The Art Of Hype

These days the Super Bowl is one of the most hyped sporting events in the world, but it didn’t start out that way. For the first two Super Bowls, they had trouble filling the stadium. That was back when there were actually two separate leagues, and the National League, which was the much older league, was considered superior because the Green Bay Packers won the first two, and it wasn’t even close. When Joe Namath vaulted the New York Jets over the Baltimore Colts in the third Super Bowl, followed by the Kansas City Chiefs the next year, the leagues merged and the game started to take on a bit more prestige and charm. Look at the behemoth it’s become.

Hype!
Hyped!

When the Super Bowl, and football itself, was starting to grow, it was still second fiddle to baseball, which had a bigger presence in at least the Americas and in Japan. It had a major appeal because all baseball took was for each kid to have his own glove, one ball, and one bat, and you could have as many players as you wanted.
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Being In Control Of Your Content

Over the course of the last couple of months, YouTube has done something incredible… not in a good way. They’ve taken the time to go through the 332 videos I have on one of my YouTube channels and decided that 12 of them aren’t suitable for advertising.

content ownership
own the car, not the tree

For those who aren’t initiated to the process, if you have a Google Adsense account (Google owns YouTube), you can decide to monetize your videos and allow an ad to show up in different ways but in the same format you’re used to seeing on some websites or blogs you visit. All one has to do is click on a tab called Monetize and then put a check mark in a box and save; that’s all it takes.
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Are You Trying To Make Money With Your Blog?

Are you trying to make money online? Are you trying to sell services or products? And are you trying to do any of this to your blog?

Independent
Christi Nielsen
via Compfight

I ask this question because there can be subtle differences between writing style based on what it is you’re actually trying to do.

For instance, writing about products that you’re trying to sell is a much different animal than trying to explain to people the types of services you provide.

When you’re writing about a product, you almost have to go step by step by first telling what the product is, how it works, why it’s so great and why someone might need to use it.

When writing about services, you’re not necessarily going to be as direct about them, at least most of the time, because that kind of hard sell for services usually falls on deaf ears. Instead, it usually involves a consistent set of scenarios that one puts up to show that they have expertise in that area so that people will get comfortable with the fact that they may know what they’re talking about.

One of the problems some people have when writing about products is that they forget to be conversational. Everybody loves stories, because stories are very conversational.

For instance, if you’re trying to sell a fishing rod, telling stories about being out on a boat in the middle of a bay while casting with your favorite fly and catching the trout you have always wanted to catch makes for a compelling story. A full description of the lure and the rod and the reel could make someone think that if they bought those things they might have the same kind of success or adventure. But most marketers don’t think that way, which is a shame.

As you’ve seen on this blog, I talk about a lot of different things trying to show my expertise, since I offer services. I do have a couple of products at the top of each of my sidebar, but those are only small pieces of my overall business.

Most of the time there’s a story tied in with the particular topic that I’m addressing on that day, and to be truthful I’m always hoping that one day one of those stories will pique the interest of somebody who’s looking for someone with my particular set of skills.

I hope for the same thing on my other business blog, while on my finance blog I keep trying to make it financially diverse hoping to attract advertisers. Of course that’s another way of making money, getting advertisers, but it can take a lot of hard work to have the right content to drive enough traffic to your blog to make it profitable for them.

As I always say, the point of every blog and every article is to either inform, educate, or entertain. If you decide that you’re looking to use it to make money or to promote yourself, then you have to be flexible enough to alter your text to try to accomplish your goals. When all is said and done that’s what marketing is all about.
 

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Day After Christmas; Best Of 2014 & A Look At Goals…

It’s the day after Christmas and I hope everyone had a nice holiday. If you celebrate a different holiday I also hope your holiday was nice. I really don’t celebrate any holidays anymore but Mom does, so there you go. 🙂

IMG_20141119_141914

I thought it was a good time to review last year’s goals, see what goals I have for this year, and highlight what I think were my top 10 posts for the year. They might not have been the most popular, might not even have a comment; I’m not saying one way or the other. But it was a strange year for me so I’ll just go with “it is what it is.”

