Category Archives: Marketing

Liking Your Own Stuff

As many of you know, I’ve been making YouTube videos for a couple of years now. I’ve had a few that have done really well, but some haven’t quite gotten the type of traction I’d hope they would get.


who wouldn’t like this!

There’s always this question about how to promote videos, or blog posts, or things one posts on Facebook. The thing I see happening most often, and I see it on YouTube more than anyplace else, is “liking” one’s own video.

The thing about liking a video on YouTube is that, for most people, it automatically shows up on both the person’s YouTube channel who likes it and on Google Plus, since Google owns them. If you have lots of people following you it’s another way to reach many of them who might not immediately go to your page when you post something, and if you have few people it gives you another opportunity to spread the message that you have a new video.

I remember having a conversation with someone a couple of years ago about this practice, only we were talking about blog posts. She said that whenever she wrote one she shared it everywhere, including Facebook, and then if she could “like” it she would because it would not only help spread the message but, in her opinion, if you didn’t show you liked your own stuff why should anyone else like it.

My response was that it seemed narcissistic and looked kind of goofy, especially if you ended up being the only one liking your own stuff. However, she pointed out to me that whenever we created a new page or group on Facebook that we had to like it, otherwise we couldn’t follow it easily. She was right on that front… but I still have problems with it.

I believe in marketing. I believe in selling. I believe that there are many opportunities to do both, and that probably most of us are bad at these things. I’m the guy who did a video telling people that the ultimate secret to success is selling. So it’s not that I’m against any of that stuff.

I just personally have a problem with trying to tell everyone that I think everything I put out is great. Truthfully, I don’t think everything I write here is great. I don’t think all my videos are great. Pretty good most of the time… yeah. Are some things great in my mind? Yeah. 🙂

With that said, if I click on everything I write or record and tell the world that I think I’m great… am I lying, promoting, bragging… what?

Once again, this is something I don’t have the answer to. Maybe I’m the only one with this issue; I’m not sure. So, on a relatively short post for once, I’m asking you, the blogging public, what you think about liking your own stuff in public. I’m not saying sharing now… I mean visually liking your own stuff.

This should be interesting; I can’t wait to see what y’all come up with. And, as a special treat, how about one of those “great” videos of mine, on the topic of influence? Go ahead, I’ll wait… 😉
 


http://youtu.be/mH02Z4OQxng

 

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Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

In my last post talking about Commission Junction & my problems with them, I left off by saying there is a question about affiliate marketing in general, and the title above is that question.

IMG_4608
Frances Hui via Compfight

Let’s look at this thing from the big picture perspective. How many ways are there to make money online? A bunch of ways truthfully, as I shared in this post years ago talking about how Lynn Terry does it and then talking about how one can legitimately make money blogging, saying it wasn’t how you were thinking.

I’ve said that over the years the one thing that’s made me any real money has been Adsense, and not on this blog but most of it on one of my other websites. I’ve made very little money via affiliate marketing, no matter who it is, and I did a six part series in 2011 talking about all the affiliate programs I’m connected with and how much (little) money I made from them all over the years if you want to check that out.

Frankly, the effort isn’t really worth it anymore, but I’m wondering if it’s ever been worth it. True, there are some people who make a lot of money online via their blogs and affiliate programs, but let’s think about a couple of things here.

One, how many of those affiliate programs are the same types of things we have?

Two, how many of those folks are getting paid a much higher rate than most people will get, mainly because of their associations?

Three, for that matter, how many of these folks make a lot of money by promoting each other’s programs and products as opposed to going the route that the overwhelming majority of us go?

Before I go on, let me state this for the record. I never begrudge anyone for making money or for figuring out how to make money. Unless they do it in an unethical way, I figure people are entitled to whatever money they make or whatever money someone is willing to pay them, even if I may not like them (for who they are, not for making money). Can we learn lessons from these folks? Absolutely, as long as we look at the right thing.

In this instance I’m going to use one of my buddy Brian’s favorite people, a guy named Pat Flynn, who publishes his monthly income report each month. This guy’s raking it in; there’s no disputing that. He’s working it like a pro; great for him. But let’s look at only his affiliate programs for a moment.

He shows that he made more than $38,000 in November for his affiliate programs; that’s fantastic. He made around $23,000 of that via BlueHost, and he made it via his YouTube channel talking about how to create a blog using them. YouTube is the way a lot more people are making money these days, and he’s a charismatic guy, so talking about it in a video and getting lots of visitors to it would sell a lot of product.

drinks machine via Compfight

He made more than $3,600 via a program called Long Tail Pro, something I’ve never heard of, but it’s an independent program that he helps promote. Another $2,700 via LeadPages, $2,100 for the Thesis theme, $2,000 for Market Samurai and $1,400 for Aweber, and then lesser amounts for a lot of other things; I’m only talking affiliate programs here.

What isn’t he doing? He’s not using things like Commission Junction, Clickbank, LinkShare, Bidvertiser, on and on and on. As a matter of fact, most of the things he’s marketing other than BlueHost aren’t the types of things most of us probably think about when we’re thinking affiliate marketing.

I thought about pulling someone else’s monthly income report, decided I didn’t want to embarrass anyone, and instead decided to share one of my old income report from September 2010, before I stopped doing them, as a point of comparison. This was the most money I ever made in one month, $562, and that was because I sold one of my websites. Without that it would have been $262, and though I made more money than that later on, it was always Adsense, not because of affiliate marketing. I’m betting that many of you would love to make $200 a month, and that’s not all bad, but can any of us live off it?

