Category Archives: Internet marketing

Day 6: Affiliate Marketer’s Journey Towards Freedom – Does Banner Advertising No Longer Work?

Day 6: Affiliate Marketer’s Journey Towards Freedom – Does Banner Advertising No Longer Work?

We’ve probably all heard the term  ‘banner blind’, however, banner advertising is probably still one of the easiest ways of making money online. No technical skills are required and it’s very easy to set up. However, there are a few things you need to take into consideration when purchasing banner space. Rather than just taking my word read on to find out how I managed to get a whopping 71.43% CTR!

According to WordStream Average click-through rates for banner ads […] have been on the decline, but common wisdom is that a CTR above 2% is commendable. The average CTR is much lower (around 0.25%).

Two days ago, I went ahead and purchased a banner space through BuySellAds on a financial news site to promote my affiliate offer in the Internet marketing niche (not your typical choice for a make money online offer!). The site that I decided to go for is not even getting enough traffic for data to be collected but taking into consideration that it only cost me $25 to have it displayed for 30 days there’s not much risk involved, especially that I’ve tested it earlier on with a different type of offer and a completely different banner getting a decent CTR (click-through-rate) of 3.86%.

TIP #1: When purchasing a banner space go for a fixed amount  where you pay a fixed amount for 30 days rather than pay per 1,000 impressions – that way you’ll know exactly how much you’re spending (This is very important especially if you’re new to banner advertising!) In the right hand column you can see the different payment options including a fixed amount per 30 days or per each 1k impressions as displayed on BuySellAds:

does banner advertising no longer work

TIP# 2: Avoid rotating banners ads – you’ll have probably noticed by now that some publishers (site owners that sell banner advertising space) sell rotating ads – what this means is that rather than having your banner displayed all the time it rotates and you share the same banner space with a few other advertisers, which is a bit like sharing a room which you want to avoid at all cost!

TIP #3: Check how much traffic a site is getting by using a free tool www.similarweb.com You should aim for at least 60k per month to get a decent amount of clicks. Bounce rate (the lower the bounce rate the better as what this means is that visitors are more likely to visit a few pages rather than just one) and average time spent on the site is very important too! (this reflects the quality of the content – the more time they spend on the actual site the better). After all, you want to advertise on sites with a high quality content that engages its users.

TIP #4 Think outside the box. The fact that you’re promoting a make money online offer does not necessarily mean you should advertise on sites about Internet marketing (as you probably already know by now this can turn out to be quite costly!), instead think outside the box and experiment with different types of sites. What I’ve found works great with these type of offers are financial news sites and conservatives’ sites (which can come as a big surprise!)

How Did My Experiment Go?

This came as a huge surprise to me but two ads after my ad went live and I’m getting a whopping 66.67% CTR!!! (unheard of i the industry!). See my stats below (click on the image to enlarge):

66.67 CTR BANNER ADVERTISING

However, as you probably know by now, not all clicks were created equal. My biggest takeaway from this experiment is that a high CTR is NOT your aim. Why? While I had an EXTREMELY high CTR (and while it’s still too early to stay as it’s only been two days since my banner ad went life) this does not necessarily translate into a high opt-in rate (as of today no opt-ins whatsoever, however, as I’m getting more clicks this might soon change). So what initially seems like a great advertising space is in fact (at least for now!) a complete waste of time and money.

TIP #5: Make sure your banner is EASY to read, don’t use any fancy fonts (If it’s difficult to read for you there’s a good chance others will find it difficult to read too!)

TIP #6: Use colours that stand out against the site’s background, e.g. the dominating colour in my banner is red which makes it stand out against the grey background of the site

Why Did I Get Such A High CTR?

First of all, the banner I decided to choose stands out against the rather boring background. Secondly, it’s easy to read (no fancy fonts or small print difficult to read). Third, it’s high quality.  Personally, I prefer simple and ugly banners vs. glossy ones as I find them to work best! What is more, my ad is positioned right above the search box (you’ll be surprised how many clicks you can get if you place your ad right above the search box!). This works great mainly because it’s visible in the top right on their homepage and every time a visitor searches a specific term they see my ad.

TIP #6: Ad positioning is extremely important! You don’t want to display your ads in the graveyard of the site (read: below the font)*. Either aim for leaderboard banners or top right (e.g. above the search box). Also, make sure it’s visible on every page a visitor visits by checking relevant posts (you’ll find that on some forums or sites your ad will be displayed only on their homepage/main page but once a visitor visits related pages your ad is no longer visible).

*below the font means in the footer of the site after scrolling down to the very bottom of the page

How Can My Campaign Be Improved?

