Internet Business – Make Sure You Have a Fantastic Strategy

When you’re seeking a work at home opportunity, or want to launch a business for yourself with little to no start-up costs, you need to develop a strategy for your Internet business before you start taking action.

Having a strategy for your Internet business means plotting out your idea’s progress before you actually implement it.  That may mean writing an outline of steps to take or creating a mind map of ideas you have to generate a profit for your business.

There are many things you’ll need to know for your strategy for your Internet business, such as who will handle the product creation or service.  Will you outsource it and only maintain ownership or do it yourself?

Part of your strategy for your Internet business will be how to promote your ideas.  Do you need to purchase advertising space in ezines, on websites, and through traffic exchanges or will you use free promotion opportunities like article directories, press release distribution services, and forum participation?

Sometimes each aspect of your strategy for your Internet business will need to be broken down with a plan of its own. For instance, if social networking is part of your plan, then you might have a blueprint for MySpace, another for Squidoo, and more for each social network that you plan to invade.

When you have a strategy for your Internet business, you want to make sure you have firm plans in place, but be flexible about the evolution of your business.  You may stumble upon information or a new tactic that needs to make its way into your plans, and if you’re too rigid, it can impair your success.

A staple for your strategy for your Internet business should be testing and tweaking.  Without testing various methods of doing business, you won’t ever be able to leverage the full potential of profits you have access to on the ‘net.

If you’re spending a large portion of your time submitting articles to directories or a huge portion of your budget advertising in eZines and never get any sales from them, then you’ll know trough testing and tracking that this particular strategy for your Internet business either needs massive revisions or to be cut from your plans altogether.

Creating a plan shouldn’t take all of your time or effort, but it is an integral part of your online success.  Fleshing out a strategy for your Internet business also contributes to your ability to see where a business might get into trouble and helps you avoid the mishaps that often accompany a novice’s journey to unlimited profit potential.

Cloaking Your Links to Protect Your Commission 

Link cloaking is a very important part of affiliate marketing.  In a nutshell, link cloaking is a way to protect your affiliate commissions from being stolen.  It’s not totally foolproof.  Smart individuals who are well-educated about the matter can still figure out how to keep you from getting your commission.

Most people won’t go that far, so cloaking your links will prevent most commission loss. How do people steal affiliate commissions?  Have you ever hovered over a link and noticed that the link was an obvious affiliate link?

Some people type in the parent domain instead of clicking the link as a way of making sure the owner of the site gets paid 100% for the sale.  Some people falsely believe that if they buy from an affiliate link, they’ll have to pay more for a commission mark-up.

Some people actually do it for a different reason.  If you’re promoting a ClickBank product, especially to other marketers, many of them know they can insert their own ClickBank ID and get what’s usually a 50% or more discount on the product.

This is a different type of affiliate commission theft, because the person doing it gets the affiliate commission themselves, rather than just making sure you don’t get it.  Most people don’t do that, of course.

Most people are pretty honest, and don’t mind giving you a little affiliate commission in exchange for recommending a good product to them.  But it’s enough of a concern that you should take steps to prevent it.

You can easily set up your own link cloaking system.  What you would do is set up a directory on one of your domains.  Most marketers use the domain of their own name, as in bobsmith.com.  They typically have a subdirectory called /recommends/.

Then in that directory, they create a new subdirectory for each product.  It would look something like this: http://www.bobsmith.com/recommends/awesomeproductname. In that directory, they place a very simple PHP redirect called index.php.

Whenever they send someone to the above link, the script will redirect to your affiliate link.  All you have to do is create a file in Notepad or your favorite HTML editor and name is index.php.  Then paste the following information into the file and upload it to your directory:

There are a number of link cloaking scripts available.  Most of them are relatively easy to install and use.  There’s a big benefit to using a script rather than doing it yourself.  Using your simple redirect, there isn’t an easy way to check how much traffic you’ve sent to your link.

Most link cloaking scripts allow you to add new links very easily within an administrative area, and then each link is tracked so that you can see how much traffic is going through the link.  If you use your own file, the only way to tell how much traffic you’ve sent is through your affiliate stats, which may be inaccurate, or through your web server’s stats, which may be clunky to use or hard to understand.

Another way you can do it is to use a link cloaking tool, such as Go Try This.  This lets you enter the raw affiliate link and name your link whatever you want as an extension of your domain. Then you can log in and check stats to see how the top 10 links are performing using a diagram and bar graph.

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