I ask the question “is affiliate marketing dead” not because no one makes money off it, but after so many years and so many more people who have tried it and not made a livable income off it, which outnumbers those who do make a living off it 99.8% to .2% (and I think that’s generous), if it worth the effort to continue trying to make money off a model that, for most of us, is not only inefficient and cumbersome but we can’t even trust that they’re giving us the real stats, let alone will pay us? I add this as I just received my one and only payment from Amazon a couple of weeks ago for… 50 cents! Had them for 4 years and I made 50 cents; that’s a darn shame! lol

What’s your thought on this? I know some will think (even if you don’t say it here) that you’re going to be the one who breaks the mold & makes all the money. Oh really? By blogging? By lots of squeeze pages of products that everyone else is already marketing? I’m doubting it but I could be wrong; y’all let me know.

Hey, someone had to ask right? 🙂
 

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To Capture Or Not Capture Email Addresses; That Is The Question

For 10 years I wrote a newsletter on leadership topics. For 8 of those years I also wrote a newsletter on health care finance, though it was a lot more sporadic. I stopped writing both because after so many years I not only could never get the list to grow all that much, but I never got any business out of either of them and almost never got any feedback on them. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure anyone was even reading them.

NEWSLETTERS

In my online life, that’s the only time I ever tried capturing email addresses, and it always felt, well, a bit smarmy to me. I told myself that everyone who was on the list voluntarily gave me their email addresses, which meant they really wanted to see what I had for them, and it’s possible that might be true, but when you don’t get feedback or hear from anyone… well, it just makes you wonder whether you’re bothering people or if they’re just ignoring you.
Continue reading To Capture Or Not Capture Email Addresses; That Is The Question

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Marketing, Promotion And Video

A couple of days ago one of my YouTube friends shared the link of someone new with me & some other folks. He calls his YouTube page Daym Drops, and he talks about food. Well, that’s not quite accurate; he emotes about food, mainly fast food and different items, though he’ll occasionally break into commentary about other foods such as desserts and comfort food.

typexnick via Compfight

There are a few things that are pretty amazing about this guy. First, he’s got over 100,000 subscribers, and I’m a new one. Second, some of his videos have garnered millions of viewers. Third, he’s funny; that never hurts. Fourth, by doing something he loves and promoting it in his own way, he not only makes a pretty good living via YouTube but was able to turn what he does into a TV show for The Travel Channel; what the hey?

I was thinking once again about this once again, this thing about marketing and promotion. In a way, they’re different as well as being somewhat the same. Marketing is where you find ways to market your business to get people to buy from you. Promotion is where you find ways to market yourself and your competencies so that people will buy from you or hire you.

Daym (short for Daymond) actually stated something that I’ve been doing over the past year. In one of his videos, he said that if you have something you want to say that you should create videos and put them out, and even if you only have a few viewers that you should continue doing it; find something you love to talk about and go for it.

I’m now up to 90 videos on this particular channel, the 90th being below, and many of them haven’t cracked double digits. My other channel does much better because I fill a void that no one else can touch, but I don’t do a lot of those and I need to start doing way more.

Why? Because it’s a niche that I can claim as my own and one where there’s actually the possibility that I could make money off it via people hiring me for my services. That might be a lot easier than trying to get hired because of my personality, that’s for sure. lol

Someone like our buddy Adrienne’s got it right. She promotes herself by also promoting others, is pretty much everywhere, and is now starting to show up on lots of lists regarding bloggers that people should know about. It takes a lot of work and consistency, but that’s really what promotions is all about.

I’m bad at it; what about you? No matter; check out the video or comment based on what I’ve said above. The question you’re addressing… are you promoting yourself enough, are you marketing your business enough, and are you using video in any way to help you along? Here we go:
 


 

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The Secret To Success Is…

This is one of those posts where I get to see if you ever really watch the videos I put here or not. You won’t even have to watch it all; just enough of it so you get the answer. However, I think if you’re astute, and of course you are because you come here, you’re going to be really smart and possibly figure it out without watching the entire video. If I see someone guess though, it means they didn’t watch the video and I’ll be deleting those comments because, for this one time, I want you to check out the video.

selling cake

All of us get to define what success is in our own minds. All of us want to be successful; no one goes into a life or business and says “I want to be mediocre”. Even if you want to be the best you can be in what you do that’s a goal that’s better than “I just want to survive”. Yeah, I know some people will say that but I’m going to say I doubt that anyone really believes that.

If you do, this isn’t the post for you and I’m already depressed for you. 🙂

Is there a major secret to success? You bet there is. I can tell you what the secret isn’t though.

It’s not knowledge. Some of the smartest people in the world never become successful. Supposedly 80% of Mensa level people never make much money or have much happiness in their lives.

It’s not perseverance. That would be nice wouldn’t it, saying that if I put my time in and do the best I can that I’ll be successful. Many people who try to make a living online work upwards of 16 to 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not all that many of them are successful. Ask a lawyer who makes $300,000 a year but puts in that many hours if they feel successful; you’ll be amazed at how many of them will say no.

It’s not talent. That one’s depressing because there are a lot of talented people in the world who only have a few people that know about it. There are some great people online who write some amazing things, but an overwhelming majority of them, which includes me here, aren’t successful.

What is the ultimate secret to success? Watch the video below; I promise it’s painless. 😉


 

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