Tax Tips for an Internet Home Business

Internet home business tax tipsLate this past April as I sat on-board an Amtrak train on my way from Chicago to Washington DC, I was calculating my internet home business expenses.  I am not a tax attorney or an accountant. Any advice you take from this article should be reviewed by a qualified tax adviser.  But, I have been in the Internet Home Business niche for five years, and I follow these same tax tips for a home business in my business.  After all, I am a small business owner.

I decided to write an article on Tax Tips for a Home Business

 

Tax Tips for a Home Business: The Basics

 

Having you own home business means you are self-employed.  You do not need to run your Internet home business full-time to qualify for itemized deductions.  I list my profession on my tax return as self-employed. I do some contract work for two major insurance companies.  In the past, they sent me a 1099 each year, but recently switched over to W-2’s.  I like W-2’s better. Using this format, they deduct my Federal, State, Local and FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes. Under this label, I have access or complete Schedule C where I itemize my business expenses.

 

 

Tax Tips for a Home Business: Treat Your Business as Business, not a Hobby.

 

If you are earning more than $600/year from any venture, you will receive a 1099 from the paying company.  By law, they must provide you a 1099.  I’ve received 1099’s from a lot of Internet marketing affiliate programs.   These are earnings!  You pay taxes on these earnings.  You spent money to earn this money.   Claim these expenses on your taxes.

 

 

Tax Tips for a Home Business: Deductible Items

 

These are just a few of the deductions you can claim for your home business:

 

  • Use of a home office
  • Membership Fees… such as any monthly expense for your Empower Network Business. Or, the one-time charges for Costa-Rica, the $15K Formula, etc..
  • Event Tickets: I bought a ticket for both the Austin and Chicago events. These are deductible expenses.
  • Transportation: I spent about $300 for a round trip train ticket from Washington, DC to Chicago.  Another deduction on next year’s taxes.
  • Any local travel to meet with people to discuss your Internet home business. Don’t miss any opportunity to simply talk the business with someone wherever you go.  If you take a trip to visit family two states away from you, tell them about your business and claim more deductions.
  • Meals:  These add up!  The IRS does not need to see receipts for any expense under $25, but keep copious notes on all meals.
  • Supplies:  Anything you purchase anywhere that supports your business: stamps, postage, notebooks, pens, pencils.  And, don’t overlook that new computer or pad or printer or fax you purchased this year.  Or, that new smart phone! Did you purchase new office furniture for your home business? It’s deductible.  I usually use a depreciation schedule for these higher ticket purchases.  But, if  you use a tax program like HR Block or Turbo Tax, these programs walk you through the process.
  • Advertising:  Google Adword campaigns, Facebook ads, traffic exchanges, safe lists, solo ads, etc.  Anything that you pay for is tax deductible.

 

Tax Tips for a Home Business: Include Your Subscriptions

 

These are additional expenses that you should deduct in addition to those mentioned above. What are you paying for monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually to support your Internet home business.  There are several tools that you need. For example, I use GetResponse as my primary email marketing program, HostGator for my web hosting.  These are examples of monthly expenses.  Additionally, I use Social Monkee to help build back-links and drive traffic to my website(s).  And, I use a number of additional services that I pay for annually. I use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to track these expenses.

 

In summary, these are a some tax tips for a home business that you should be using. Treat your business as a business and manage your expenses.  With 2013 quickly coming to a close, it’s a good idea to go back and add up all those expenses. Don’t let it wait until next year. And, for more information I would highly recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified tax advisor.

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Email Marketing Success

 

5 Quick Tips on Achieving Email Marketing Success

Email marketing can be profitable for any Internet or network marketing business, no matter what kind of product or service you offer. It is less expensive than other advertising methods and, if done right, helps build know, like and trust with your subscribers. As a result, you generate more sales and more profits!

The foundation for successful email marketing is a targeted, permission-based email list.  Successful marketers call their lists their ‘goldmine!’  I’m sure you have heard this before:

The money is in your list!

If you build a list of opt-in subscribers that are qualified and interested in what you have to offer, then you’ve completed the first step and are on your way. Next, it’s time to ‘mine’ for gold!

Below you’ll find tips on how to achieve email marketing success! These ideas will help you get the best results from all your email marketing activities:

Email marketing success: Tip 1; Provide useful, relevant content.

Your visitors will not give you their email addresses just because they can subscribe to your free newsletter. You have to provide unique and valuable information that will be of interest or use to them. Find free things, like eBooks and videos, that you can share with your subscribers.

Email marketing success: Tip 2; Add a subscription form to every page on your website.

