Category Archives: Marketing

Chitika

After months of my friend Sire beating me up about it, I’ve finally decided to sign up with Chitika. Chitika is another PPC (pay-per-click) advertising company along the lines of Adsense and Widget Bucks, but there’s a difference, which I’ll get to in a couple of minutes.

Signing up is fairly easy to do. You put in all of your demographic information, along with a preferred username and password, and make the determination of how you want to get paid. Then you hit the button, and you’ll get an email where you click the link to activate your account.

The next step is to pick the type of ad you want to display, and select the colors. Oddly enough, you’ll have two options, which I thought was odd until I read it a little bit better. I’ll start with option two, which gives you the opportunity to select an alternate link or product to advertise instead of their offering. They do that because of option one, which states that if you select it, the only people who will see the ad are people who come to your site via a search engine. Yup, that means if you’re a regular reader and therefore visit the site any other way, you’ll never see the regular Chitika ads, but anyone who might find you via a search engine will. The idea is that people who come to you via a search engine represents targeted traffic, and their advertisers will pay a higher rate for targeted traffic. At the same time, your normal visitors won’t have to be subjected to the ads. One other odd thing is that, as long as I’m considered as logged into my account, I’ll never see any of those ads either; weird, right?

Of course, that doesn’t mean one can’t represent them with affiliate tags, which I’ve done over there to the left. I didn’t read how much I could get if anyone signs up after clicking on the button; truthfully, I haven’t really paid much attention to any of the affiliate ads as far as how much I could get paid, which I now have to admit is a little strange for someone who’s usually as anal as I can be about these types of things. I guess I figure if any of them make money, I’ve done fairly wel.

So, we’ll see how it goes on the blog. Sire states that Chitika brings in more money on his blog than Adsense; I guess another test will tell the tale, but, since this blog brings in almost no Adsense money, it might not be a fair fight.

Rethinking Adsense On My Blog

This is not about to be a rant against Google Adsense. I’m actually appreciative of the opportunity I get to earn a little bit of change here and there from Adsense on my website, and now that I’m earning money faster than I used to with it, I’m not looking to have it gone from my life any time soon.

Felix spam!
Melly Kay via Compfight

However, I am thinking about reducing just how much Adsense I have on this site. To that end, I’ve already done it, replacing the skyscraper ad I had on the right side with my Widget Bucks ad instead. But I still have two sets of Adsense on the left sidebar, and I’m thinking about removing the second one, the lower one, and putting a block of 125×125 ads in that spot instead.

Why am I thinking this way? Well, I’m coming to the conclusion that blogs are not conducive to great earning potential from Adsense. Blogs really are more participatory than static websites. People come to read, and then they come to comment (okay, big hopes at times, but go with me here).

Sometimes people will look at the box ads you have if something catches their eye, or if they’re in a buying mood. But people don’t usually look at the Adsense on your blog, especially if they’re used to seeing the same thing on their blog.

As a for instance, I looked at the Adsense blog on the main page of this blog. Every ad talks about how to make money with your blog, including the one ad for Adsense. The second block is actually more interesting, but I’m figuring that if the main box, which is in a prime spot, is being ignored, then the second block is also being ignored.

I may keep two ad blocks, but move one right into the posts itself. There’s a WordPress plugin that actually will pop that in for you, though I haven’t explored it yet, and I’m thinking that if I have it directly in the posts that it might be seen better. However, I’m hesitant to do that until I see what either Kontera’s ads or LinkXL ads look like, which are supposed to be integrated into my content.

By the way, almost two weeks on each of them, and not a single ad has shown anywhere yet. I’m wondering if I’m not writing about anything that their advertisers could talk about; heck, that article on music sites, and the one on health should catch someone’s attention, one would think, but they’re both new.

Anyway, if I do it, I’ll do it over the weekend some time, and I may not announce when I do it. But if I write a long post, and something looks different, and you’ve read this post, you’ll get it.
 