Last year I put my 2014 goals into a video, which some folks went over to check out; thanks for that. For those that didn’t, and for those of you who either weren’t paying attention or forgot, these were them:

* Generate more passive income
* Take better care of myself
* Create 75-100 videos
* Finish editing my book & writing 2 other books
* Double my income
* Better social media balance between business and pleasure
* Focus!

In the video I went into greater detail but this will do for now, unless you watch the video at the link above. Let’s see how I did.

I actually ended up taking better care of myself; how about that? After a bad run of health issues related to my diabetes I finally downloaded Myfitnesspal and that brought some immediate results. I added a Fitbit Flex to the mix and the next thing you know I started walking more because it not only tracked my steps, but added calories back to my daily menu.

What that resulted in is an A1c of 5.9, which is below diabetic standards, reducing my daily average glucose reading from 230 to 123, and I lost 5 pounds also. That’s not bad; actually it’s great! The only problem I’ve had is now I have to try to make sure I eat enough because I’ve had some lows rather than highs, and that immediately affects you in a negative way, whereas highs affect you long term. Still, I’m healthier; yay!

I said I wanted to create 75-100 videos. On my regular YouTube channel I’ll probably end the year with 58 videos, which included 4 interviews. On my business channel I created 38 videos, which included a video 30 straight days in June and one interview. So I hit my target number with 96 videos, but I didn’t hit the number of interviews, which was 10. I don’t know what it is with folks and being interviewed but that’s still going to be a goal for this upcoming year.

Day 106 - I am a librarian
Cindi via Compfight

I finally finished editing my second book on leadership and I have about 8 people reading through it. I hope to get them all back within a few days so I can get the final edit completed and then figure out what I’m going to do. My last “real” book from 12 years ago I took to a printer and published it that way but now there are tons of other options I could select that I’m going to have to research it. I didn’t get to any other books because I was traveling a lot but I have a couple in production; we’ll leave it at that.

I didn’t quite double my income but I got close. I got stiffed on a payment by a company called Serene Corporation (happens sometimes, but since they’re ignoring me they deserve to be called out) but that wouldn’t have greatly affected my income. The thing is I had a pretty successful year but I have to start 2015 hard if I even hope to equal last year, let alone surpass it.

I can’t say I succeeded in my balance wishes, but I also didn’t think I’d be traveling as much as I did. However, in the year when I was going back to Memphis from home all the time I also visited Louisville, Orlando, Washington DC, Tunica MS, and San Diego, my first trip to California where I actually left either an airport or train station. lol Tunica was where the casinos were, and Orlando was for a wedding and a visit to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, which I’ll talk about soon in a different blog post. Meanwhile, I did have an interesting adventure this one day in Memphis that I never shared here, which I’m sharing now in a video lol:
 



 

That last one; I’m not even mentioning it because it’s going to be a part of 2015 also.

That’s it for last year’s goals. What are this year’s goals? The first two you’ll know because I’ve already mentioned them:

* 10 video interviews combined for both video channels
* Focus!
* Publishing 2nd “real” book (I don’t count my Website book as a real book since it’s short, but I might not be all that fair to myself)
* Completing 3rd book
* Get 3 speaking engagements
* Get as many subscribers to my videos as videos created
* Work on an idea to take my business and career to bigger heights

That last one is really the most important of all. I hate admitting it all the time but I am 55 now, which means it’s time to really figure out what I want to do when I grow up. I do know that I have an ultimate goal of having $10 million in the bank, and doing it based on what my career is now isn’t going to happen unless I figure out how to be “the” one and only person hospitals look for help from. Yeah, I don’t see that happening either.

Me and cup

Still, at least I have that down because I need to get it done in 10 years time, which means I need to figure out how to make $1.5 million a year for the next 10 years (taxes you know). I always offer the opportunity for others to share their particular goals with me; it’s still there, and I won’t steal your ideas (unless they really were mine first lol).

