Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sales Tax Article For Online Marketing

Here is a short article about Web site sales Taxes. This article does a good job covering the basics of handling sales tax issues and online marketing.

Collecting Sales Tax for Out-of-State Sales by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

"I am with a community college and am starting an e-commerce venture. Our college's business manager believes that we should be charging out-of-state buyers their state sales tax. This doesn't seem to be common practice, but he says it is a grey area and some state could come after us demanding payment. What do you think?" -- Ron Faulkner

On legal matters, of course, you should consult an attorney; the following does not constitute legal advice. The short answer to your question is that the US Supreme Court ruled in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota (1992) that mail order businesses don't need to collect sales taxes except in states where they have a physical presence. A company is required to collect sales tax only for its own state (unless the organization has a site, office, or store in another state also).

However, Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) legislation is gradually being adopted by specific states ( When this is in place, Congress will probably require companies over a certain revenue threshold to collect other states' sales taxes.

To implement this, cooperating states are working to simplify their tax rules for online sales to make tax collection more feasible. Probably smaller businesses and organizations will be exempted because of the hardship and expense involved. Larger retailers will need to use software, such as Taxware and Alalara AvaTax, that calculates sales tax according to ZIP code for the state to which goods are shipped. A few large retailers are collecting sales tax now in multiple states in exchange for a guarantee of future immunity in case a state would ever file a suit against them for sales taxes due. But no state is likely to go after a small organization -- especially one that doesn't have a physical presence in multiple states -- since the costs of a suit would greatly outweigh any potential gain. In the Web Marketing Today Research Room we track articles and resources on "E-Commerce Tax Collection" for our paid subscribers (

You can find more here about Marketing and Home Opportunities


Article On Writing Articles and Web Pages

I was reading this article in Search Engine Marketing News today. I think Karon Thackston has done a great job in explaining article writing, using the information of Google icon Matt Cutts. You will find a link to Matt”s blog follow it for some really good information, on writing articles and setting up web pages people want to read. So here is the article enjoy.

The Purpose and Practice of Writing Successful SEO Articles
By Karon Thackston - September 18, 2006 Printable Version

I was so excited to read his post! Google icon Matt Cutts was blogging on August 21st and hit the nail on the head (as he does quite frequently). The title of the post was "SEO Advice: Writing useful articles that readers will love." That, in and of itself, says it all. Why is this such a thrilling post? Because it reinforces what I've been saying for years. Whether you're writing content for a website, an article or any type of SEO copy, you must think of the reader first.
There is such a barrage of worthless articles floating around the ‘Net these days. Keyword-stuffed, useless ramble that was obviously written with the sole intent of attempting to rank highly. Striving for top rankings is not a bad thing, but the purpose of writing SEO articles is threefold: provide information, rank highly when used on your site and increase link popularity. That means the practice must follow the purpose.

Why Write an Article?

Let's start at the beginning. Why write articles to begin with? While having SEO content on your site is a good thing, your first concern should be with offering useful information to your readers. Cutts agrees with this practice and makes a point of discussing why providing relevant, helpful information is vital.

If the information isn't helpful, those who visit your site will have little interest in reading it. Yes, if the page ranks highly, it might bring in a bit of traffic. But if visitors take one look at your article and then click away, what good have the high rankings done you?
Likewise, if you choose to distribute your article throughout the Internet, it is highly unlikely that others will elect to run your article on their sites. If your work doesn't provide solid information and is poorly written, it will not be considered link-worthy.

Optimizing for the Engines

Once you've decided what information you want to provide, you can turn your focus to SEO. Copywriting for the engines requires balance. You never want to sacrifice the reader's experience for the sake of rankings. Stuffing keywords into text is a method that will almost always backfire. Practically no one wants to read an article (or website page) that constantly repeats the same exact terms to the point of extremes.
Cutts also addressed this issue in his blog post, stating that he included key phrases within his own article and also used similar terms. Cutts made a point of suggesting that we pay more attention to key phrase use (and the use of variations of those keyphrases) than focusing on keyword density.