Currently, I’m getting a whopping 71.43 % CTR (yes, you read correctly!) when industry’s standard above 2% is commendable! While a high CTR is always desirable it’s not the be-all and end-all, especially if you’re not getting a good amount of opt-ins or sales. After all, at the end of the day you don’t want to spend all your advertising budget just to get clicks that you can’t even monetise on! With that being said, I’m going to keep tweaking it to make sure that my ad is congruent with my landing page as this could be one of the reasons why I’m not getting any opt-ins or perhaps my landing page does not convert that well after all. Another possibility is that the quality of traffic that I’m getting is low or perhaps I’m targeting the wrong type of audience!

I’ll keep you posted on the results of my experiment!

Please share your comments below.

What’s The Best Time To Post On Facebook?

What’s The Best Time To Post On Facebook?

The less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook!

Buddy Media

When’s the best time to post on Facebook?

This infographic from Quick Sprout contains a lot of useful best time to post on Facebook and other social media, such as Twitter and LinkedIn:

86% of posts are published during the work week with engagement peaking on Thursday and Friday.

Engagement rates fall 3.5% below average for posts published Monday through Wednesday

In correlation “The Happiness Index” on Facebook spikes by 10% on Friday

The optimal time to post is early afternoon in the time zone with most of your audience:

  • 1pm to get most shares
  • 3pm to get most clicks
  • broader suggestion of any time between 9am-7pm

Source: SocialSprout

whats the best time to post on facebook

According to SurePayroll’s blog the best time to post on Facebook is 1pm-4pm as it results in the highest average click through. Peak times happen on Wednesdays 3pm.

Now, that we know what the best time to post on Facebook is it’s time to find out what the worst time to post on Facebook is. The worst time to post on Facebook are weekends before 8am and after 8pm:

what is the best time to post on facebook

Posting to Facebook between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. results in the highest average click through rates. These numbers peak around 3 p.m. and hit rock bottom on weekends, before 8 a.m., and after 8 p.m. when people presumably have better things to do.

Source: FastCompany

Do you agree or disagree with this post What Is The Best Time To Post On Facebook?

How to Get Paid for Your Time on Twitter

How to Get Paid to Tweet: A Comprehensive Tell-All Guide

This guide will show you in detail how you can use Twitter as a powerful word-of-mouth advertising tool and make some pretty decent money by doing so.

Every method, program, or system discussed in this guide is 100% free, and you don’t have to sign up with any e-mail marketing list to get the information you need.

Before we jump into it, we need to be clear on something. Making money with Twitter is not nearly as easy as some people would have you believe. Many people that set out to make money with Twitter never manage to earn more than a few dollars a month.

To make good money with Twitter, you must be prepared to work hard and maintain a positive mindset. When I first started out with Twitter I made many mistakes that cost me followers and subjected me to abuse. I’m happy to say these things don’t happen to me any more. My methods for making money with Twitter are the results of three years of trial and error. They are ethical and can really help you improve your standing in the online community.

A Little Bit About How People Make Money With Twitter

There are basically two ways to make money with Twitter. You can use it to promote your own products and services, or you can promote other people’s products and services. This guide will focus on promoting other people’s products and services through the use of third-party social media marketing services, a practice often called “paid to tweet”.

You can also easily apply the methods and strategies in this guide to advertising and selling your own products and services.

What This Guide Does Not Cover

This guide does not cover how to get paid for following people, how to sell your Twitter account, or how to get paid for sending direct messages. Selling your Twitter account is against Twitter’s terms of service, and in general is not a nice thing to do to your followers.

Getting paid to follow people is pointless. It will greatly degrade your Twitter experience and chances are it will only earn you a couple of dollars at best.

Before We Get Started You Will Need To…

If you haven’t already, you will need to sign up for a Twitter account. The information in this part of my guide assumes you are already familiar with the service. For those new to Twitter, I’ve put explanations of the basics plus general tips in the second half of this Hub.

You should also create accounts with the following free services:

  • SponsoredTweets (My favorite social media marketing service and also the most reputable)
  • TraffUp (optional; can help you get more followers)
  • Twiends (optional; can help you get more followers)

If you have any further questions, would like some personal advice or if you just want to say hello, feel free to contact me via HubPages or Twitter (@jam3rr).

An Introduction to Social Media Marketing Services

Social media advertising/marketing services act as the middle man between advertisers and tweeters or the users of other social networks. These are the services that actually make it possible for you to get paid to tweet.

Some social media marketing services specialize in specific areas. Some services are great at connecting regular tweeters with advertisers while others are great at connecting celebrities with advertisers.

