Category Archives: Marketing

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

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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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Let’s Learn Affiliate Marketing Together

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As many of you know, our buddy Yan wrote a post early in the new year called 2009 Is The Year Of Internet Marketing. As I read that article, I was thinking how, for me, last year was supposed to be my year of internet marketing, and I can’t say it turned out all that well. Sure, I made some money, probably my best year ever, and yet, when it’s all said and done, I don’t really think I learned much this year to push me to the next level.

And I’m not alone. Let’s face this fact; there’s a lot of us out here who are trying to learn this internet marketing thing better. We buy the books and manuals and CDs and videos, and, well, we probably don’t get to most of it. I know I got to just under half of it, and, oddly enough, the one thing I really worked at, that I read deeply, was Joel Comm’s Adsense Secrets, and my income did drastically increase from it, though not on the blog, but from my other sites.

This proves that sometimes this literature and stuff we decide to invest in does work. And yet, it doesn’t take care of everything, does it? Let’s take a look at this affiliate marketing thing. Last year, when I started this blog, I decided to add some affiliate banners and products to my blog. I put either a link or product at the end of every post; I didn’t make a single sale from any of that in 2008, so obviously it takes more than that. Well, I did more than that a few times; I actually wrote entire posts about some of the items I was advertising because they were things I was using and I liked, and the only one I know about that a few people actually clicked on and signed up for was Tweet My Blog, and yet I never earned a dime from them (maybe I don’t understand how they’re supposed to pay, but I know at least 3 people went ahead and downloaded the product based on my recommendation) through Clickbank; sigh,…

Enough of that. Time to stop whining, and time to start learning. Obviously I don’t know it all, but I’ve learned a bunch of things, and y’all have learned a bunch of things, but we’re still missing it. So, here’s the challenge. Let’s put together our list of questions, things we want to learn as it pertains to this thing called affiliate, or internet, marketing. I have met some big time internet gurus in the last year, and if we can put together a package of questions, I will contact one of them and ask them if they can answer our specific questions. How does that sound?

I’ll start with mine:

1. Is the list really the most important thing to making consistent sales, or any real sales?

2. With Clickbank, do we write our own squeeze page to then send someone to the squeeze page of the product, or is there a way to work around that?

3. What is the best way to sell our own products?

4. Going back to the list, is it really ethical to always gather email addresses when giving out free items, then bombarding people with sales offers?

5. How does one really go about asking for the sale, especially on a blog?

And there you go; my questions. What are yours? Or, if you can answer those above, what are those answers? Let’s all learn and grow together.


Free CD

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Is Control A Facade?

Today I’m flying back home, after finding that, when I got back to Reno, the CFO of the hospital I was consulting for had hired another consultant to take over what I’d been doing. The odd things are that I didn’t report to him, but someone else, and that person had sent an email out last week saying he was appreciative of the good job I was doing. Anyway, as a consultant, it’s the type of thing one has to deal with, so I get to come home and reload.

Gun Control
HELEN M BUSHE via Compfight

These types of situations always lead to many questions, and one of those questions that also applies to internet marketing and affiliate marketing and our blogs and websites is just how much control we really have over all of it. It sounds strange when one considers what it is many of us are trying to do with our blogs and websites, which is to generate some kind of income, because we’re the ones who build the websites, and we’re the ones who write the content for our blogs, and we’re the ones who select the items we want to market on our blogs. It all gives us this facade of control, but just how much control do we really have?

Let’s look at affiliates first.

The main two that I belong to are Commission Junction (which I dropped in October 2016) and Google Performance Network (which went away in 2013). Overall, they’re not bad, though I’m not making nearly the income I thought I would.

Since May I have lost many affiliates because New York state decided that online affiliate companies have to collect taxes from sales made by New York state affiliate marketers. I ranted about the taxes a few days later when I lost a few more affiliates. And then last month I lost even more affiliates for the same reason, just when I thought that time period had passed. Both CJ and GPN know that I’m from New York, so you’d think they would automatically disqualify me from some programs where their advertisers have informed them that they don’t want to work with New York marketers.

That’s not the only issue with affiliates. Lately there have been a number of affiliates through Commission Junction that are changing their payout schedules, as well as changing the marketing rules for how you’re allowed to advertise for them, and you can bet that none of it is in our favor. Some other affiliate types are discontinuing signing bonuses for new marketers, citing cash issues, which to me is an incorrect tactic in a negative market because those companies that did offer it also had a goals level that one had to attain in sales before they could collect on it. Frankly, it might have made more sense to raise that level for new affiliate marketers than what they’ve done, but it’s still proof of one more thing that’s out of our control.

I also believe my December report, which Ajith had indicated wasn’t very good, shows that as much as most of us work to attain high visit numbers to help generate some sort of income for not only our blogs but our websites, sometimes it requires some extraordinary effort that, though itey might seem it’s within our control, really isn’t. My little research project showed that it’s really not all that easy to figure out just what’s going to impress visitors, search engines, and advertisers, but that still doesn’t apply to making more sales.

Does this mean we give up and let anarchy take over? Not at all. It does mean that all of us need to think more about these types of things and be ready to alter our processes for maximum effect without too much effort that brings low returns. Heck, y’all have seen my goals, and I realize that to reach these goals, and my personal financial goals, I have a lot of work to do and a lot of thought to put into it.

What do you think of my reasoning, and how would you decide to progress where your effort equals your input?
 

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