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          A Home-Based Business Online


          
           
            

          Issue 111 : December 3

          Sent to 12,625 Opt-In Subscribers

          Editor: Elena Fawkner
           Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
           http://www.shelteredturtle.com
           Contact By Email





           IN THIS ISSUE



        1.     Welcome and Update from Elena
        2.     Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Mystery Shopper
        3.     Feature Article - Writing for the Web
        4.     Surveys and Trends
        6.     Subscription Management
        8.     Contact Information



        1.     Welcome and Update from Elena


        Hello again and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers
        who have joined us since the last issue.

        This week's feature article is all about writing for the web
        ... why it's different from other forms of writing, how users
        read on the web (believe it or not, that's different too) and
        how you can make simple changes to your webpages to
        take advantage of these differences.

        As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this
        week's issue. 

        Remember, AHBBO is for YOU!  If you have comments or
        suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed, or
        would just like to share your experiences with other
        subscribers, I want to hear from you.  Please send
        comments, questions and stories to Contact By Email .





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        2.     Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Mystery Shopper


        Be a Mystery Shopper? Who me?

        Mystery shoppers are not all that mysterious, but they do have
        a cool name. They aren't detectives trying to solve a crime, and
        they don't wear obscure clothing and dark glasses. They don't
        carry spy equipment and they don't sneak around, like someone
        on the prowl. Instead, they walk around like any other "ordinary"
        shopper and shop.

        Their goal is to shop without being so conspicuous that they are
        observed observing the store employees or store itself. They
        have a set criteria that must be followed, whether it be checking
        out the merchandise, observing the store clerks, tasting the
        quality of the food, or experiencing the dreaded "return of an
        item."

        Mystery Shoppers are often on a deadline. Their job is to enter a
        store, restaurant, or other facility, follow their list of criteria and
        be out of the store without anyone becoming suspicious of their
        purpose. Sometimes they have to arrive at exactly 4 p.m. Other
        times, they have a window frame of 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. And other
        times, they are given a week in which to complete their
        assignment.

        Mystery Shoppers must fill out questionnaires such as:

        "How long did it take you to get seated?"
        "How long did you wait for your food?"
        "Was your food hot when it arrived?"
        "When you walked into the store, how were you greeted?"
        "Did you find everything easily and if not, when you asked for
        help, how were you helped?"
        "Give a detailed account of what followed when you asked for
        the out of stock item."
        "How many customers were in the stores and how were they
        being helped?"
        "What did the bathrooms look like? Were they properly stocked
        and clean?"
        "After handing the money to the clerk, what did he or she do
        with the money?"
        "Were the advertised specials displayed according to the
        following standards?"

        With so many questions, it can often be difficult to remember
        everything. Some Mystery Shoppers have come up with a little
        system to help them along the way.

        For the rest of this report, visit
        http://www.shelteredturtle.com/mystery.html .

        -----

        There are many more ideas like this at the AHBBO Home Business
        Ideas page at free home based business ideas with more being
        added regularly.




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        3.     Feature Article:  Writing for the Web


        © 2017 Elena Fawkner

        When researching this week's article, I went looking for
        resources related to "writing for the web".  I found a great
        deal of useful information, which I'm going to share with you
        in a minute.  But in my travels, I came across this little gem
        from the website of a professional writer, no less, trying to
        sell me on why I should use his services if I want to make a
        good impression on my website visitors:

        -----

        揟oday's readers and Web browsers demand frankness and
        verisimilitude, so your written communications require exacting
        professional integrity with accurate and adequate research.

        "For concrete, colorful and dynamic written material that willfully
        attracts customers, Bob Tony* will work with you to develop
        unrivaled written communications for your marketing materials,
        grants, newsletters, Web site, or other publications and articles.
        To ensure your writing tasks with pacesetting presentation and
        unparalleled, consistent editorial power, give your deadlines to
        Bob Tony*."

        -----
        * Name changed to protect the ostentatious and largiloquent.

        Good grief.  "Verisimilitude"?  I had to look it up.  I'm sure you
        all know what it means but in case there's another ignoramus out
        there besides me, it means "the quality of appearing to be true or
        real".  How ironic.  "Willfully" attracting customers?  And does
        that last sentence even make sense?

        Consider that a shining example of how it's NOT done (writing for
        the web, that is).