The rest of this guide covers the most popular social marketing services that you can use for free to earn money on Twitter. The services we will be taking a look at are:

  • SponsoredTweets
  • MyLikes
  • Twittad

SponsoredTweets

SponsoredTweets is a social media advertising service by IZEA. SponsoredTweets gives people, small businesses and major brands access to both affordable and effective word of mouth advertising on Twitter.

As a tweeter (publisher) you have the potential to earn money by tweeting sponsored tweets or CPC (cost per click) offers. Access to the SponsoredTweets platform is free for both tweeters and advertisers, although as a tweeter you can upgrade to a Pro account for a small monthly fee (more on this below).

Getting Offers for Sponsored Tweets

It’s time to find a sponsor—or rather, it’s time to have a sponsor find you. Unlike other advertising platforms, SponsoredTweets doesn’t present you with a list of offers: Sponsors find you. It’s up to you to be found and keep the advertisers that find you happy.

At the end of the day advertisers want to make money and they want to do it with as little investment as possible. When seeking sponsorship you MUST keep this in mind, If you provide advertisers with a good return on their investment (ROI) you will succeed.

Setting Your Price

All too often I see people that have priced themselves out of the game. When you are first starting out you shouldn’t charge more then two or three dollars per tweet, regardless of how many followers you have. If you want to charge more, you really must be able to motivate people to buy. This requires engaged followers (more on this below).

Being discovered by sponsors isn’t too difficult if you set your tags correctly. You should use tags that directly reflect what you tweet about. For example, if you tweet about anything and everything like most people do, then you should use the “general” tag. SponsoredTweets lets you use up to 10 tags, and you should make use of each and every one of them.

The Waiting Game

Getting sponsored can take a while, so be patient. Your first sponsorship will most likely come a few weeks after you register. After that, provided you are making an effort to tweet “correctly,” you should start seeing sponsorship offers more regularly.

When you get an offer, check the landing page before accepting to make sure it’s something you would normally share. When it comes time to write the sponsored tweet you should do your best to write in a way that encourages conversation or positive action.

Some tips to keep in mind when crafting a sponsored tweet:

  • Don’t use marketing lingo or buzz words. Be a human.
  • Never mislead anyone or use earning examples such as “I earned $25,599 in one day.”
  • Don’t use language that would offend anyone. Think hard about the words you use.

Be Recognized for Being a Professional

Pro SponsoredTweets accounts give professional tweeters a few extra perks and enable them to be seen for what they are: professionals.

You don’t need a Pro account to earn money from SponsoredTweets. But If you are a professional tweeter then it’s a great way to get the recognition you deserve for your hard work. Benefits of a Pro account include:

  • Pro badge
  • Increased visibility (priority sorting)
  • Lower cash-out threshold

You can try a Pro account for 30 days at no cost. However after that it’s $1.95 per month.

Tweeting CPC Offers

CPC (cost per click) offers are a great way to bring in a few more dollars with the SponsoredTweets system. These offers pay you a pre-defined amount for each click you generate.

Before you even consider looking into a CPC offer you should check its landing page. As with sponsored tweets, if the page isn’t something you would normally share, then forget about the offer. You won’t get many clicks and it will tarnish your reputation on Twitter.

Never accept offers that are at the lower end of the scale. This pushes down the price of future offers and allows cheap advertisers to take advantage of your hard work.

Most CPC offers will come with instructions on how the tweet should be written. If an offer does not come with any instructions, then you should write the tweet in a way that drives either sales or conversation.

Getting Others Offers for Sponsored Tweets

A great way to earn money with the SponsoredTweets system is to utilise the free referral program. You can earn money by referring either tweeters or advertisers.

There are several ways to find tweeters to refer:

  1. Post a tweet every now and again to see if any of your followers are interested.
  2. Make use of free manual traffic exchanges like easyhits4u.
  3. Write a blog post or some articles about the benefits of SponsoredTweets.
  4. Pay for advertising on websites and blogs.

When someone joins you on SponsoredTweets you should follow them on Twitter and let them know who you are. You should ask them if they need any help using either Twitter or the SponsoredTweets system.

It’s best to introduce yourself via a direct message rather then an @ mention. Some people may not want their Twitter followers to know that they have joined SponsoredTweets.

Keep an eye out for your referrals and from time to time (if they need it) offer them some tips and tricks. If you help your referrals do their best, not only will they make more money, you will too.

Referring Advertisers to SponsoredTweets

When you successfully refer an advertiser to SponsoredTweets you will earn 10 percent of the cold, hard cash they spend. Finding potential advertisers is not by any means easy, but it’s well worth the effort of trying to track them down.

