex the project you are looking it is. Again do not try to complicate the sitemap. Instead look for logical and simple relationships with a good flow between sections.

Domain Name

The next step is to decide on a domain name for your web-site. It is quite easy to register your own domain name. Your domain name should be short, memorable and easy to spell. The only detail you will have to remember is your web host’s domain name server (DNS) number. Before you select a name you should conduct a trademark search at a corporate registry office – you wouldn’t want to have to change your domain name after having it go live after a big corporate company approaches your for infringing on copyright!

3. General Content and Look and Feel

Above and beyond the specific content you would have decided on to meet your objective or goal there are some general content categories that you should include to make the web-site surfer friendly. This includes: –

  • About us
  • Products and Services
  • FAQ
  • Customer Support
  • Contact information
  • Value-Added content
  • Site map – or search function
  • Privacy policy and legal information

Once someone looks at your site, the objective is to keep them there. The initial layout (landing page) is crucial and could turn someone away, irrespective of the content. Keep a lookout for colours, layout and simplicity. By keeping it simple, they can easily find what they want without effort. Thus navigation should be easy enough and a “site map” could also assist in finding information.

4. Selecting the right development path

Two options exist, namely, building the site yourself or getting another an “expert” to build it for you. The former option allows you control over development. Given the number of tools available, at a cheap price, this is an option that can be pursued with little investment. To improve the look, templates for typical sites can be bought and these provide a good starting point for content and layout. The disadvantage is that the exercise could be time consuming, especially the first attempt. If you wish to pursue the self development route you may always use online tools such as Joomla ( ) with the use of a guide. The second option of getting someone else can be more expensive. However, the end result might be more professional and could include enhancements to the site. Reputable web developers can also provide suggestions on their previous efforts. This would ensure that proven examples and templates are used. The choice of right developer can be a tricky decision especially with the large number of services available on a global basis these days.

Create a list of candidates

The first thing you need to do is find the right developer for your requirements. A good start is once again with your competition or people/businesses that have a similar web-site to what you are currently trying to design. Referrals are a good way to find out what the quality of the service from a developer is like. Another way is to search your area for developers. It is best to find a developer that you could meet with face-to-face as these interactions limit the amount of miscommunication and rework (and hence reduce the effort and cost of your project).

Narrow down the list

You should narrow down the list of candidates based on a few of your own criteria e.g. size of company, past projects, feedback on past work etc.

  • You can then contact these developers and ask them a series of questions which should include: -Have you worked on a similar project in my industry?
  • How can you assure me that the site will be done on time and on budget?
  • What main software applications do you use when developing a website?
  • Can I view the development of my site in progress?
  • What is your deposit fee (if any?)
  • How much will the site’s updates cost after the site is complete?
  • What makes you better than any other developer?

After you have narrowed down your list even further you should ask all the developers on the list for a web development proposal that includes a cost quote. Your plan will be the biggest piece of input the developer will use to base his proposal on. Don’t get too excited about low quotes – you usually get what you pay for. A very low quote could mean the developer is unqualified to provide a quality end product, while an abnormally high quote may indicate that the developer believes you are willing to pay more than you need to. A web development proposal should contain timelines, targets and costs. It should also have a communication plan to allow you to manage the content of your web-site during development.

5. After your website is Online


You do not really want to be concerned about the general maintenance of your web-site. It is usually better to outsource your maintenance. Most developers also provide for a maintenance fee to help with updating or changing content etc. If you are outsourcing the development of your site, request a maintenance quote as well.


Once you have a working web-site half of your effort is completed J. Remember that the web-site will only be as effective as the number of people that actually ends up on it and using it for whatever purpose it was built. Therefore once your site is online, it is a good idea to implement a marketing strategy to generate traffic. Depending on the marketing budget, you may wish to advertise your site on the web or register it with Internet search engines and directories. It can be effective to advertise your site in trade related publications or associations (online and print). If you have other material linked to the content of the web-site it is also useful to incorporate your web-address into all other marketing publications – brochures, business cards, radio and television advertisements, and e-mail signatures. Your site should also have the ability report the number of daily web visits and length and the origin of each visit. There are a variety of free and pay-per-use web traffic tools available on the Internet. This will help you determine if your marketing strategy is effective or not.

6. Conclusion

Good luck with your web-site design. Remember that the web-site is your face on the net so spend some quality time on it.


For more information you can email Jeff at  Author Profile

Common Web Design Issues – Graphics

While we all want great looking web sites, we also want web sites that folks can get to quickly (page load times) and look good. You really need to pay attention to the graphics that you use. I will outline some of the most common mistakes I see in regards to graphics on web sites and outline a few things to improve them. It is easy for folks with high speed connections to forget that not all of your web site visitors have the same speed connection, and good design is also considering what slower speed users see your pages at.

Probably the most common mistake I see is when someone posts pictures directly from their camera to their web site without first optimizing them for the web, I also commonly see this with various web page elements such as navigation buttons, company logo’s etc.
The big difference between graphics utilized in print media vs graphics used on web sites is the resolution or dpi. Where you want 300 dpi images or greater for printing flyers and brochures etc, anything more than 72 dpi is not seen in web browsers. If you post a picture directly from your camera, it is not uncommon to see 1200 dpi or higher, which results in a much larger file than one at 72 dpi. On the web, the larger the files used to make a page, the slower the page loads. This is compounded when folks post several full size pictures on one page. It also consumes more of your valuable web disk space and bandwidth. There are a lot of good tools available for optimizing web graphics, Paintshop, Photoshop, Fireworks, and many others as well as several online tools that will optimize graphics for you. I will put some links to some of the tools at the bottom of this article.

Another trick which most of the good graphic editors allow you to do, is try saving the image in gif, jpg, and png formats to see which results in the smallest file size with the best clarity. I find that unless a graphic is less than 256 colors, usually .jpg or .png are the optimal formats to use. Also be careful to leave your original graphic in whatever format it is without changing its resolution so you always can go back to it if you need to edit it etc.. Do a file “Save As” to create the image you will optimize and place on your web page.

Another common problem is having too many graphic elements on a web page. In many cases purchased templates have tons of filler graphics which are dumped directly out of Photoshop or one of the web design packages, often you can replace those filler elements with html background colors etc to reduce your page size. And you should always optimize all of the graphics on your web pages.

If you are displaying a lot of photo’s, it is good practice to create smaller thumbnail images of the photo’s and have those on your web page so it loads faster, and if visitors want to view the full size images, they can click on the thumbnails to see them. An example would be these pictures (click here) of me and one of my dogs. It shows how you can have many pictures on one page without downloading the full size images.

I also often see the misuse of the html image size option. This happens when someone uses a larger image than what is displayed on the web page, for example a 400×400 graphic, but they just modify the html to display it at 100×100. It may look smaller, but reality is your visitors have to download the 400×400 image which is much larger. Resize your graphics to be what they should be rather than just changing the html. Your visitors will appreciate it.

Here are some tools that I find useful for web graphics:

Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9

Rapidly prototype and design for the web. Adobe® Fireworks® CS4

Create powerful images with the professional standard. Adobe® Photoshop® CS4

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