Enough of that. Time for my favorite 10 posts of the years. Actually, one of them was already linked above, the one for my 55th birthday, so it’ll be 11 overall. Here we go:

10 Social Media/Networking Don’ts In 2 Minutes

15 Lessons From 1,500 Blog Posts

We Are What We Consume; Not Talking About Food…

Your Speech Is Free, But Consequences Aren’t

5 Lessons On How Not To Let Others Try To Run Or Ruin Your Life

7 Blogging Beliefs You Interpreted Wrongly

First Seven Steps To Small Business Blogging

Yosemite Sam Marketing

Inequality – Blog Action Day

7 Certainties Of Blogging

By the way, I guess I should add one more goal, though I may need some help with it. I’m tired of seeing all these lists talking about top 50 or top 100 bloggers and I’m nowhere to be seen. I’m thinking that 7 years with this blog, 6 with my finance blog, and, come February, 10 with my business blog should count for something. So if you believe that I know a little something about blogging, I’d appreciate a good word here and there; thanks in advance.

That’s all I have except the many thanks for you veterans and you new visitors who indulge me every once in a while by visiting this blog. I hope to continue producing even more content with opinions, tutorials and some personal stuff in 2015. Not sure if this is the last post of this year or not but if it is, have a safe New Years holiday and be safe; you don’t want to miss what’s coming in 2015! 😀
 

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Making Money Is Not Evil

Back in November I tackled the subject of making money in a post titled Are Your Views On Money Holding You Back. I pretty much made it clear that I tend to believe most people hold themselves back because they see rich people, or at least people they view as doing very well, as untrustworthy, and even though they want money themselves they don’t want to be seen in the same light by others.


by 401K via Flickr

Lately there’s been a lot of bashing against people who write these “make money” blogs. Yes, a lot of it is warranted, but not because they’re writing about making money.

The bashing comes because most of the people writing about it aren’t making any money at all. Some of those people might be making some money, but they’re not making a sustainable living wage. If you’re making $20 a month by blogging, you’re certainly not an authority on it. If you’re even making $1,000 a month, that’s actually pretty good but it doesn’t make you an authority on it.

Some years back, one of the topics I used to write about all the time were the affiliate marketing programs I was testing; I tested a lot. With each program I tested, I wrote about it, what I saw, and if I’d made any money off it and how much. Late last summer I started a series on all the programs I’ve tried and talked about the kind of money, or lack thereof, that I made. You can see an example of my talking about these affiliate programs here. In my mind it was the most honest way to talk about these things. I mentioned Commission Junction in that post, saying I love how many things they have and how it offers lots of options for advertising, yet also admitting that I’ve not made a lot of money in, what is now, 4 years.

Making money is NOT evil; how you make it might be. Those that pursue income by lying or being sneaky are evil. Well, that might be a bit strong but go with me here. When I was first learning about selling items online I purchased a book from a site called Rich Jerk. The book was actually pretty good, and its follow up, which was a series of extra chapters, weren’t bad at all either. They have an interesting schtick that I didn’t mind of being rude to customers; I thought it was pretty funny.

Then one day they sent a special link to show us how we could make some easy money online. It took us to a video where this guy showed us a way to make money using Craigslist. What he did was find an image of a cute dog on Google, and used it in an ad on a squeeze page. Then he posted something on Craigslist about the need to give his dog away to someone because he was moving and couldn’t take his dog with him. Within hours he’d had around 25 people send him email asking about the dog. What he did was reply to every person, telling them he’d found someone for his dog, and then talked about the training he did on his dog and sent them a link to his sales site. And he actually ended up making 7 sales from it, since his squeeze page was for a dog training manual.

Some call that effective marketing; I call it smarmy. It’s that kind of thing that keeps the hairs on the back of my neck raised high, wondering if certain things are scams or not. And that’s a horrible way to go around the internet thinking, but it’s also the safest way.

Please, go out and make money. I want everyone to live the life they want to live, which I hope is a happy life. Just do it honestly; trust me, if you don’t, you will eventually get called out on it, and then where will you be?
 

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