SponsoredTweets is feature-rich and offers so many benefits to advertisers that you do not need to “upsell” it at all. Be honest with advertisers and you will be surprised by just how supportive they will be.

A common trap people fall into is trying to contact potential advertisers via a website contact form. This is spam—don’t do it! SponsoredTweets could suspend your account as a result.

The SponsoredTweets API

If you’re a developer, you can make use of the SponsoredTweets API to make more money by building an app that appeals to advertisers. Examples include:

  • A directory of users for advertisers to sponsor.
  • A tool to help advertisers find out if a Twitter user is registered with SponsoredTweets.
  • An app to help advertisers compare users.

I’m sure you get the idea.

Every time an advertiser decides to sponsor a user they discovered with your app you will earn a percentage of the sponsorship fee. You can learn more about the API program on SponsoredTweets’ website.

MyLikes

MyLikes is another very popular social media marketing service. MyLikes enables publishers to make money from Youtube, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Unlike some social media marketing services, MyLikes always has plenty of offers to choose from.

MyLikes also has a program called Text Likes. These are sponsored likes that you create and post to Twitter or Facebook. You are paid for every click your sponsored likes receive.

Creating a sponsored like is pretty easy. From the list of available offers on MyLikes’ home page, choose one you think will interest your followers and click the “Share Text Like” button. You will be taken to a page where you are able to review the preset text, or edit it as you please.

Twittad

Twittad is a popular social media marketing service that has been around for quite a long time. Twittad focuses solely on supplying social media marketing services for Twitter.

Twittad has had quite a “spammy” past, so take extra care in checking out each and every offer you see on the service. However to receive offers, you need to be discovered by an advertiser. Advertisers find you on Twittad based on the tags you have attached to your account in the Twellow directory.

Twittad offers arrive via e-mail. If you opt in to a Twittad campaign, the advertiser or a Twittad administrator will review your Twitter account to see if it’s up to scratch.

Twittad’s referral program is one of the most generous available: It pays 22 percent of earnings for the entire lifetime of a tweeter you refer, and three percent of whatever any advertiser you refer spends. There’s no fee for participating in the referral program, and you can find your referral link in the Affiliate tab on your Twittad dashboard.

Using Multiple Social Media Advertising Services

You must err on the side of caution if you are going to use multiple social media advertising services as your timeline can quickly appear “spammy”. Keep your ratio of tweets to sponsored tweets in mind and never consecutively tweet ads from different services: Both services might close your accounts.

Attracting Followers on Twitter

To make money from any of these social media marketing services, you need to have followers who read your tweets. While having a lot of followers is important, you can still make money by attracting a smaller number of followers who are targeted, active and engaged.

The best way to find followers is to start following people yourself, and the easiest way to discover new people to follow is by using Twitter’s search function with keywords related to subjects you want to tweet about. If you follow people that are not interested in the same things as you, they will most likely never follow you back, or if they do, they will quickly unfollow you.

Try to follow people that have tweeted recently. Doing so will greatly increase your chances of being followed back. This is also clearly a good way of discovering active accounts.

How Not to Get Followers

  • Don’t follow tons of people at once. A trickle feed of new Twitter followers is best, allowing you to easily track who isn’t following you back and to ensure you don’t follow accounts that are sending out automated tweets.
  • Avoid following people who have no profile information or picture. These accounts are often automated, and will likely unfollow you once you have followed back. Sometimes Twitter bans these accounts, which puts you in the position of following an account you cannot unfollow.
  • Also steer clear of so-called follower trains and follow-back groups. The followers they get you are not genuinely interested in following you; they just want you to follow them. Most of these folks will simply clutter your timeline and unfollow you at some strategic point.
  • Do not pay for Twitter followers. The potential for being scammed is way too high, and you could quite easily end up paying for 10,000 bots to follow you, no matter what the seller says.
  • One final don’t has to do with churning, the practice of following and unfollowing someone on a regular basis in order to stay at the top of their followers list. It’s one of the most annoying things people do on Twitter, and it can get you banned.

Engaging With Your Twitter Followers

Engaging with followers is a very important step that 99 percent of people who want to make money with Twitter don’t even consider. I would even call it the “magic bullet” for making money with Twitter.

Saying a quick hello to new followers goes a really long way. Once you have made the initial connection with someone they are far more likely to keep an eye out for your tweets. You may not be able to interact with each and every one of your new Twitter followers, but you should give it your best shot.

Do not, however, say hello via a direct message. Use an @ reply. You run the risk of people thinking your message is automated if you send a direct message.

