Category Archives: Marketing

Creative Content Marketing

First, today is my 12th wedding anniversary, so I give my wife a shout out for that, even though she never reads this blog. Oh well,…

Second, I came across this blog post on Copyblogger via someone on Twitter. It’s called 49 Creative Ways You Can Profit From Content Marketing, and I found it interesting enough that I wanted to comment on it here. Hey, that’s one way to find ideas for blog posts, right?

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I tried to figure out how to write about this one without copying any of the things on that site, but I also didn’t want to go through 49 different points and answer each one specifically. So, I thought I’d just pick and choose which ones I thought were the most interesting to comment on; I hope you go to the post and read the entire thing for yourself afterwards, though.

Point #3 is interesting: “Write a special report or white paper that addresses a thorny problem in an interesting way.” It slightly touches on my post about writing for others in that it still means you have to come up with an idea on what to write about, and then decide if you can put together enough words to reach your objective. White papers are interesting because they have no real length that they have to be, but it seems that most of them are at least more than four pages, so you’re not just tossing a few paragraphs together and moving on with business. Still, it’s a pretty good idea if you can first figure out what’s bothering a lot of people, then solve it. If you can’t come up with lots of words, at least you have a blog post.

I’ve been thinking about point #8, “Build a membership web site that is a profitable business in and of itself, for awhile now. Mainly for my business blog, as it pertains to older newsletters I’ve written that my newer subscribers have never seen, and thus have never seen any of the previous newsletters. It’s the only real content of which I have lots of, can always add more to, including audio and video at some point.

Number 11, “Build a Facebook page (separate from your personal profile) that gives you another platform for interaction with your customers“, is something I thought about for a minute, then decided to discard. Most of those types of pages are known as “fan” pages, and they’re created by the person who wants people to be fans of theirs. Just just seems, well, narcissistic to me, so I just can’t do it. Now, if someone wants to take up the mantle and create one for me,…

Number 12, “Compile your best 100 blog posts into a physical book. It worked for Godin, and it can work for you“, is intriguing, because I’ve thought about doing this with some of my old newsletters, and if I go back through some of my blog posts on my business blog, I think they might make a nice little book, as Godin’s books are usually quite short. All about creating products, right?

How many times have Pater and I preached #23, “Your comments on other people‚Äôs blogs are content. Treat them that way. Be original, relevant and interesting?” The last time I wrote about it was just over a month ago, in my post Top Three Do’s And Don’ts.

And, of course, this one, #34. “Review everything. Books, blogs, newsletters, tools, physical products, information products“, is a cornerstone of this blog, although more geared towards internet stuff than the others.

Take a look at the other post to see which things you feel are more important than what I’ve posted here.
 

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Top Three Do’s And Don’ts

Earlier in the week I was reading a Tim Bossie’s blog, with his article titled 60 Quick Dos And Don’ts For Online Advertising. This is a great list, and I hope everyone goes over and absorbs this entire list, as it pertains to online advertising, affiliate marketing, internet marketing, MLM marketing, network marketing, email marketing,… well, you catch my drift.

Anyway, I decided that, out of this great list, I’d say what I felt were the three top do’s that he mentions, and then what I feel are the three top don’ts on his list. By the way, I’m not sure if that’s how and where one would put the “s” after “don’t”, but I did search on the internet and it seems this is how other people are doing it, so I’m going that route.

First, let’s do the don’ts first (wow, that looks weird, doesn’t it?), to get those out of the way:

1. Don’t comment on blogs with “Great Blog!” and leave it at that. It’s comments like that which makes it harder these days to determine what’s spam and what’s not. As you know, I hate spam, but I’ve also talked about how it’s getting sneakier and smarter these days. Our friend Peter talks often about people who drop by and leave lots of one line comments just to move up the lists of those people who have top commentator listings, like mine over there on the right (and look who’s at the top). Whether or not it’s truly spam, it looks like spam, and it’s disingenuous to the person who’s writing the blog.

