Get Fresh Leads By Promoting Your SplashPlan site

10362286_1420343261571590_1005938937_nWith SplashPlan.com, you can get fresh leads… Exactly what do we mean?

Your SplashPlan site: When you sign up as a member on our SplashPlan.com site, and fill out your profile, you will get a SplashPlan site similar to SplashPlan.com/yoursite.

Promoting your SplashPlan site: We offer you several ways to promote your SplashPlan site for free.  Mainly you add a link to your SplashPlan site on other web sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and so forth.  Participate on these sites to make your link more powerful.

Leads: A lead, in the case of SplashPlan, means that somebody signs up as a SplashPlan member after they visit your site… You want to provide your lead with quality support for using SplashPlan.  A lead changes to a prospect when they ask for information about your network marketing program.

Prospects ask for information about your network marketing program: Once they become a prospect you can send them information online or by mail, then follow up with them by your chosen method until they ask you to stop or they sign up in your program.

Fresh Leads: Mailing lists tend to be a little stale, but you will get SplashPlan leads at the moment they sign up as a SplashPlan member.  Again, you will want to build trust with leads by providing top quality support for using the SplashPlan site.

Internet Marketing Training: Training included with your SplashPlan membership that shows you ways to promote your SplashPlan site online.

That’s about it… let me know if you have any questions…

Online Security – My Journey Down The Rabbit Hole

You think you are safe and secure online?  You are not.  You are smart, you learn all about how hackers can get at your websites, exploit your data, change your pages, or extort you as I read in this article:

If you are outraged after reading, I just want to let you know that Naoki did get his Twitter handle back after much effort.  So ultimately extortion is illegal and companies will try to help you out after they check every last detail.

Preventing security problems is what we really want.  We want to prevent somebody from getting into our Paypal, Amazon, or Godaddy accounts.  We want to prevent somebody from spending on our credit card after they extract it from an online database.  We want to prevent somebody from phishing our password then using it to post on our facebook account.

All I can say is good luck.  My understanding after much research is that hackers are getting smarter all the time.  But you can take some basic steps to improve your odds:

  • Use a unique password for each site that has your credit card information
  • Use two-step authentication with your cell phone on every site you can
  • If you have a Godaddy account (or any other web hosting), avoid using the same credit card from Godaddy on any other web site
  • The bigger websites are the biggest target for hacks: Amazon, Paypal, eBay, Google, Facebook, Walmart, etc.  Be the most vigilant with them.
  • Banks are usually very good with security but make sure your bank requires more than just a password to get into your account.
  • Never, ever click on a link in an email then sign into any web site.  In some cases, password resets may be the exception, but only if you are expecting them.

As far as our website security, we take the following precautions:

  • We do not take your credit card for any reason on our site.  We do not even do paypal.  Note that our partners do take payments.
  • We use an SSL certificate for splashplan.com.  We do not use one for The SplashPlan Blog.  You do not sign in on it.
  • We store your password and password reset codes in encrypted form in our database.
  • Our form fields are escaped to prevent SQL insertion.

Nothing we can do will entirely prevent a hacker from getting in.  But we have very little sensitive information. Please make sure to use a unique password with our site.  Nobody can see it on our site, not even me, but it is a good idea anyway.

Is there anything you can add?

Google reCaptcha Saves My Butt

Before I get going, please make sure to see the links at the end of this post.  I could include them within the body here but I am going to be lazy.

I spent the last two weeks fighting with the bots to try to get a good indication of how well we are doing on the splashplan.com site.  I thought up a number of possible solutions to the problem but ultimately the bots were smarter than me.  Nothing I came up with eliminated fake sign ups; and anything that would cure the problem would get in the way of the user experience.

I was very concerned about using captcha to solve the problem because it added one more silly field that the user would have to fill out to sign up.  Adding more steps or more fields meant losing good sign ups, and I only wanted to lose the bad ones.

Enter Google’s reCAPTCHA.  It basically has the visitor check a box if they are not a robot.  Simple.  Effective. Doesn’t get in the way too much.  Ok, give it a shot.  But it will be difficult to install right?  Wrong!  Using an article I found, it was simple and straight forward and I did not have to install a code library on my web site.

It really was very easy and solved the problem.  Now I am back to having a hard time getting sign ups.  At least the ones that do sign up will be real people who will get good use out of the site.

Links you can use:

Setting Up Twitter To Promote Your SplashPlan Site

Twitter is a great social media platform for promoting a website, with the ability to use your website link as part of your profile and as part of your tweets.  Make sure not to overuse this feature as it does get to be a bit irritating to other users.  You may find yourself unfollowed.

Set up your twitter site by going to twitter.com and clicking Sign Up in the upper right.  Follow along with twitter’s set up wizard to get the basics down.

Once you are online, make sure your profile looks good and send your first tweet.  That’s all there is to it!

Make sure to watch the video below for more detail.

What is a URL or Website Address?

A URL is a synonym or shortened version of Uniform Resource Locator.  It can be a website address… which is usually what I am asking for when I say provide a URL.  Here is a link to the definition on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_resource_locator

The link above is a URL and starts with http://  In most browsers you can also copy the URL of the current page your on by highlighting the address bar, right clicking, and copying it (a menu will drop down when you right click it).