If a follower asks a question, do your best to answer it; if you don’t know the answer, do some research: It’s a great excuse to learn something new.

Re-tweeting tweets you like is a powerful tool in keeping followers engaged. People you re-tweet are not only more likely to re-tweet your tweets, they will keep an eye out for your tweets in their timeline. However never re-tweet anything containing a link without checking it out first. I’ve seen many people re-tweet questionable content simply because they did not visit the link first.

Don’t @ Spam followers. @ Spam is the practice of sending several people the same @ mention. An @ Spam tweet usually looks something like this:

“Hey have you seen this? – http://example.com @user1 @user2 @user3 @user4”

Mass engaging like this isn’t effective and will more then likely result in your account being banned.

Twitter Account Maintenance

Keeping your Twitter account in good standing is important. Many third-party services that “score” your social efforts will downgrade you, and users will be less likely to follow you back, if your Twitter account is not maintained.

Use a service like Friend or Follow or Tweepi to discover who isn’t following you in return, and manually unfollow these people. Do not use any mass unfollow tools: They violate Twitter’s terms of service, and Twitter may ban your account if you do.

Keep a close eye on your timeline and unfollow any account you think is automated. Automated accounts will not only clog your timeline, they will never click your links or interact with you in any way. Similarly, unfollow inactive accounts (tweepi can identify these) or accounts that share content that is not safe for work (which can damage your own account’s ranking in search engines).

Twitter Strategies and Formulas for Success

Now that you know how to follow the right people, get sponsored, and keep your account maintained, you need some strategies to help you bring in the money. These are the exact strategies I use to make money everyday on Twitter; they are tried and tested.

  • Monitor your advertising-to-tweets ratio. Twitter displays 20 tweets at a time on your public profile, so try to keep your ratio at around one ad for every 10 tweets. With more then two advertisements on your Twitter stream at a time, you risk drawing abuse, losing followers, and being blocked.
  • Follow people that have followed you and unfollow anyone that hasn’t reciprocated your follow. Try to follow 5 to 10 new people every day.
  • Don’t make your first tweet of the day an ad.
  • Spend a little time engaging with your followers every day before tweeting an ad. Retweet at least one of your followers’ tweets.
  • Wait 10 to 15 minutes after tweeting your advertisement, then start over again by engaging with your followers.
  • Perform monthly account maintenance. Unfollow everyone who isn’t following you back. Follow 15 to 20 people that have been active in the last 5 minutes. Send interesting tweets, then follow another 15 to 20 people that have been active in the last 5 minutes. Now follow everyone that follows you back.

Twitter Basics

As promised, this section covers the absolute basics of Twitter for people new to the service. If you are already comfortable using Twitter you can skip this section without missing any vital information that will help you in your money-making efforts.

Followers and Following

Twitter isn’t like other social networks: Friendships don’t automatically work both ways. When you follow someone, you are signing up to receive their tweets. It’s very much like subscribing to an RSS feed. Once you follow someone, their tweets will appear in your timeline. For your tweets to appear in someone else’s timeline, that person must be following you.

@Mentions

@mentions are how you publicly interact with people. To make use of them all you need to do is type the @ symbol followed by the Twitter username of the person you want to mention. For example, if I wanted to mention or reply to Chris Rock, I would type @chrisrock. You could also click the “Mention user” button on the user’s profile, or click the “reply” link on a tweet.

Like normal tweets, @mentions will appear in your timeline. However you can view them all by clicking the Mentions tab on your homepage.

Direct Messages

Direct messages or just messages are private. They can only be seen by you and the person you’ve messaged. Because this feature is often abused, few people pay much attention to direct messages. However they can still be handy from time to time.

You can only message a user who is following you. To send the message, navigate to their profile and click the Message button. To view messages you have received, just click the Messages link on your homepage.

Retweets

Retweets (or RT’s as they are more commonly known) are a way to share tweets you like with your followers. Retweets will appear in your timeline like any other tweet. You can view retweeted tweets by clicking the Retweets link on your Twitter homepage.

There are two different ways to retweet a tweet you think is worthy. The easiest way is to simply click the Retweet button found on the tweet itself. The other way is to copy and paste the tweet into a new @mention with the letters RT in front of it. This is the old way of creating a retweet, and the resulting tweet will appear in the Mentions tab instead of the Retweets tab.

Favorites

Twitter lets you save tweets to a Favorites list so that you can quickly find them again. You can do this by mousing over the tweet and clicking Favorite. Once you have a tweet in your favorites list, the list will appear on the sidebar of the home page.

Lists

Twitter lists are a way of organizing people you follow into groups so you can easily view their tweets. You can mark lists as either public or private. If you create a public list other users can follow it and see everyone that’s on it.

