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2 Online Titans Help Small Businesses Grow

2 Online Titans Help Small Businesses Grow I find it very interesting how the constant battle between "paid" and "free" plays out on the Internet. On the one hand, businesses know they must make money to stay in business, while on the other hand, consumers expect and demand more and more free "stuff" online.

Two business models practiced by two of the Web's largest players seem to have found the right balance, either supporting themselves through direct advertising sales or through a "pay as you use" model.

Amazon and Google must know what they're doing, because they both generate billions of dollars in online sales. So if you want to grow your own small business, why not ride on the backs of giants!

Amazon S3

Log on to aws.amazon.com/s3 to find out more about Amazon's increasingly popular Simple Storage Service (S3) which provides access to extremely high-end, beefy media and file servers for pennies on the dollar. The S3 service allows you to easily upload and store huge files right through your web browser and then access them through a variety of applications. What this means for small business is that you don't need to operate with a dedicated web server to compete with larger companies.

Amazon's S3 gives you ultimate scalability to meet demand as it comes at a rate on par with mid-level hosting companies. But instead of charging you hundreds each month (whether you use the storage and bandwidth or not), Amazon only charges 15-cents per GB of storage and 10-cents per GB of data transfer. This means you don't pay unless you use it (as opposed to a fixed server cost each month). We're just now seeing the tip of the iceberg of what open access to Amazon's powerful and scalable storage capacity will bring to the marketplace.

Amazon Fulfillment Web Service

www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=402340011 Amazon allows you to use their infrastructure to ship your products for you. Instead of maintaining a fulfillment staff, you pay Amazon only when you sell product and they ship it to your customer. This service costs much less than a full-time employee for most small to medium sized businesses. Scalable cost tied to sales, not an employee punching a clock, holds the key benefit for anyone who sells online. Plus, Amazon stores your products for you (for a small fee) so you don't even need to maintain inventory at your location.

The service works with virtually any other type of product and you can also integrate directly with your shopping cart to automatically put orders into the Amazon system.

Google Friend Connect www.google.com/friendconnect/ Here's how Google explains this new service (currently in pre-release "Beta" at press time). "Websites that are not social networks may still want to be social. But the barriers to offering social applications on the site have been considerable. Google Friend Connect changes this by enabling any site to offer dozens of social gadgets created by Google and OpenSocial developers to their visitors. This means more visitors spending more time on a more engaging website -- with absolutely no programming required to make it happen."

So if you want to create a social aspect to your site or blog, Google will make it very easy and free for you to add this functionality. Literally you will just copy and paste some code and your site gets socially enabled. You can then modify the various widgets and options of the social aspects of your site right through your web browser.

About the Author:

Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to use fr^e articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website, affiliate links, or blogs... Need MORE TRAFFIC to your website or affiliate links? "Turn Words Into Traffic" reveals the secrets for driving Thousands of NEW visitors to your website NOW! Click Here> www.turnwordsintotraffic.com

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