You may also see a URL or website address start with https://  The “s” in this case represents a page on a secure server or the secure version of the page (often you can load it with or without the s).  Other URLs that are not website addresses include mail: and ftp:  mail: represents an email address and ftp: represents an ftp location (file transfer protocol).

Why is all of this important?  If I ask for a URL or website address and you just put “bob’s website”, that doesn’t work too well… neither would splashplan.com because it doesn’t indicate it’s a web address without the http://   …   so when I link to it, it just appends to the current web page location (append means it sticks it on the end).

In addition, to be a web marketer, we must understand web terminologies…. so I hope I’ve taught you a couple new ones tonight.  You will need to use a full URL each time you want some other website to link to your page.  You use them in HTML a lot.  (HyperText Markup Language)  You can use HTML in classified ads to display a picture or make your text look different than normal (colors, bold, italics, underline, etc).  HTML is good to know along with what a URL is.

I’ve been around a while so URLs, website addresses, and HTML (as well as PHP) are mostly second nature to me… so I apologize if I sound too snarky about it… I know beginners need to know the basics of being online as well as the more advanced stuff, so here is my attempt to help out the internet with more information on the same things.  Don’t believe me?  Google search it…

Make sure to check out SplashPlan.com (click)

Do you use cookies?

Yes!  When somebody visits your splashplan site at xxxxxx.splashplan.com, we put a cookie into their browser so that when they return, you are still their sponsor.  The cookie is good for one year from the time of each visit (as we refresh the cookie with each visit).

If a visitor goes to a different splashplan site (a different member’s site), they continue to have the same sponsor information as when they initially visited, although they will see another member’s site on the home page.  This is only true for the home page.  Once they go to the registration page, they will see their correct sponsor.

We really want to give our members a fighting chance at sponsoring people under them so we are doing all we can to make sure that happens.

Even if we didn’t use cookies, visitors often bookmark the initial page they visit, or return from the same link, and the URL (web address) contains the sponsor’s subdomain name.

Do you have a suggestion for a better way to track visitors and credit sign ups?  Please feel free to write us at info@splashplan.com.

How do I make money with SplashPlan.com?

SplashPlan.com is a free service itself, but has links to paid services that you can buy.  In addition, you can change the affiliate link for the service so that you get credit whenever any SplashPlan member that joins under you buys the paid services.

Of course, there’s always your MLM program.  Most new members will not initially join your program, true.  But as they learn more about you and work with you, you will become a person with whom they trust and think of if they decide to make a change in the future.

Amazon.com No Longer Pays Affiliates In Illinois

Amazon.com sent us an email this week stating they are terminating the contracts of associates in Illinois.  The following is a copy of the email we received:

“Hello,

For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of Illinois residents. Unfortunately, a new state tax law signed by Governor Quinn compels us to terminate this program for Illinois-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers – including but not limited to those referred by Illinois-based affiliates like you – even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.

We had opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It was supported by national retailing chains, most of which are based outside Illinois, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that its enactment forces this action.

As a result of the new law, contracts with all Illinois affiliates of the Amazon Associates Program will be terminated and those Illinois residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to April 15, 2011 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of April 15, 2011, any final payments will be paid by July 1, 2011.

You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of Illinois. If you are not currently a permanent resident of Illinois, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates account here. And if you relocate to another state after April 15, please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.

To be clear, this development will only impact our ability to continue the Associates Program in Illinois, and will not affect the ability of Illinois residents to purchase online at www.amazon.com from Amazon’s retail business.

We have enjoyed working with you and other Illinois-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to Illinois residents.

Regards,

The Amazon Associates Team”

The Perils Of Technology

This article is not about some doomsday scenario, or perhaps how computers will take over the world, but is a little more pragmatic in its approach. Technology is wonderful and great, has helped us become more productive, helps us communicate more efficiently, and so on and so forth. However, as we become more and more dependent on technology, business risks increase. As a good for instance, my entire blog network went down the weekend of January 1st and 2nd because I accidentally maintained my web hosting away. Nothing told me that I was doing it, and I certainly didn’t intend it, but it was a consequence of something else I was doing. Boom, gone. Then my blog network was down for two days as I tried to restore it.

Many businesses are extremely dependent on computers and technology these days. If the power went out, most business could not happen. Even my little tiny consulting business would be suffering… I have not done anything on paper recently and it would be a major shock. However, I could ultimately do business without technology after significant adjustments. However, I do technology consulting so I could not do billable work. The companies that I work with are heavily dependent on technology so they literally could not do business if the power went out.

There are many, many risks to our technology infrastructure that could leave a business or businesses severely handicapped, even to the point of putting them out of business. If you manage technology risks, I am sure you know what I am talking about, so I will not go into detail. Many companies are prepared for disasters but it is often the devil you do not know that will really hurt you. In fact, I made a list of risks for a client and over the following three years, some happened and other problems not on my list happened. These problems can knock you out for hours or days. The complexity of understanding and fixing technology problems are well beyond most people as it often takes teams to resolve them.

Now I am not saying to do business without technology. You cannot. It would be too expensive and many of your competitors would run right over you. You have to use technology but you have to understand the risks. You have to be prepared for, and practice recovering from, problems that may never happen but could.

What kinds of technology problems have you encountered?

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