Make sure it stands out so it is easy to find. If it doesn’t look cluttered, you may want to include more than one on some pages. For instance, if your opt-in form always appears in the top-left corner of your site, you may want to add one at the end of your most popular articles.

Email marketing success: Tip 3; Add subscription forms to your social media pages.

Make sure that you don’t waste this valuable source of revenue opportunities. Integrate your sign-up forms with Facebook and more! This is easy to do with GetResponse! You will need to have a Facebook fan page or business page, but this is easy to set up.  You can then integrate your business page with a GetResponse opt-in form.

Email marketing success; Tip 4; Make it easy for readers to sign up.

The more information you request, the fewer people will opt-in. In most cases, a name and an email address should suffice. If it’s not necessary, don’t include it. You do not need to ask for their phone number and home address. You can always survey them once they’re customers! I do recommend that you provide a link to your Privacy Policy however.

Email marketing success; Tip 5; Publish a Privacy Policy.

Let your readers know that they can be confident you will not share their information with others. The easiest way to do this is to set up a Privacy Policy web page and provide the link to it below your opt-in form. (Note: If you don’t have one, put the words ‘privacy policy generator’ into a search engine and you should be able to find a suitable form to use.)  In other words, there are plenty of boiler plate privacy policy pages available on the Internet that are free and easy to use.  And, if you use WordPress as I do, there are free plugins available that will easily create a privacy policy for you.

In my opinion, GetResponse is the best email marketing software platform on the market today. I’ve been using it for six years and simply love it. Check it out for yourself in this short video!

 

World's Easiest Email Marketing!

 

In summary, I’ve offered you some great tips on getting your email marketing campaigns started. The money is in your list and it’s never too late to get started. But, you need to take action. GetResponse is an easy to use and highly intuitive email marketing platform. This is critical tool that all Internet marketers need. I consider myself very fortunate because I understand this when I first got started in Internet marketing six years ago!  On the other hand, I know a lot of people in the Internet marketing space that never took the time to build their list. Consequently, they are now trying to catch-up with more successful marketers. My recommendation is to take action and get started today!

Please post your valuable questions, comments and suggestions in the comments section below!

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Pure Leverage Business Opportunity

As I mentioned in my recent article, the Pure Leverage marketing tools can simply be used by Internet marketers as tools to grow their Internet home business,  or they can also be marketed as a separate business opportunity to generate residual income.

The purpose of this article is to provide my review on the…

Pure Leverage Business Opportunity

There are a ton of companies now tied to affiliate marketing. Companies that have large business models like Amazon.com, HostGator.com, iTunes Store, Mac App Store etc. Companies use affiliates to market their products and services. They pay their affiliates to market their products in a number of different ways.

This can be on simple points system to receive discounts.  It can be based on percentages of purchases. They can offer one time cash rewards or small percentages paid back based on the sales and performance by the affiliate.  Some are based on simple commission for signing up a new client. Many companies come up with their own rewards model and try to create frenzy by getting people to talk, and yes money always gets people talking!  But, the percentages are small and, in my opinion, they really stink.  This is no way to grow a Internet home business; at least not a successful business. The real key is finding a company that pays residual income and pay a great commission.

Pure Leverage Business Opportunity: 100 Percent Commissions

The Pure Leverage business opportunity is unique.  This internet home business now reflects a new trend in Internet and affiliate marketing. and this new trend is both exciting and rewarding to affiliate marketers.  The Pure Leverage business opportunity offers 100 percent commissions.  In my opinion, the management recognized the huge success of the Empower Network Business and made a sound decision.  This is just good business!  Pay your affiliates a 100 Percent commission.

Hey, its a competitive world out there.  Why pay affiliates a measly 5-30 percent commission for a one time sale? Why not jump on board a new business concept that really works. The new rant and rave is that Pure Leverage not only launched its new product line to the world. But they are paying out a whopping 100 percent  in commissions back to their affiliates, and they are paying residual income. Is this possible? You bet, the Pure Leverage business opportunity does exactly that.

 

Pure Leverage Business Opportunity: Is there a cost?

Yes. There is a very reasonable affiliate cost that you simply pay in order to receive these 100 percent commission. It’s only $19.97 per month. Let’s face it, the parent company has to make some profit. This affiliate price goes into paying  operating costs and it leaves the company with a profit margin it needs to offer these great services to you.  This is beyond fair. This is simply a fantastic opportunity for affiliates to really grow a successful Internet home business.

 

Pure Leverage Business Opportunity: Sales Funnel!