        Before we get to *how* to write well for the web, a brief pause
        to consider *why* it's important to do so at all.  The reason is
        that the Internet is an information medium.  As a general rule,
        people are looking for information about something when they
        come online.  You have to supply some of the information sought
        by part of that market (i.e., your target market) if you want your
        share of traffic to your website.  You do that by creating quality
        content.  In order to create quality content, you need to be able
        to write for the web.  Is writing for the web really all that
        different from writing generally?  Yes.  And here's why.

        WHY WRITING FOR THE WEB IS DIFFERENT

        The first thing you need to understand is how users read on the
        web.  Unlike reading a book, online readers scan, or skim, the
        page, looking for particular keywords relevant to the subject
        about which they are interested.  They don't start at the top of
        the page and work their way down, reading every sentence. 

        Some other things you need to know about your typical site
        visitor (let's just call him Sam to make it easier):  Sam detests
        hyperbole.  Nothing turns him off faster.  So keep the marketing
        hype to a minimum and instead make your content objective
        and somewhat restrained. 

        Sam is also an impatient sod.  He's going to quickly scan the
        page (as we've seen) and he's going to rely on your headings
        and subheadings to orient himself.  And he doesn't want to have
        to hunt for your point.  Give it to him upfront.  Also, because
        Sam really hates this, avoid lengthy webpages that make him
        have to scroll to keep reading.  And keep the whole thing short
        and to the point besides.  If you don't, he's out of there in five
        seconds flat.

        So, now that we understand a little bit about Sam, what can
        we do to capture his attention and keep it long enough to give
        him what he wants?

        SCANNABLE TEXT

        To help Sam scan your text and find what he's looking for quickly,
        highlight keywords and phrases (either by bolding, using color, a
        different font effect, whatever will catch his attention).  Make
        sure you use meaningful subheadings, i.e. ensure your subheading
        makes sense without having to read the text below to put it into
        context. 

        Avoid lengthy paragraphs and make sure each paragraph deals
        with only one idea.  Instead of long paragraphs, use bulleted lists
        containing short, high-impact sentences. 

        Another crucial point is to use the "inverted pyramid" principle. 
        This just means that you state your conclusion or most important
        information up front, and then use the rest of the body of your
        text to elaborate and explain.  Kind of like a newspaper story.

        And because Sam hates to scroll, break your text into logical
        stand-alone sub-parts of no longer than a single page (or
        screen) and then link (with a meaningfully-worded link) to the
        next section which starts on a new page.

        FEWER WORDS THE BETTER

        Make sure your writing is not woolly.  You need to write with the
        precision of a surgeon wielding a scalpel.  No superfluous words
        allowed.  Write for effect, by all means, but get to the point and
        fast!  In other words, be succinct.

        CREDIBILITY

        Nothing gets that mouse finger itchier than the perception that
        the author of the work lacks credibility.  The top three culprits
        are hyperbole (avoid marketing hype at all costs and go for
        restrained objectivity instead), typos and grammatical errors. 

        Sam likes to think you've done your homework too so make sure
        you include links to reputable sources elsewhere on the web (but
        not too many or you risk losing him for good). 

        TONE

        One of the major differences in writing for the web compared to
        other forms of writing is the inherently impersonal nature of the
        medium.  Instead of holding a comfortably reassuring book in
        his hands, or getting black smudge on his fingers from the
        newspaper, Sam's only contact with you is your words on a
        computer screen.  You need to overcome the impersonal nature
        of the medium if you expect to reach Sam with your words.  It
        is for this reason that "write as you speak" is so much the norm
        on the Internet. 

        Be informal and conversational in your writing (note, this is NOT
        a license to churn out shoddy, unprofessional work- writing
        conversationally and informally is every bit as demanding as
        writing formally, if not more so) and be personal while you're at
        it (use "you" and "your" a lot).  Most importantly, allow your
        personality to come through.  You need to connect with Sam
        before he will invest in you so make sure you reach him with
        your writing.

        DESIGN AND LEGIBILITY

        Finally, just because it's less comfortable to read from a computer
        screen than a book or newspaper doesn't mean you can't make it
        less uncomfortable.  Choose the font you use with care.  Times is
        a common default font for a lot of web pages but it doesn't
        損ixellate" well.  Better choices are Arial or Verdana.

        Consider your choice of color and contrast carefully too.  A dark
        font on a light background is best for lengthy reading sessions but
        a light font on a dark background can be effective if used
        sparingly.