My Website Marketing Book Again

By now, everyone who reads this blog knows I wrote an ebook called Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool. I first wrote about it on this post as a pre-launch. Then two days later I upped the intensity of the pre-launch here. Then it was launch day, and I wrote about it here and on my business blog.

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Enjoy the puppy;
the book’s there to the left

I didn’t stop there. I had to visit it again here and in August, and again in October. On that one, I even put in the Paypal button where you could purchase the book right from the post, without having to go to the website first.

I’ve made some sales, and that’s not such a bad thing, but I want to make even more sales. A big part of me realizes that the ebook isn’t necessarily for most of the people who come to this blog. It’s for people with little sense of how to use their website to help market their offsite businesses, although it does have some ideas for those who want to market online but may know way less than I do, since I also build websites, so I know a few things on that front. I didn’t turn this into a “building websites” blog, but I easily could have gone that way; I’m just not sure all that many people would stick around to read it.

I got kind of a wake up call earlier today during an online conference I was participating in, and I asked a question about marketing information products and pricing them. The person conducting the seminar told me that I was charging way too little for it, based on what it was, and that I should raise the price.

I’m going to do that; just not today. Of course, digital products have fluctuating prices all the time, so I could raise it now only to lower it at some point in the future. That makes sense, right?

There you go. Will this spark sales over the next couple of weeks? I’m not sure. In life there are no real guarantees except the fact that if you don’t try anything you won’t get anything.

This probably won’t be the last time I talk about it, since I know I’ve alluded to it in many other posts, but I won’t be talking about it again here for the next two weeks. That leaves me a day or two before the month ends to mention it one last time before that deal is gone forever. Pressure; it’s on!
 

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What’s Your Market

Earlier today I was at what we call a “mastermind” group. Basically, there’s four of us who try to get together once a month to discuss where we are in our businesses and try to see if we can help each other to stay on target for our business and personal goals.

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definitely not dinosaurs…

While discussing an idea, one of the participants asked the question “what would our market be.” Truthfully, I didn’t quite understand the question, and went with my gut response, which is usually “why do we need to figure out who our market is?

I come from the school of “just do it“, because one thing I notice a lot of people do is think about something to the point where they eventually don’t do anything. I’m the type who’ll think about something, think some more, then finally come to a realization it’s time to get it done and worry about other things later on.

Later on, we came back to this topic, and I finally said I wasn’t sure what her point was, as in, what she was asking me. She then explained herself, and at that point I started to understand it a bit more. We then talked about the website of mine that I highlighted the other day, Medical Billing Answers, and she asked me who I thought that market was.

I first said almost anyone, which she didn’t like, so I thought about it some more and I said that when the idea first came to me, I was thinking about the medical billing consumer, that person who has questions about their medical bills that can’t find anyone impartial to ask their questions of. Then, after the site was created and some of the articles were up on the site, it turned out that the biggest consumer of my site, as in the people asking me questions, were people who did medical billing, not the consumers. That’s how I came to see that particular site as being for anyone, since obviously I’m not good at deciding who my consumer is.

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She then asked me about this blog, which she’s never seen, and asked me who my market is, and who my consumers are. I actually drew a blank; I’ve never really thought about it before. I mean, I’ve thought about the topics often enough, but even when I launched this blog and wrote my first post, I talked more about what I wanted to do with this blog than who I wanted to serve, or who I was hoping would visit.

The truth is that I want everyone to visit this blog; is that really too much to ask? lol What types of visitors am I looking for, beyond everyone? Tough question indeed. Let’s see if I can define it with some honesty, since that’s what I’m all about.

First, I’m hoping that some of the visitors who come here are buyers. I’m hoping that some of the things people are thinking about buying are some of the things I talk about, or some of the things I promote.

Second, I’m hoping that some of the visitors who come here are hoping to learn something. I talk about a lot of things that many other folks don’t talk about, or, hopefully, in some detail that they might not go into, such as my post on how to be a prolific writer.