You can create a new list or manage previously created lists by clicking the Lists button on your homepage. To add people to a list, navigate to their profile and click the button that looks like a bullet list; a drop down menu will appear and you can select the list or lists you want to add the user to.

If someone has added you to a public list that you do not wish to be on, you can remove yourself by blocking the creator of the list.

Setting Up Your Twitter Profile

Your Twitter profile says a lot about you and is often all some people will see. It’s vital that you take the time to fill out your profile information and set your profile’s background art. If you don’t you may very well be wasting your time on Twitter altogether as people will just ignore your tweets or not follow you. Here are some tips on completing your profile:

  • Profile Picture: Choose a recent photo of yourself. It should be “safe for work”—if it isn’t, people are likely to unfollow you when they see your picture in their tweet stream.
  • Name: Use your real name here. It will help people find you when they search for you, and it will also give you more credibility. If you don’t want to use your real name, at least don’t make up a fake name. Fake names are easy to spot and will destroy your hopes of people reading your tweets.
  • Location: You don’t have to and shouldn’t use your home address here. Use a city/state name followed by a country/state name. Setting your location is important as many third-party services make use of this information. Providing it can help ensure that your tweets reach a local audience.
  • Web site: Ideally, the URL you provide should point to a website that lets users know a little more about you. You shouldn’t use some ugly affiliate URL here. If you don’t have a personal blog to link to then consider creating and linking to an About.me page.
  • Bio: Twitter gives you 160 characters for your bio and you should try to make use of each and every single one of them. Twitter also allows you to use hash tags in your bio. Using hash tags (e.g. #bio) can help people find you when they are looking for people who are interested in certain topics.
  • Profile Design: Choose a design that reflects your interests. As with your profile picture, you’re free to use whatever you want as long as it’s safe for work. If you want to build your own Twitter backgrounds you can use the free Photoshop template on Fuel Your Creativity.

Tweeting the Right Way (Because the Left Way Is Wrong)

Before you worry about acquiring Twitter followers or how you’re going to get paid to tweet, you must understand how to use Twitter correctly. Many people don’t, and as a result they barely get any clicks and are abused by others. Clearly this is not what you want when you are trying to use Twitter to make money.

For a tweet to be effective it needs to be well constructed. Poorly constructed tweets are often ignored and never re-tweeted or shared.

A well-constructed tweet should include a hash tag and, optionally,a link in the middle. It should contain no misspellings and, most importantly, it should ooze your personalty. Here are a few examples:

  • “#Wikileaks double dares Pentagon hawks – http://digg.com/d31ZnXy?t – Assange said his whistle-blower site won’t be silenced by the Pentagon”
  • “Unit for rent in #Mooloolaba – http://bit.ly/aeKWfa – 2 bdrm, 1 bathroom and single lock-up garage with great views + on canal $265 a week”
  • “If I pay for shipping via registered post and you ship the item via standard post the first thing I will do is leave you bad feedback #eBay”

Shrinking Links

Whenever you post a link you should use a web service such as bit.ly or is.gd to shorten it. I personally prefer to use bit.ly as you are able to monitor how your link is performing around the web.

Avoid URL-shortening services that offer to pay you. Your Twitter followers will not be happy when they click these links, because they will see ads before they get to the content you have shared, and your engagement rates will suffer.

Tweet Frequently

Tweeting once a day is not enough: once an hour is more in the ballpark. The more often you tweet, the better your chances of being seen. There is such a thing as tweeting too much, though—always try to pause at least a few minutes between tweets.

F.A.Q. About Making Money With Twitter

I’m not getting many offers for SponsoredTweets. Why?

Normally people don’t get many offers when advertisers feel their account isn’t up to scratch. Clean up your account and work a little harder to extend your network and the influence you have within it. It might also be worth reviewing the price you are asking per tweet.

To help increase your visibility to potential advertisers you can add your SponsoredTweets public profile to the Tweeter Top List here.

Do you have to be a celebrity to make money with Twitter?

No, not at all. Many “non celebrated” people use the SponsoredTweets platform to make money with Twitter, myself included.

Final Thoughts

The most important thing to remember when you are tweeting for profit is, never look spammy! Always treat your timeline like you would treat your blog. Never let it contain only paid tweets or a high ratio of paid to regular tweets.

Written by TyGatti LM

This article originally appeared here:

http://tygattilm.hubpages.com/hub/how-to-get-paid-for-your-time-on-twitter

How To Use LinkedIn For Sales?

How To Use LinkedIn For Sales?

