Almost 10 years ago, when it was a popular thing to do, I introduced a new website based on a lot of articles I’d written on the topic of smoking. I’d written the articles for someone else who’d asked for 20 of them, but when he decided he only wanted 7, I kept them all for myself and create the website.
Mom’s promoting Happy!
I introduced the website on this blog and some of the visitors here went to check it out. During the discussions that took place afterwards, one of the commenters asked if I had ever used any of the products I was promoting on that site to help people stop smoking, to which I had to say “no”; I’ve never smoked. Another commenter stated she thought the topic of promoting something one hadn’t used might be an interesting topic to write on. I’m going to tackle it now… all these years later! 🙂 Continue reading →
Okay, I get it. Twitter and Facebook can be used for business purposes. I know; I use them for business as well. Not that often, but obviously I do. Every blog post I write shows up on Twitter. One of my blogs shows up on Facebook every time I post. When I’m holding office hours I announce it on Twitter; never done it on Facebook, but I guess I should.
Yes, money can potentially be made from both Twitter and Facebook. But is that the only thing people can think of to do with it?
Remember when I wrote about Twit Cleaner a week ago? Man, that thing took off by storm. Not from my post, but from a lot of people who discovered it and decided to check things out. There were a lot of Twitter folks who suddenly saw their numbers drop drastically. I’m betting some of them have no idea why it happened, and think Twitter penalized them for something. Truthfully, all any of those people had to do was to look at their Twitter account every once in awhile and they’d have seen that many of their followers were talking about it, and looking through their accounts to see who was talking to them and who wasn’t.
Is it too much to ask for people to try to be social at least some of the time while they’re either on Twitter or Facebook? Do I have to keep repeating myself often enough on Twitter about not being selfish? Do I have to write my posts here and there about why Facebook seems to be lame as a social media entity?
I was reading another blog earlier today where a commenter wrote that people have no right to tell others how to use social media, and that if all he wants to do is use it to market his services and products that it’s his right. I don’t dispute that, though I hate it. What’s also people’s right is to be able to find a balance between being able to just talk to people and occasionally seeing something that they might be interested in that might also be an ad.
For instance, I’d have to say that I’ve gotten stricter in determining who I’m following when it comes to internet marketing or SEO topics. I don’t want to have to visit a site, then put my name and email address in to find out what something is about. Nope, not falling for that anymore; been on the internet way too long. These people are irksome enough to begin with, but on Twitter, since everything changes to a tiny URL, you never know where you’re going to end up.
Maybe I’m just being curmudgeonly; what are your thoughts on the social aspects of social media? Am I asking for too much?
Our friend Sire and I have had some interesting conversations lately on two topics. One is the concept of trying to drive more traffic to one’s blog. The other was how to turn people into buyers, especially if they’re actually clicking on your links.
Let’s address the first topic of traffic first. I’ve actually broached this subject many times, in different ways. I asked what people would do to get more traffic. In that post I talked about those websites that you can pay that supposedly will send you lots of traffic. It’s not targeted, and you’re not sure any of those people actually clicked and read your stuff, but you’re somehow getting traffic.
I mentioned free traffic exchanges. I mentioned the concept of better SEO and organically driving traffic to you and your site. And I mentioned myself the idea of blog commenting to drive traffic as well. I like the last two the best, although SEO can take awhile and blog commenting is a lot of work.
Of course, there was my rant against those folks who write all these posts about driving massive traffic to one’s blog but copy what everyone else has been writing; I hate that kind of thing. I also have shared something where Alvin Phang talks about how he drives traffic to his blog. And I also have asked people how far they’re willing to go for promotion, although that wasn’t specifically for traffic, but if you promote yourself well you’re probably going to get better traffic.
The reality is that it’s hard getting traffic to come to your site unless you can figure out a way to stand apart. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with content anymore; sure, content adds value, but I’ve been to some blogs where the entire post is two paragraphs, or is a lot of nothing, and that post will generate 50 comments.
It might have something to do with blog commenting, because people see what you have to say and if they like it they’ll visit you. I think this thing Kristi does every Friday called Fetching Fridays is a wonderful concept, but wow, what a lot of work!
It generates lots of visits because the people she highlights love it, and people who drop by get to see lots of topics and visit blogs they may never have heard of that have articles they want to see. No, I won’t be doing anything like that on a regular basis, so you’ll just have to deal with my occasional highlight of websites you might not know about.