This is the most remarkable feature of the Pure leverage business opportunity.  Pure leverage provides their affiliates with tested and proven lead capture pages to capture leads, then provides help to convert these leads into sales for their affiliates.  In other words, they have a series of professionally developed follow-up emails that they send to your leads on your behalf.  These messages are already located in your auto-responder.  The most difficult thing to do in Internet marketing is to capture leads, then follow-up with those leads.  Pure leverage does this for you! They even provide statistics on the lead capture pages that have the highest conversion rate.

Click on the picture below of  just one of the lead capture pages available to see how the system works and to learn more about the Pure Leverage business opportunity!!

 

Pure leverage business opportunity

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WordPress Plugins for Your Internet Home Business Website

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use-wordpress-internet-home-businessWordPress plugins are one of the most remarkable features of this very powerful software tool that folks are using to build their Internet home Business.

If it is not already, it is quickly becoming the industry standard. In fact, if you are not using WordPress to build your Internet home business website, you are making a huge mistake. And, WordPress plugins provide the functionality for your website.

A plugin is actually a piece of software or code designed to perform a particular function.  For example, if you have an e-commerce website, you look for  a WordPress plugin.  Or, if you want to do invoicing directly from your Internet home business website, you simply look for WordPress plugin that is built to do that!  Furthermore, they are easy to find right from your WordPress dashboard and can be installed with the push of a button.

WordPress plugins can only be used on self-hosted WordPress websites.  This is another great reason to get your own hosting.  And, I recommend HostGator. All HostGator accounts come with Fantastico Delux… which provides a one-step installation of WordPress!  The service that WordPress offers for free blogs is simply fantastic and a great way to get content on the Internet.  However, it does not support WordPress Plugins!

Here is a list of standard WordPress Plugins that I highly recommend and personally use.

..just type the bolded name into the plugin search box.

Akismet:  Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam 24/7/365.  This will require you to get an API key at Akismet.com.  But, once you have your key, you can use it on multiple sites!

Jetpack by WordPress.com:  See this article on Jetpack by WordPressThis is a must add to any WordPress site!  It is multi-functional and replaces an earlier need for other plugins.  At this time it includes 10 different free features. There is one other “paid” feature called Vault Press, which I find a little pricey. But, here are the ones I recommend activating:

Sharing:  Drag and drop Social Media sharing services into the enabled section to have them show up on your site, and drag them into the hidden section to have them hidden behind a button.  Lots of options!  I’ve replaced a former plugin with this feature, and I really liked that former plugin!

Spelling and Grammar:  The After the Deadline Proofreading service improves your writing by using artificial intelligence to find your errors and offer smart suggestions. After the Deadline provides a number of customization options, which you can edit in your profile.  Google loves good grammar and this one will “kick-your-butt!”  But, you will be better off using this!

Subscriptions:  Easily allow any visitor to subscribe to all of your posts via email through a widget in your blog’s sidebar. Every time you publish a post, WordPress.com will send a notification to all your subscribers.

When leaving comments, your visitors can also subscribe to a post’s comments to keep up with the conversation.  I’ve put this on all my sites! The emails your subscribers receive are extremely professional!  Read and screenshots at Jetpack by WordPress.

Cbnet Ping Optimizer:  Say what???  This valuable plugin saves your wordpress blog from getting tagged as ping spammer. As good as it is, WordPress has a flaw.  Everytime, you update an article or post, it send outs a ping notifying the world that you just published a post.  This plugin stops that from happening!  …so, what is a ping?  Read more here!

Google Ajax Translation:  The Google AJAX Translation WordPress plugin provides a quick, simple, and light way to add translation to your blog.  This will translate your articles into any of 52+ languages.  I have sites that are indigenous to the U.S., but I have other sites that are international.  Why not provide an international user an easy way to translate and read your material?

W3 Total Cache:  This plugin improves the user experience of your site by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.  In other words, it allows your site and pages to load much faster and this is a unit of measure that Google uses to rank your website.  This is particularly important for websites that have a great deal of content!

 

Features that Google Require on a Website

 

Easy Privacy Policy: Automatically adds a privacy policy page that includes an Adsense compliance section.  All the compliance legalese is done for you!  Don’t forget to cover this base!  Otherwise, Google may not like you!  And, you want Google to like you… as they are more likely to send you visitors!

Fast Secure Contact Form:  The contact form lets your visitors send you a quick E-mail message. Super customizable with a multi-form feature, optional extra fields, and an option to redirect visitors to any URL after the message is sent. This WordPress plugin includes CAPTCHA and Akismet support to block all common spammer tactics.  Plus, Google wants you to provide a contact feature to your users!