2. Don’t limit yourself to just one advertising method. Y’all see all the things that I test here, then tell you about, but I know I still have a lot of methods that I’ve yet to try. There is no one way that will work for everyone; man, I’ve proven that! If you’re not making $500,000 a year, you probably need to change something around, keep tweaking, and keep learning. Yeah, I know that’s a super lofty goal, and most of us would be happier with a lot less than that from blogging, or from our websites, or from any other internet marketing in general, but I like to dream big.

3. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see overnight millions. Let’s face this fact; there are a lot of dead blogs and websites out there. A good number of those folks tried to make money online and failed. Some of those people participated in programs like Jeff Paul’s Internet Millions or Stores Online programs.

Think about it this way; just how many blogs are there out here that consider themselves “Make Money Blogging” blogs? Folks, in one way or another I’ve been at this for four years, and it’s not until this past year when I’ve actually started making any money at all. I feel it’s because of things I’ve learned since I started writing this blog. Obviously, it’s a long process. The best part about all of it is that it doesn’t cost a lot to try these things out, and to stick with it just a little bit longer. As Jesse Jackson used to say, “Never give up; never stop trying; keep hope alive.”

And now, the do’s:

1. Be persistent in continuing to learn advertising and marketing. Now that’s really what this blog is all about. I try to learn more and more about affiliate and internet marketing, and as our friend Steve says, I tend to process a lot of information.

Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of information that I probably don’t put into practice for one reason or another, so I’m not making the kind of money I should be making. That doesn’t mean I’m not always learning. If things so well, we’re going to get some specific questions answered from a big time internet marketer soon, which I think would help everyone out.

Still, you see me testing things and telling you about them; you see me sharing my stats; you see me sharing websites I find; and you see me sharing ebooks I’ve obtained here and there, free ebooks that I’m allowed to share with you. And I try to write something different than what everyone else is writing.

You saw my rant on this idea of massive traffic; well, since I wrote that, in Twitter, I’ve probably seen at least 20 new posts that have said the same exact thing as everyone else. Is there something new? I don’t know. But I do know that there’s always something new to learn, a different perspective, a different tactic, and I’m going to continue trying to learn more and more; I hope you keep coming back to learn, and to teach me some things.

2. Comment, Comment, Comment on other blogs in your niche. Actually, I want to extend this one further to say comment any place where you feel you can make a contribution in some fashion. I actually do understand the tactic of commenting only on blogs that fit your niche, in that it presupposes those people will see your comment, figure you’re some kind of authority, and decide to come by.

But I’ve had more fun and met some great people on blogs that have nothing to do with my niche; heck, do I have a niche anyway? I write three blogs, and this is probably the only one that doesn’t really have a niche, as much as a concentration. I have varied interests, so I comment on blogs every and anywhere. And I try to offer something with each comment, even if it’s only two lines. There’s a lot of great stuff out there; take the time to look at it, then comment on it, and finally,…

3. Spread some link love in your own articles and blog posts. Well, that’s what started this article to begin with, isn’t it, acknowledging the great job Tim did in writing his post, then expanding on a few points of it for my blog. For those of you who say there’s never anything to write about, you’re just not trying.

If I look at any five blogs, I can find something to write about, and probably get 500 words out of it. I’m a genuinely curious person, and I haven’t even brought up my interest in psychology, the universe, quantum physics, poker (well, I have talked about poker), history, music, and the like. But I’ve shared tons of links with y’all, even on this post; have you noticed that not all the links here are to this blog? Well, I’ve also done a lot of internal linking within my own blog, as well as this post. Internal linking is important to your own SEO (oh yeah, I’ve talked about that also), and it gives those who might like what you have to say more pages to explore if they like even a little bit of what you’ve written. Last night, for instance, I liked this one blog so much that I read 10 of his posts, though I only commented on one of them; I wish I could remember right now who it was, because I’d share it with you.

