With each New Year comes a whole host of ideas, thoughts and ambitions, but how many of last years ambitions did you fulfill? How many fell by the wayside? Can you even remember them?

We all have ambitions about our business ventures and these often materialize at the start of a New Year when everything is fresh and we have 12 months of trading to look forward to. We all know that it is only businesses which have plans, have ideas and have focus which will succeed. Moving from one area and one venture to the next will work for some people, but very often you will end up with a number of unfinished businesses – all of which may have had potential, but you just did not finish off.

Why not try something different for next year?

As the New Year approaches why not sit down and write down your hopes and dreams for the coming year, where you want your business to be and where you think it will be month by month. A 1 year plan is difficult to visualize but a month by month planner is easier to track and easier to amend and adjust to take into account current circumstances.

If you can achieve only 50% of your goals for the year you will be doing very well, and if you do this in your business life then you will probably be a lot wealthier than at the start of the year!

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While there are many ways to promote your site, banners, pay per click or link exchanges to name but a few, how much money should you put towards promotion? Should you set aside a percentage of your income each month or should you use a set figure?

While there are many different things to consider such as, the effectiveness of promoting in certain areas, actual profit per sale and the age of your business, many people like to retain a certain percentage of their profit each month (if in profit) to reinvest into the business. However, you should only reinvest into the business when you can see a tangible return on investment. There is no point promoting your site purely so that you can have you name in the public eye – you need to see an increase in sales and a return on your investment.

There are no set rules as to how much you should retain to promote your site, or whether you should actually retain a specific amount of cash for promotion – it is up to you as you are the one who should know where to promote and what kind of return you can expect.

In the early days you may actually need to reinvest all of your profits back into the business, where you can, in order to build for the future. There is no point in bleeding your business dry while it is still young and stunting the potential growth for the future. A company needs to breath, to grow and above all to be fed – the food in this instance is your promotional budget.

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The short answer is YES, if you want to make money and don’t sell a service or a product!

As more and more areas of business become hard to break into, because of massive saturation on the internet, many webmasters are turning to advisory, information based sites where free advice is given. This can attract a whole host of traffic, but it can be difficult to actually make it pay – well actually impossible unless you have some kind of advertising program.

Many people look at Adsense, some use Amazons advertising program or even Adbrite – again there are so many to choose from. While Adsense is by far the more popular, is does not always pay the best prices per click, and if you are too successful they can actually reduce your income by reducing your payments per click – strange but actually true, and known as “Smart Pricing”.

Whatever advertising service you do decide to use you need to ensure that it suits your site, blends in with the overall look and feel of the pages and also advertises what you are talking about – there is no point talking about football only for our adverts to promote mobile phones, it just will not work. Keep you’re advertising programs lean, mean and to the point – they really need to compliment your content and blend into the site so as not to come over as too aggressive.

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While big is not always beautiful in the business world, it sometimes pays to think big to get the best deal for yourself, and make more money from your sales. But how many people have the bottle to take that chance? To step into the unknown? To flash the cash?

Whatever commercial website you are operating, if you are successful then at some stage you will be faced with a very difficult decision – do you move up to another level, or do you stop growing and trade at a level you can currently cope with? Unfortunately it is not as easy as that because any company which is not growing, not moving with the times, is a company that has started the decent into oblivion – a site which is in effect dying.

This can pose a very difficult decision for any webmasters, the need to start buying products in bulk or entertaining more clients, but needing to find a way to service them all, on time and to the highest quality. In essence, this is the time when you might decide whether to take someone else on to help you with the business, but you do need to be very careful.

There are many people out there who will join up with you, check out how you run your business and copy it. This can lead to another difficult decision, do you employ someone you already know or do you void mixing business and pleasure at all costs?

This is just a small selection of the potential hazards of growing and growing, and while they can be managed easily if you plan ahead, it can be daunting when you need to take on extra risks, while increasing your over heads at the same time. Then again, there could be worse positions to be in – like no customers

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How many times have you looked at a site on the internet and spotted some Adsense there for you to click on? How many times have you actually clicked on the ads? Have you even read the ads? Research has shown that Adsense may not be the answer to all webmaster income issues, with more people being turned off than ever before.

We are not saying that Adsense does not have a place in the online business world, because it does and will have for some time yet, but the impact it can have on your site has reduced substantially. We are now seeing more and more people looking towards affiliate programs which can be discreetly hidden within the text of your site for the soft sell approach – not bold and brass like the Adsense blocks which are so popular today.

Interestingly, we have also seen a reduction in the click values for many Adsense ads over the last few months, with many reporting to have been hit by what has become known as “smart pricing”. While never really acknowledged by Google, many believe that the owners of Adsense have incorporated some kind of pull back system in their Adsense model to reign in the income of those who are racing ahead. Quite how, or even whether it is really happening remains to be seen, but many webmasters are experiencing sudden drops in their income for short periods and then a return to “normal” levels.

As the old saying goes “Do not put all of your eggs into one basket” – i.e. spread your risk!

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For those who have not come across MFA sites before, they are sites specifically Made For Adsense. These are sites which don’t sell anything, they just give out information about any subject you would care to mention. The subject matter is used to entice visitors to the site, and then visitors are tempted into clicking on the Adsense – which should also be focused on the subject matter. But are they safe?

Even though it is possible to create a network of MFA sites which can potentially bring in substantial amounts of money, it can be risky. It just takes Adsense to suspend your account or someone to report you, and your income could disappear overnight. While there are actions which you can take to minimise the chances of this happening to you, there are occasions when it can be out of your control.

Like any business which you may look to build up, it is sensible not to put all of your “eggs in one basket”, and you should consider using a number of different advertising mediums. While they may give greatly differing rates of return, it is still sensible to reduce your dependency on one particular advertiser, just in case something unforeseen where to happen.

Why not consider affiliate links? Selling advertising space? Paid posts? These are just a selection of the other income streams which you could consider, but it would obviously depend upon the type(s) of site you were creating.

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