With over 150 million members worldwide, is not difficult to see why LinkedIn is  getting increasingly more powerful when it comes to generating sales.

Unjustifiably, LinkedIn is often seen as simply the place to go to find a job. However, LinkedIn has certainly a lot more to offer when it comes to generating sales and is primarily used as a way of generating leads. In business to business environment, LinkedIn can turn out to be indispensable mainly due to its uncapped potential for business development as it not only makes generating leads more time-effective but also hassle-free.

1. Why You Should Not Miss A Chance To Connect?

First things first, step back and take a critical look at your contacts. Your contacts, be it family, friends or workmates can be used to further expand your professional LinkedIn network by adding second and third level connections . Whether you meet anyone online or offline, it’s always a good idea to follow up with a connection request to strengthen your LinkedIn profile.

2. Who’s Who?

You’d be amazed how much information people give out on LinkedIn! That’s why it works so great when trying to identify the key decision-makers.  You can easily determine all the relevant people, teams and projects which in turn helps you gain a better understanding of who’s who and the people who influence the scene. 

3. Why Cold Calls Are a Thing Of The Past?

Let’s be honest, cold calling is a fact of life. Sure, the vast majority of sales people would prefer to rely on other lead generating techniques. However, unless you are an established business, you will, at some time, be forced to cold call in order to generate leads. However, LinkedIn comes in handy here as you can almost always gather some information about your prospects before approaching them. Before approaching any of your prospects on LinkedIn always have a look at their profile to see what they’re after. You’ll be surprised how well this works when it comes to breaking the ice!  

Take a close look at profile and status updates, connections you have in common and group posts. It might be worth investing into a paid account as you gain access to everyone on LinkedIn.  

4. How To Get Past The Security Guard Unnoticed?

If you had a decision-making power in sales you’d do everything in your power to cut down on the number of calls and emails that get through to you…

However, there are ways you can bypass these security measures with InMail. InMail is basically LinkedIn’s internal email system allowing you to message anyone on LinkedIn while skipping the introduction.

5. Search smart, not hard

LinkedIn search facility allows you to search by title, company, location or keyword. You can also get weekly reports matching your search criteria, e.g. your customers’ profiles saving you a considerable amount of time. 

6. Spy On Your Prospects

If you’re in sales, you’d probably agree that you need to know your prospects better than you know yourself! Any industry changes are a good enough incentive to reach out to your potential customers to offer your services. 

To stay up-to-date with the newest industry trends and spy on your prospects or companies you have a vetted interest in follow a company’s LinkedIn page.

7. The Power Of Groups On LinkedIn

Groups offer you the ability to learn more about the industry you have a vetted interest in. It’s also a great way of gauging needs and demands of your target market. This can often give you a good enough incentive to approach your prospects.

Joining groups can offer you a better idea in terms of what’s going on with the company you’re interested in. Also you gain access to personal details of other members of the group which is normally restricted to first level connections. While being a group member you can further build your connections.

8. Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out!

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete as it acts as your business card and the first thing a prospect will see.  You want to make sure it looks professional and creates a great first impression.

All the information on your LinkedIn profile needs to be up-to-date, including all links to your website and other social media networks.

Getting business recommendations can certainly help. Last but not least, include a high quality photograph in your profile. Smile!

More on getting your LinkedIn profile work for you here. 

9. The Power Of Taking A Look Back…

Unless a user has set his/her profile to anonymous you can see who’s viewed your profile. You can use it to your advantage by reaching out with a connection request. It works the other way round too. You’ll probably find that some of the people whose profiles you visited will always look back.

Source: http://www.salesforce.com/uk/socialsuccess/social-sales/10-tips-for-using-linkedin-sales-prospecting.jsp

 

Some Signs That It’s Time To Switch Off Social Media

Time To Re-Think Social Media

To say that we live in a tech-obsessed society is a monumental understatement. 500 million tweets are sent per day, and 1.28 billion people use Facebook on a regular basis. Just a quick glance at Facebook and you will see people “checking in” to different places in the world, and it seems as though nothing is officially happening on Earth until it has been verified on some sort of social networking platform. This is all too familiar now, but how far can you for before it’s time to switch off?

(Source: thelantern.com)

Food on Instagram:

So you’re preparing your evening meal, and the presentation must be key. Despite settling down on your own it must be immaculate as you’re about to take a picture of it. This sounds very strange, and is, as no person in their right mind would take a picture of a Spaghetti Bolognese would they? Well yes they would, and many do each day. Instagram is full of delicacies and dishes to warm the appetite, but as Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, PH.D says, “when you start crafting your life to be more Twitter or Instagram friendly, it’s time to step back.”