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who wants more of this?

Third, I’m hoping that some of the visitors who come here are looking to see how someone else who’s going through the things they’re going through in trying to find ways to make money with their blogs is doing it, and is ready to share in the ride of success; never failure, as any time something doesn’t work, it was just a learning opportunity on the way to bigger and better things. Then again, I’m not big on the word failure, calling it experimentation instead In any case, I share when I make mistakes concerning other things with computing, like when I talked about wiping out all my files and the process I had to go through to recover them; ouch!

Fourth, I’m hoping that some of the visitors who come here are looking to share their experiences with me and with anyone else who reads this blog, because I truly feel that we are a community if we wish to be, and that in every situation, every encounter, that can be shared with someone else, there’s something for someone to learn from.

Fifth, I’m hoping that all of the visitors to this site will find something to entertain them<, to intrigue them, to shock them> and make them think about something they’ve probably never thought about before. To touch their hearts, share something with them that they’ve probably never heard of before, and generally to have fun. If we can’t have a little bit of fun, education, and thinking mixed in, what’s the point, right?

I’ll put this out to you, the readers of this blog. Help me help and entertain you. I don’t know all the answers, but, as you’ve seen, I’ll do some research here and there. How do you like what you’ve seen thus far? Is there a topic that you’d like to see me cover more, or less? What kind of information are you looking for that you might be looking to purchase? What kind of products? What is it that I can help you with? And, what do you think my market is, or should be? Turning it around, what is it that you’d like to help me with?

By the way, I will probably be giving more information about myself over the coming weeks, just to some of you can learn more things about me and all my businesses, because there’s obviously more than my post on about pages covered. Who knows; I just might get to work with you someday. 🙂
 

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Stepping Up Marketing Efforts

So here it is, the end of the month, Halloween, and I’m taking a look back at the month for only one reason; commerce.

Do you know that, not counting this post, I’ve written 47 entries this month? Man, that’s astounding! At this pace I could hit that magic 300 number by early December, with a shot at ending the year barely under the figure of once a day posting.

Now the other side; how much money have I made off this blog from product sales; zero. Okay, I haven’t had hundreds of thousands of visitors, ’tis true, but this month I will have had almost 2,500 actual visitors, per Google Analytics, and I’m thinking that’s not sure a bad number. Every sales class I’ve ever taken says that you should average at least one sale per every 100 people that come your way; I’m nowhere near that.

Okay, I said I hadn’t sold a product; I’m not really sure if that’s true or not. I did have a couple of folks sign up for the $100 Million Dollar Challenge, and one sign up for Tweet My Blog, but I haven’t seen any indication that any funds have moved into my Paypal account. But that’s it.

So, in November, I’m going to mix it up just a little bit more. Every third post, on average that is, I’m going to post some kind of marketing item, talking about a product that I’m an affiliate with. Now, how am I going to manifest that? I’m not quite sure yet, as I’m just thinking about it off the top of my head. But I figure that I’ve been doing this for almost a year thus far, and I’ve made less money off my blog overall than $100 Million Dollar Challenge, who just started his blog two weeks ago. By the way, you should check it out; he’s kind of interesting reading, I must say.

Oh yeah; I’m probably going to add one of those tip jar programs to the blog also, just to see if anyone appreciates certain posts enough to say “hey, I’ll drop that guy a few dollars for that one”; vanity, thy name might be Mitch! Oh yeah, I can stomach sales; let’s hope some of you readers can also. But don’t worry; the sales isn’t going to get in the way of my other writing, including some more personal stuff and something else I just want to share with y’all; check the next post.

Of course, if you’d like to help put a couple of bucks in my pocket, while possibly learning how to make some money yourself, you can always go back and read my post on 20 Ways To Make $100 A Day, or just click on “Buy” below. Happy Halloween!

20 Ways To Make
$100 A Day Online

by Willie Crawford



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