        So there you have it.  Some relatively quick and easy steps
        you can take today to make it more likely Sam will get your
        message.  And come back for more.

        ------








        ------








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        4.     Surveys and Trends


        © Ryanna's Hope

        WHICH WAY IS THE HOLIDAY SHOPPING HEADED?

        => Top Expected Retail Sellers: Toys & Children's Clothes:
        In an October poll of 1,000 consumers, here's what added up
        according to America Research: More shoppers (41.3%, up
        from 25.4%) plan to give gift certificates this Christmas and
        31.4% plan to give cash versus 23.4% last Christmas梩he
        reason cited was the promise of bigger savings during after-
        Christmas sales for the recipients.

        => On-line shopping will increase from 14.4% to 18.4% with
        families expecting to spend $246.15 in 2001, compared to
        $200.32 last season.

        => Less shopping will be done at enclosed malls this year with
        30.6% saying less and only 17.7% saying more, a ratio of 2 to
        1 on the negative side. A year ago, 22.1% said less and 18.1
        said more which had a very narrow range. Additionally 21.2 %
        say they will avoid malls if possible due to the recent Anthrax
        scare.

        => Retailers need to be aware that 61.9% of Americans intend
        to shop at stores giving a portion of their profits to victims of
        the September 11th attacks.

        => Over half of the consumers surveyed said they will be looking
        for "Made in America" products this Christmas.

        => Consumers expect to complete their holiday shopping much
        earlier this year with 60% intending to finish by December 15th,
        compared to 47.3% last year.

        => 20.5% say they will be going to fewer Christmas parties this
        year

        ARE YOU WATCHING THE YOUNG IN AMERICA?
        YOUTH.....SUPPOSE YOU ONLY MADE A "BUCK" ON EACH ONE?

        Marketers who want to capitalize on the future of the Internet
        must take advantage of the more than 65 million youths between
        the ages of 5 and 17 with Internet access at home and their $60
        billion in disposable income, according to Datamonitor.

        Several challenges await marketers looking to reach the online
        youth market. To attract and retain this demanding audience, Web
        sites must be designed around the specific characteristics of
        their target audience: Boys seek novelty and entertainment, while
        girls enjoy fulfilling goals and prefer to feel part of a
        community. Teens are rarely impressed by generic teen-oriented
        Web sites, preferring to find sites that support their interests.
        A considerable proportion of today's youths already have access
        to the Internet, either at home or through school computers. In
        addition to the 65.3 million with Internet access at home,
        Datamonitor found 54.1 million youths with access to the Internet
        at school. The potential for marketing online to the 5 to 17-
        year-old set becomes even more apparent when it is considered
        that they currently spend 5 billion hours online annually.
        (source: cyberatlas)

        HERE'S HOW TEENS ARE INFLUENCED BY ADVERTISING! SO USE IT!

        1. Give-aways offering such things as CD's or posters of popular
        bands 50.1 (in percentages)

        2. Use of brand names 49.2

        3. Use of popular musical groups that appeal to teens 37.6

        4. Use of upbeat lyrics in a commercial's music 34.8

        5. Promotional events offering reduced priced 32.4

        THE SENIOR MARKET
        A 15% MARKET LOOKING FOR SPECIFIC ITEMS!

        The five top uses of the Web by senior citizens are: using e-
        mail, looking up hobby information, seeking financial
        information, reading the news and checking weather reports.

        Wired seniors look much like the early Internet population. About
        60 percent are men, and wired seniors are more likely than their
        offline peers to be married, highly educated and enjoying
        relatively high retirement incomes.

        "Wired seniors may be small in number, but they make up for that
        by their enthusiasm for doing things online," said Susannah Fox,
        director of research for the Pew Internet & American Life
        Project. "More than any other age group, wired seniors see the
        Internet as a way to keep in touch with family members."

        Only 15% of Americans 65 and over are on the Internet. (source:
        Pew Internet)

        ------

        WANT MORE?

        Ryanna's has published over 45 business articles nationwide
        for the home entrepreneur. You can obtain free info about their
        offer of  "Cash Making you've Never Seen..." and you can
        obtain free ebooks and other articles at their site. Subscribe to
        their free ezine "Surveys and Trends For Entrepreneurs" too!
        Go to:





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        6.     Subscription Management



         

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        8.     Contact Information


        Elena Fawkner, Editor
        A Home-Based Business Online
        Contact By Email
        http://www.shelteredturtle.com


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        All Rights Reserved

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