Open Source and Attribution License Images

Good blog posts need an image to get read, but you can’t pull images off of Google image search, the main Flickr site, or anywhere else that doesn’t explicitly allow us to use their images without violating someone’s copyright. They just don’t belong to you.

Copyright is important because if you use someone else’s work on your commercial product, you can be sued and you would lose. You need to use images that have an open-use license, meaning that we’re allowed to use them without permission from the author.

Here are some great places that I use for images:

Track Outbound Clicks – Easy

If you’re an analytics junkie (I am) you want to know not only why people came to your site, but also why they left. I’m using to track outbound clicks for several sites now. I use a couple of generic links for the majority of my outbound traffic and some specific links for things I’m really interested in – like links to product pages and partner sites.

For the generic links, I download the report every so often and sort it in Excel to get an idea of where my traffic is going. This is an excellent place to look for new business opportunities.

URL Tracking Service

If you’re a big-time social networker, you probably make use of link shortening services to make long ugly URL’s into shorter ones. What you may not know is that there are several good shortening services that also provide tracking information for the links you create. Here’s one of my favorites:

Advertising on a Budget

Almost any business owner has times when business is good and other times when business is in a bit of a slump. There are also those times when you are just starting out in a new business venture. You know that good marketing and advertising is key to the success of your business. But how can you market with very little money in your marketing budget?

There are several ways you can advertise your business and promote your website online while still spending little and in many cases even no money. Even when your business is up and running or you get out of the slump, many of these marketing methods are still very effective approaches that can be used for years to come in combination with some paid advertising.

I think we all know the important role search engines play in the number of visitors our websites receive. A majority of online users find a website through the use of their favorite search engines. Of course, there are paid methods to improving your chances that search engine users will visit your site. You can utilize PPC programs and many search engines offer paid inclusion options. However, there are steps you can take to improve your odds with search engines without spending any money.

Take your time when creating your website to ensure that it is search engine friendly. Think about the keywords that you anticipate users will use to find your website. Be certain to use these keywords several times in the content of your website. Create quality content for your website. Search engines like content and people want useful and interesting content to view when visiting websites.

Another step that you will want to take when working to improve your search engine rankings is to find some inbound links to your website. You may be able to join link exchanges. Consider finding websites that relate to your own. If these are quality websites with good PR, ask the webmaster if they would be willing to exchange links with you. You can also write articles for websites and ezines. In most cases you will be able to include al ink to your website in these articles, thus providing even more incoming links to your website.

Search engines are just one of the ways to bring visitors to your site. You can promote your website and establish a positive reputation for yourself through forums. There are a variety of forums on the Internet, covering various topics. Find forums that are related to your own products and services. Be an active member of the forums by providing helpful information to other forum users. Share your knowledge with others so that they can see you really know what you are talking about when it comes to your area of business. Many forums will allow you to include your URL in your signature, thus providing you with more links to you site.

Some forums even provide you with a way to promote and advertise your services directly. They may provide a marketplace where business owners can offer services to other forum members. Often times, members can request services that they need as well. If you can provide a service that another forum user needs, you can reply to their post with information about your services and business. Forums are an excellent way to bring more visitors to your site and in some cases to even make sales quickly. For example, if a forum member needs web hosting and you tell them about an excellent plan your company offers, they may sign up for hosting right away!

You may even want to submit your URL to directories on the Web. For example, submit your site to DMOZ. If your site is accepted for inclusion, you are likely to receive some visitors as a result of your listing on this site. Find directories related to your industry. Submit your URL in the category that is most likely to attract individuals to your target market. Some directories do charge for listings but others are free. You will find some directories that allow you to submit your URL in exchange for nothing. Others will ask that you include a link back to their directory. It will depend on each individual directory.

Offering special promotions on your website may also help you to market your business and website. If you offer excellent deals and announce on your site that you actively change your sales and bonuses to offer even more exciting promotions, visitors to your site may come back to make additional purchases or they may check your promotions until they find one meeting their needs and then you will make a sale. If your business makes a really great offer or is having a spectacular sale, visitors may also tell their friends about your website. Word of mouth can lead to many sales.

When promoting your site, be creative. Take your time to think of ways to attract visitors to your site and to make them want to return to your site in the future. A marketing campaign does not necessarily need to cost much money in order to be thankful. In fact, some of the most effective methods may only cost you some time.