The Two Most Important Keys

The two "meta-issues" Cutts highlighted in his article were both related to user experience, not to the practice of SEO copywriting. First, pay attention to the content you offer. Always impart useful, concrete knowledge to your reader. Second, study your niche (i.e., know your target audience!) and write specifically for the purpose of helping them.
There is other great information included in Cutts' post, and I encourage you to read it plus the comments that follow. You can find it here.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Get Your Site Crawled By Alexa

One of the many questions I’m asked is how do I get my site crawled?
Today I will cover being crawled by Alexa.

According to Alexa the sites in their main crawl are based on popularity (calculated from toolbar data) and breadth (calculated from link structure), so if the sites you are interested in are at least a little popular or well connected, they're likely to be in Alexa”s crawl. So if you want your site to show up you need to ad links and content for your viewers.You can request that your site be included in Alexa's crawl by, simply filling out their Get Archived Form at Webmasters Help. Also check out the For Webmasters page for other related information and use full tools.

Take a look at our SEO Marketing Tools and Our Article Resources to help you make Money also


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Book Keep For The At Home Business

I was going through the Startupnation forum and found this article about keeping books for your at home business. Since a large percentage of our readers are new to online business I wanted to share this with them. Hope this helps clear up the mess of information on starting up a at home internet business.

Book Startup Business Finances : Clean up your Books to Clean up in Business!
by the Sloan brothers
Head Coaches, StartupNation

· 5 Practical Tips to Keep Your Books Clean

· Open a separate bank account – create a business checking account to track transactions, provide checks to vendors from a “company,” and have payments from customers made out to a “company”

· Get a business credit card – charge items pertaining to business on a dedicated, separate credit (or debit) card

· Learn your business record retention requirements – for tax audit purposes, customer and vendor contract requirements, and state and federal law requirements, you must know what records you need to keep and how to organize them

· Don’t miss out on tax time advantages – use your books as a basis for a tax filing strategy

· Go with the pros - find a quality accountant to advise you on getting your books organized
You want to make your business a big success, right? Well, if you’re serious about cleaning up in business, the first thing we recommend is cleaning up your books. Whether you’ve just started up or you’ve had the “Open for Business” sign over your door for years, it’s never too late to get your finances in order.

Lift your head up from the day-to-day tasks of your business and take a pause. Specifically, take a moment to find areas where you’re mixing business and personal finances - something you should always avoid. Today, the temptation to mix your finances is huge, especially given the trend toward more home-based sole proprietorships. Over half of all U.S. businesses are now home-based and the vast majority of businesses are solo acts launched with credit cards, home equity lines, and other personal financial resources. But this isn’t justification to be sloppy or lazy about distinguishing your personal from business finances - on the contrary, it’s all the more reason to be very disciplined about keeping things separate.

When you commingle funds, the true performance of your business quickly becomes hard to pin down. It’s a challenge to establish hard numbers for expenditures and revenues. Your accounting and tax filing becomes more complex (and expensive due to added hours required). What’s worse, future financing opportunities are negatively impacted - lenders and most equity investors will ask to review the financial performance of your business in previous years. If they can’t make sense of your books, they’ll be less confident and less inclined to provide you the financing you seek.

On the flipside, keeping clean books has many benefits - for example, there are potential tax advantages such as deductions. Keeping clean books can also keep you off the “radar screen” of the IRS, thus avoiding “distracting” IRS audits. Clean books are a key asset in the eyes of financiers—they’ll see that you’re organized and responsible. Bankers, in particular, will be able to create a clear picture of your financial performance when considering providing you a loan. At a strategic level, well-organized books provide clarity about the true performance of your business so you’re better equipped to make important decisions. And if you ever want to sell your business or bring in partners down the road, having a crystal clear set of books will be a fundamental tool for valuation as the new parties become involved.

There are many real-world circumstances where you’ll be confronted with choices to make about mixing personal and business finances. For example, you might have to use personal credit to secure assets, or you might have to move money from a personal account to a business account to cover a shortfall. Perhaps you’ll need some extra cash personally and will want to take that cash out of the business. The key is making sure that you do this in a completely organized and well-documented way to minimize any negative impact.
Our Bottom Line

It’s important to act like a business even if your board room is in your basement. Whether you’re in full gear and taking orders, or just starting up a business, tackle those business finance issues - there’s no time like the present to clean up your books so you can clean up in business!