 

WordPress Plugins for SEO:

 

SEO is search engine optimization.  Proper SEO allows the major search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo) to index and rank your website.  The higher you are ranked the more organic or free traffic they will send you.

Special Note:  There is one setting that I highly recommend you change in WordPress and do this for all new installations.  If you have an old installation, I also recommend it.  One of my sites had over 90 articles when I updated this setting, and it worked great!

Change the default WordPress Permalink default feature. This will automatically apply to the title of your posts and pages.

How? Just follow these steps.

  • On your WordPress Dashboard, Pick “Settings”
  • Then Choose “Permalinks”
  • Tick on the “Custom Title” option
  • Then type in /%postname%/
  • Hit Save!

 

Google XML Sitemaps: This WordPress plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your site!  Plus, it will provide you direct access to both Google and Bing Webmaster Tools.  You need to claim your site(s) with both Google and Bing and verify that you are the owner.  I use the Meta Tag option.  This is easy stuff; as I will show you with the next WordPress plugin.

Custom Headers and Footers:  This plugin adds custom header and footer Meta Tags for main page content.  This is where you simply copy and paste the Meta Tag that Google and Bing send you to verify your website!  Here is a screen shot of exactly where it goes.  You just click “Update Settings” at the bottom of the page, then return to Google or Bing and click their “Verify Now” button!

Platinum SEO Pack: This WordPress plugin provides a complete SEO solution for your WordPress blog. I probably run against convention here. A lot of people use All-in-One SEO. It really doesn’t matter, but you should definitely install one or the other.

Keyword Statistics: This plugin checks the content of a post or a page for keyword-density (single words and optionally 2- and 3-word phrases). This is an awesome WordPress plugin. It can update its information on the fly while the author is writing content. This is great way for you to check and improve your keyword density!  And, keep that density at about 2-3 percent!

In conclusion, I have provided you the most essential WordPress plugins available today!  So, if you are building an Internet home Business or contemplating doing so, WordPress is the platform on which you should build your business.

 

If you have any questions on WordPress plugins, I’m always here to help!

Please post your questions in the Comments section below!

 

 

 

 

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Get Your Blog Post Ranked on Google

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Here is the complete video series on how to get your blog post ranked on Google.

These are the exact techniques I use everyday to crank out one or two blog posts. It takes a little practice, but if I can do it, anyone can!

Video 1 (2:51 Minutes): In this video I describe how to establish your keyword string and H1 tag in your title, how to set-up and organize your article for effective and fast writing and how to get your blog post ranked on Google.

 

Video 2 (4:12 Minutes): In this video I describe how to create your H2 and H3 tags using your primary keyword string, how to structure your article for fast and effective writing and how to get your blog post ranked on Google.

 

Video 3 (3:52 Minutes): In this video I provide some more hints on how to structure your blog for quick writing by building you introduction and beginning your summary using your primary keyword string.  Just another easy step that will help you get your blog ranked on Google.

 

Video 4 (7:51 Minutes): In this video I provide instruction on how and why to use pictures in you blog article, how to set your Alt Tag (alternative text) in your pictures using your primary keyword string, how to easily write content.

 

Video 5 (6:28 Minutes): In this final video I provide tips on fast blogging by showing you more on how to use your outline to create great original content for effective blogging. I will also show you how to use your outline to finish your summary and develop a call to action.

 

In summary, this completes my series on how to get your blog post ranked on Google. In this video series, I focused on using the SEOPressor tool available in the empower network home business back office.  I have used a number of SEO tools on various websites that I either manage or own.  By comparison, I now find them much less effective.  SEOPressor does some things for my onsite SEO that I have never been able to do before.

It enables me to clearly focus on my H1, H2 and H3 tags without knowing HTML. Plus, it enables me to focus on bolding, italicizing and underlining my primary keyword strings!  Google and the other major search engines score and rank your blog posts based on your ability to complete these steps.

SEOPressor has made me a better and more effective author.  The speed blogging and organizational techniques that I coach you on in this video series is a direct result of my using and experimenting with SEOPressor. I highly recommend this plugin for your Internet home business website.  This is the best onsite SEO Plugin I’ve used to date.  SEOPressor is a solid investment in your business.

In conclusion, if you want to get your blog post ranked on Google and the other search engines, you need to practice sound onsite SEO.  If you are using other SEO plugins, that’s fine.  But, practice the techniques shown in this video series on establishing your H1, H2 and H3 tags; along with the bolding, italicizing and underlining techniques.  And, pay particular attention to the organizational hints I provide.  This will help you get your blog post ranked on Google and the other search engines.

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