One other thing. This concept of niche blogging is a good one, but just selecting a niche isn’t going to get it done as far as driving lots of traffic, or even making a lot of money. Today I posted my 201st post on my finance blog, Top Finance Blog, as today is the blog’s anniversary (200 posts a year there, 300 here… man, I’m tired!). The niche is finance, which one would have thought was a big issue in this past year with the terrible economy, but it’s generated very little income, few visitors by comparison, and not all that many comments. So, it really depends on picking a niche that you know everyone else is really interested in, then being able to consistently write on that niche without being boring or stealing from others for inspiration.
In other words, other than blog commenting and figuring out how to promote yourself better, I have nothing to add on how to drive traffic to a blog or website; at least not fast.
Now, on to the topic of turning people into buyers. Sire stated on his blog that he believes it could be tied into getting more traffic. I disagreed with that assertion. We both put up our monthly income stats. I made nothing for Commission Junction in November, but I had 283 people actually click on the links, which means they checked out products or the websites. But no buyers. Sire had around 170 or so, and the same thing. Most sales professionals will tell you that you should average at least 1% sales; we both missed that.
One of my friends, Monique, wrote to say that she felt if one actually talked about the product then marketed it that it would generate sales. I didn’t totally dismiss it, because that does sound like a great strategy, but I’ve done that. I talked about my Casio watch and even put the watch I bought at the bottom; no clicks. I’ve written on other products, and I’ll be writing on another product soon; nothing. I’ve actually written 2 posts on the ebook 20 Ways To Make $100 a Day, and never gotten a click, even though I bought the book and it’s what’s led me to my latest career in writing and blog writing for others.
Is it a matter of trust? Well, this guy named Todd asked if people like and trust you, and I commented that I hoped so, but I wasn’t really sure. I get visitors, have subscribers, but no buyers. So, does that mean people don’t trust me, or just that I’m not offering anything that they need?
Then I said to Sire that we had to look at each other to see what makes us respond to buying things. And we really don’t have an answer for that; I think that’s interesting, and something worth exploring. Actually, I asked people before what makes them buy stuff, and got at least a few comments on it. I’m asking again, because I’d love to hear from more people on the subject. And of course the question comes up as to the types of ads people respond to better, banner ads, product ads, or text ads. I’ve tried them all; still no idea.
Either way, it’s probably the question of the ages for anyone trying to market themselves online. I have a lot of questions, but not all that many answers. Anyone figured out the full formula yet? Let us know.
Writing a blog is pretty much like doing your own marketing and advertising. I say kind of because if one is always blatantly selling, some people eventually get turned off or just tune out, and suddenly you’re only writing to and for yourself. Whereas I always believe most of us should be writing for ourselves anyway, because we love to write, in the long run we write because we’d love people to read what we have to say, possibly buy something from us, or hire us to do other things for them.
November is going to be my month for figuring out how to better market myself, to make myself famous, if you will. I don’t want to be infamous because that might mean I’m either going to jail or getting bad press in the news; nope, that just won’t do. To that end, I’ve submitted myself for two interviews. The first one was posted on Saturday for me, but November 1st for him, that being on Ramana’s Musings. This was definitely something different, as we talked a lot about my diabetes and how it possibly affects me. I’d never been asked that before, and I’m always glad to share and spread the word about how bad diabetes can be.
The second interview isn’t out yet, so I’m not going to give that one away, but it’s another great opportunity to share my thoughts with people, being presented to an audience that might never have heard of me. And there’s plenty of those people, that’s for sure.
One thing I’ve been lucky for is to become kind of a regular participant in the interviews of Beverly Mahone, who does an online radio show every Sunday at 7PM called Passions, mainly geared towards women and social media, but really about social media, baby boomers, and anyone else who wants to glean some information. It’s not always just me, like it was when I spoke to her on reinventing oneself, but that’s okay because if it was always about me then it wouldn’t be a special thing, now would it?
I’ve talked about being able to get positive publicity through interviews, which is cool, but marketing oneself takes a bit more than that. I’ve thought about making a push for more Twitter subscribers, but that seems smarmy in light of the fact that there are all these people who keep pushing these products about gaining more Twitter subscribers, some even lying (yeah, I said it) by saying you could average 500 new subscribers a day. Trust me, only if you’re a celebrity is that going to happen.
Anyway, thinking about better ways to market myself, and my affiliate products, is going to be the thrust of November for me. I’m not promising this will be the only time I talk about my blog writing services, one of many I can provide folks, but it’ll be the only time I mention it this week; how’s that for a promise? 🙂 And I’m not going to advertise most of the services that I provide in my main business here either, because the two don’t really cross over all that well with each other. I will, however, talk about my services as a business and executive coach, as well as share resources to find other coaches who might be more suited for what someone might be looking for, because I really do believe coaching can work wonders for anyone looking to make positive changes in their lives, business or personal.