But there you go, my top three of each category. All that, and if you go to Tim’s blog, there are 54 more gems for you to absorb. Who could ask for more than that? Oh yeah, lots of links on this one, aren’t there? Well, I wanted to do something special for post #399; I hope you enjoy some of them; take care, and enjoy your Saturday.

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What Would You Buy?

What would you buy? A follow up question is “what would you buy from me”?

Let’s look at the first question for a minute. As y’all know, this is my internet marketing blog, and its main purpose, after just being an outlet where I can talk about whatever I feel like talking about, is to help me make money. Most marketing experts (I often wonder about the word “experts”, but that’s for another time) say that to understand buyers, you have to first understand what makes you buy.

So, let’s take a look at my buying patterns online. What makes me buy, or sign up, for things online? First, if I can get something online for a significantly lower price, I’ll buy online. Last week I purchased three HDMI cables from an online company for a total of $10 and change plus shipping (man, I wish they had an affiliate program). When I purchased a HDMI cable at the time I bought my blu-ray DVD player, the cable cost me $31, and that was their cheap cable. I’d say that was a significant savings.

I’ll buy something online that catches my mind’s eye and makes me say “man, I’ve got to have that”. As you know, at the end of each of these messages I either have some kind of banner ad or a product of some kind posted. I’ve actually bought a few of those products here and there, stuff I couldn’t find anywhere else without killing myself looking for it, and, well, that’s just not my style.

I’ll buy something online if I can only get it online. I wear Hush Puppies as my shoe of choice. I’ve been wearing Hush Puppies since 1967, the brush suede, and they’ve always treated my feet properly. I can’t find those shoes in any local stores anymore; they’re just not around. So I purchase my shoes online.

I’ll buy some ebooks online if they look like they’ll teach me something about internet marketing in some fashion. The two I’ve talked about most here are Adsense Secrets and Secret Google Tactics. I used to average $3 a month; now I’m averaging $50 a month. Those have worked well for me. And they didn’t cost much at the time; one cost $10, the other $27.

That’s another thing. I’ll buy something that’s not cost prohibitive. By that, I’m not buying an internet marketing course online for $900; just not happening. For me to spend that kind of money, I need to be able to touch it first, see it right in front of me, kick the tires, smell the upholstery,… wait, I changed genres there. Well, you know what I mean. I have spent as much as $200 for items online, but those were things I knew something about, that I’d seen elsewhere, and knew what I was getting.

So, I’ve identified what I’ll buy and why I’ll buy certain things online. Next, I’m supposed to put myself into the mind of potential buyers from me, based on my own triggers, and then determine what will compel people to buy from me. Frankly, that doesn’t translate well from my mind, which is probably why my internet marketing efforts aren’t all that successful; it probably explains the same thing for many of you also.

What’s the biggest problem in the United States today? The economy. People need jobs, or they need ways to figure out how to make money. I wrote about the book How To Make $100 A Day a few times, and I am an affiliate for this book. I bought this book a couple of years ago, and I did latch onto a couple of the items listed. I would have thought this book would have sold at least a couple of copies here and there; who couldn’t use some ideas on how to make $100 a day, right? And, the guy who put this book together, Willie Crawford, has made more than $400,000 off this book that sells for $27; heck, maybe everyone has it already. I mean, this book hits an emotional trigger if ever there was one.

Let me ask this question; what triggers you to buy something online. Heck, for that matter, if you never buy anything online, what repels you from doing so? If you were to want to buy something from me, or any other online marketer, what do you want to see from them? How would you like marketing to be presented to you so that you might at least consider clicking on it to see what it’s all about? Banner ads? Text ads? Personal products from the creator of the website or blog you’re visiting (by the way, you DID notice mine up there at the top left, right?)? More product reviews, non-paid (since I won’t do paid reviews), or testimonials? Hey, why not share; you might discover something about yourself that will help you to make money online, if you’re so inclined.

