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Home-Based Business Website and FTC Compliance

Home-Based Business Website and FTC ComplianceThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is one of the agencies ruling over advertising, including online advertising, marketing and sales. Starting from 2009, there are now clear rules on what companies can and cannot do in terms of presenting their offers to clients and attracting them with promises of benefits.

Apart from regulating fair use of advertising, the FTC also oversees online data privacy. This means that even if you have a landing page inviting people to subscribe to your newsletter, you fall under FTC regulations and must comply with its rules.

The consequences of not doing so are harsh, with fines up to $40,000 per breach of regulations and even larger amounts in legal expenses and damages if you fight it in court. There is little chance of winning a case against the FTC, especially in view of the growing concern on personal data protection and online fraud.

This means one thing: you must safeguard your home-based business website against violating FTC rules. Here are the top issues you need to review and solve as soon as possible:

1. The Privacy Disclaimer Page
Any website collecting personal data must include a Disclaimer page. In this page you will disclose to website visitors who agree to share personal data with you the following:
⦁ That you are taking the best precautions to protect the data you collect from theft;
⦁ That you do not sell their personal data to third parties;
⦁ If applicable, if you share this data with your investors/stakeholders.

The Privacy & Communication Disclaimer is a binding contract between your home-based business and your subscribers. This means that if you fail to keep any of the promises above, you are liable for action in court.

2. Testimonials
Any business needs testimonials in order to gain the confidence of future customers by bringing proof of the quality of the product. Certainly, the best proof come from people who bought and tried the products. Ideally, testimonials are given without asking for them.

However, if you offer any kind of incentive for customers to post testimonials, you need to make a material connection disclosure about this aspect. Otherwise, you might fall under the incidence of a false and misleading advertising violation.

Also, if you plan to use any person’s full identity (photo, video recording) in the testimonials published on your website, you must sign a Publicity Consent & Release Agreement with each person individually.

3. Claims Concerning Your Products
Any kind of claims you make about the way your products work, and the effects or benefits the customers should expect to see must be substantiated. Things are extremely sensitive especially in the area of weight loss, diet, natural supplements and similar products. This sensitivity extends to online fitness or healthy recipes websites.

The FTC is extremely proactive in enforcing the regulations concerning false and misleading advertising in these domains, so if you are operating or plan to open a home-based business in any of these areas you must consult with a specialized attorney.

4. Products for Children
If your ads are targeted at children under 13, you fall under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).You need to follow closely all the FTC regulations included in this act and make all the required disclosures on your website, as well as create your ads in accordance with the guidelines.

5. Affiliate Marketing
Are you an affiliate marketer for the products you are promoting on your website, through reviews and blog articles? Then you must disclose your material connection with the owner/seller of these products. Ideally, you should place this disclosure at the end of each article, specifying that you gain material or monetary advantages from promoting the respective product.

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2 Important Steps To Making Money On The Internet

Many times as Internet marketers we think we are doing all of the things correctly all of the time. However, if you were to take a step back and analyze your own business you would see that you are not really maximizing your true potential when it comes to making money on the Internet.

The real key to making money on the Internet is to always be selling. Certainly there are different approaches that you can take, but many people never really master the art of selling on the Internet.

For example, let’s take a look at the business model known as affiliate marketing. There are 2 important steps that you have to take if you expect to make money online as an affiliate marketer.

1. Do not use the replicated affiliate website as your initial point of contact with your website visitor. You are much better off to create a website of your own, where you have the opportunity to pre-sell your visitor on the many benefits of the product you are representing.

Pre-selling is an important part of making sales on the Internet and making money on the Internet. In the old days it was known that people liked to buy from people.

There is still an element of truth to that today, and your ability to relate to your visitor in the form of pre-selling your product will have a huge impact on the amount of money that you make.

2. You need to promote your website if you expect anyone to come and visit it. This seems so basic, yet the amount of Internet marketers that fail due to lack of quality traffic is unbelievable.

If getting website visitors was as easy as everyone makes it out to be then we would all be more successful. The fact of the matter is you will have to develop advertising and marketing skills before you will ever make a lot of money on the Internet.

This could take you hundreds of hours before you really become adept at the many different ways to market online. Even if you are doing paid advertising you need to know how to properly spend your money to achieve the results you are looking for.

There is so much that goes into making money on the Internet that it is hard to boil it down to two specific things. However, if you were to create your own website for your affiliate products, and then become an expert at marketing it, you cannot help but make money if you get enough quality traffic every day.

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