Or maybe you want more entertainment; how’s about some live Bruce Springsteen to close this out:


Be seen by 1.5 million hiring managers instantly!

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SEO And Multiple Web Pages

Check out my Big RSS Subscriber Contest after reading this article.

When I wrote my online goals for 2009 post, one of the things I had down as a goal was to come up with three more series of posts I could do for the year. I thought that I would write a series on SEO, or articles that are related to SEO in some fashion, although it’ll probably not start out as a series, but will end up being a series for the year. I also write articles for my other site, so I’ll want to balance which articles I’ll write for here, and which articles I’ll put on that site.

How to seo your website Google
SEOPlanter via Compfight

There was a question that came up on Twitter earlier today that somewhat relates to SEO and marketing, and I thought this was the perfect place to address that question. It actually came from a marketing friend of mine who didn’t understand something. She found a website that supposedly was listing the 50 Top Websites Of 2008. It’s a nice article, but they only talk about one website per page, and she wondered why they would do that. I agreed it was irritating, but I knew the answer.

The basic idea of marketing online is, obviously, to make money. With a website, the more pages you have, the more opportunities you have to make money by advertising. It’s easier to get an advertiser to pay money if you can tell them you can put their ad on 100 pages as opposed to 10 pages. And, with each page that you can add to your website, you have the opportunity to optimize that website using traditional SEO (search engine marketing) principles, which also includes deep linking principles. More pages also helps build up your prominence online.

If you notice, the top 10 webpages on all the ranking companies have tons and tons of pages, probably in the tens of millions at this juncture, and always adding more. Even our local newspaper’s online site will do a trick where they have a limit on the length of an article that they’ll allow to be on one page, and often they’ll make you go through multiple pages just to read that one article.

However, they, like some other online newspapers, also always offer you the chance to click on a link that will give you the “printer version”, which means you can get the entire story on one page. And you don’t even have to print it; you just have to find the link, which isn’t always easy.

So, even though many of us would like to see all 50 of those websites listed on one page, or maybe even 10 or 5, the truth is that it behooves the site to have only one per page, and to write content on that particular site for that page that they can optimize. It’s a good rule of thumb to remember whenever you’re creating your own websites; more is better. However, if you’re writing short articles, breaking them up over multiple pages is just going to drive people nuts. So, do it judiciously.

Now, a question you could probably ask me, knowing this, is why, whenever I write really long blog posts, I don’t break them up into multiple pages. I’m thinking that to do that with a blog would have to get really irritating. If a long post, such as the one on the psychology of gambling, were broken out on a blog, would anyone really read both pages (for that matter, how many folks actually read that article in its entirety, and I mean those of you who didn’t comment on it?) if I put it on two pages, but posted both articles at the same time?

If it were really one complete article, and I posted the first part at one time and the second part at another time, wouldn’t that irritate you also? To me, I’d rather the one long article, which also allows it to be printed if some feel that’s necessary.

Anyway, the SEO part of this is easy. Each page gets to stand on its own because each page gets optimized, but each page is also linked internally to multiple other pages in some fashion. The reality of what a lot of people like to call “link love” is that a website can attain a page rank of 5 or higher without even being linked to other websites. What they need to figure out are better ways of linking internally to themselves and finding ways of making each of those links relevant to each other.

Don’t believe me? Look at this site. Notice that it’s got a page rank of 5. Except for listing a few events on its main page, it’s not linked to any other site throughout the rest of its pages. And there are over 550 pages on this site; I know this because I did an evaluation of this site. The topic also isn’t something that’s common; this company pretty much has an exclusive on what they do.

But here’s the other thing about this site. The main page has a page rank of 5, but most of the internal pages don’t have a page rank at all. And it’s got a terrible Alexa rank. However, the main page still gets a 5, and since it’s the main page that counts, this site is a great example of what can be achieved with great internal ranking. It could be better, but that’s a tale for another time.

And there you are. I hope it’s helped to enlighten a few people, and I also hope this is the start of a fun series that I can compile later on in the year.
 

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Is Social Media Hurting Your Online Business?

As all of you know by now, we had a presidential election this year. It was a major event that, for the first time that I can remember, got more social media attention than at any other time in history, mainly because of sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Talk Nerdy To Me #2
Constantine Belias via Compfight

Because I’m an independent consultant, I knew that I wanted to protect my overall business by not going too far in saying things one way or the other. And I did just that sort of thing until, near the day of the election, I came across this racist video of a small town in Ohio that literally set me off. Even then, I kept my anger in check by only discussing the issue that the video has brought up and nothing else; I couldn’t be faulted for confronting racism when I see it.

During the last few weeks leading up to the election, I saw some things on Twitter that really blew my mind. There were many hateful things said about both candidates, and as long as things stayed on political topics, I didn’t mind. However, when it got personal and racist and downright insulting, that’s where I drew the line. Instead of participating in the hate, for the most part, I just stopped following certain people. The thing is, some of those people were pretty big names, people whose blogs I read and who’s sites I’d visited; one of them I’d even bought a product from. But it was over; I’d lost respect, and it wasn’t coming back.

Facebook is a different animal from Twitter, and yet it’s still social media. There are people who will “friend” you, and sometimes you decide to go ahead and allow it to happen, even if you’re not sure. Most of the time it turns out to be fine, but sometimes, you see people exhibiting behavior that just drives you nuts. People put pictures of themselves on Facebook, which can be fun, but there’s certain behavior that will get people thinking of you in negative ways. I’ve heard the arguments that people should be able to do whatever they want on their own time, and that those “few” acts of indiscretion shouldn’t count against you.

Well, trust me, they do. I remember years ago going to a local networking event and meeting a woman who obviously had too much to drink, and continued drinking, even after her husband showed up. Her spitting in my face and constant touching me certainly didn’t make me a fan of her or her organization, which is one of the largest local bank chains in my area, and I knew that I would never go into her branch again; truthfully, I’ve never ended up going to any of the branches of her chain except one, and that’s only because a friend of mine works there, and I sometimes meet her for lunch.

On Facebook, it might not only be pictures. People will badger you with stupid stuff over and over, and to get away from it you finally just drop them and move on. Luckily, Facebook allows you to drop people without notifying them. Twitter is the same way, although some people have gotten around that by signing up for something, the name of which I can’t remember, but it tells people who’ve stopped following them. Why anyone would want to know when people drop them is beyond me, since there’s nothing they can do about it anyway.

It prompts me to wonder whether many people are cognizant of things they may be doing that may be hurting their business in some way. For instance, going back to Twitter, there was one lady who probably wrote at least 200 posts on Twitter a day, many times one after the other, and I finally had to drop her because it was taking away my enjoyment of the site. She’s actually quite popular, but knowing the type of person she really is has made me decide not to deal with her in any form anymore. There was someone else whose blog I used to enjoy reading, but then he decided to go after someone on Twitter over the course of a few days, and that turned me off and made me go in another direction.

As you look at your websites, and your blogs, do you think there are things there that might be turning off the wrong people? I know a few people have complained about the advertising on my blog, for instance, but this is an internet marketing blog, my intentions have always been well known as far as my intention on trying to make money with this blog, and I talk about all the things that one eventually sees on this blog, so it’s also a testing site. Yet, the majority of my visitors know what I’m doing, are interested in the same types of things, and y’all keep coming back for more (and don’t think I don’t appreciate it either; thanks folks).

But the one thing no one can say about me is that they saw me say anything inappropriate, or show or do anything inappropriate, on a social media site. I tend to be very cognizant of my image; not everyone is. Ask yourself this question today; are you hurting yourself publicly in ways you’re not intending to?


Super Bowl

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