Tweeting about everything (literally):

Whether it’s painting your nails or taking the bins out, you will tweet about it. We all have this friend on Facebook, the one who tells you about every single movement they make, but it is quite likely that you are also that friend. Pang says that “composing tweets about what you’re doing as you’re doing it or feeling the need to report your thoughts in real-time are all signs that social media is taking over your life.” He goes onto say that “there are only 24 hours in a day, and the more time we spend sharing with our friends what we’re doing hour-by-hour, the less time we have to discover for ourselves why we enjoy these activities and what our days are adding up to mean.”

You know strangers all too well:

It is unnerving that so many people know so much about each other, and this is due to the nature of today’s social media platforms. Facebook provides the most intimate information if you allow it to do so, and this leaves many vulnerable. Pang says that “the irony of social media is that while it can be great for keeping up with the details of our friend’s lives, too much engagement can obscure the big picture and weaken our ability to make sense of our own lives.” It takes away the joy of getting to know someone face-to-face as most of the time, when knowing that you will see someone you know little about, it is standard practice to check them out on Facebook first.

Source: rehab.com

Feeling inadequate:

When you scroll down your Facebook feed, it seems as though everybody is successful in their own avenue of work, and it can make you feel like you’re not good enough. Witnessing your friend’s promotions, engagements and life-changing trips can stir up feelings of jealousy and inadequacy. Spending too much time on social media can do this on its own, and can have a particularly negative impact on your view of your own body, as pictures of chiseled human beings are shared. This creates anxiety, and can end up damaging friendships and relationships. Pang says that “when keeping up with your friends’ lives gets in the way of you happily leading your own life, you need a break.”

Feeling lost when you don’t have your phone:

Do you find yourself consistently checking your phone for social media updates? You probably do, most people do. You probably also find yourself checking Twitter before you go to sleep, and also upon waking up in the morning. If yes to any of the above, then it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate. Pang says “the more you’re on social media, the less material you actually have to talk about that’s interesting and worth having other people hear.”

This is where we are with social media now. Some people are allowing it to run their lives, and it is damaging relationships that once existed on a face-to-face level. That is being lost, and it is unfortunate, because social media has great potential, and great things are being done with it, such as charity, and awareness. This is being overshadowed by the monotonous dat-to-day activities online that people are taking up. If you do believe in New Years resolutions, then re-evaluate social media use. Don’t give it up, but utilise it in a way that will make your time on Earth as wonderful as possible.

How to create my own product?

How to create my own product?

Creating your own product is easier than you think and does not require an inhumane effort and long hours of work. You don’t even need the skills and experience to make it work for you. In fact, you don’t even need a big budget to create your own product. 

The first step in creating your own product is understanding your business objectives and marketing strategy, whether your goal is to create a passive income stream or building a list. Think in terms of who your target market is. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your marketing strategy to the very end of your product creation efforts. You want to make sure there’s a demand for your product first.

Do I need the skills and experience to create my own product?

If you think that in order to create your own product you need the skills and experience to make it work think twice! You don’t need ‘A’ levels, you don’t even need experience of your product or service, knowledge and skills.  All you need is the ability to find the information you need and the ability to work hard.

Any man is educated who knows where to get knowledge when he needs it, and how to organize that knowledge into definite plans of action.

Napoleon Hill

With that being said, if you lack the necessary knowledge, skills or experience there are ways you can bypass this by e.g. outsourcing, hiring a ghost writer, partnering up with an expert, private label rights etc. 

Do I need a big budget to create my own product?

You can start with no budget at all.

What product can I create?

The dumbest mistake is viewing a design as something you do at the end of the process to ‘tidy up’ the mess, as opposed to understanding it’s a ‘day one’ issue and part of everything.

Tom Peters

Essentially, we can distinguish four main types of product you can create online – text, audio, video and software. Text and audio are a good starting point, however, their perceived value is lower hence the return on your investment (ROI) is also lower. Video creation, on the other hand is more time-consuming but offers a better ROI than the other two digital products. Software products are the hardest to create, however, they also yield incomparably higher profits than any other digital products.

Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty of digital product creation…

How to create my own product?

Text

Text product is by far the easiest digital product you can create, however, it’s unlikely you’ll make a significant amount of money from an e-book or report.

Step number one is finding and researching your niche. Keep in mind that you need to make sure that there’s a demand for your product first. It might be worth considering writing an e-book on a subject you already know a lot or are passionate about.  Generally speaking, how-to books providing an answer to a specific problem sell well.

Can I write my own e-book if I’m not good at writing?

If you’re not particularly good at writing you may want to consider hiring a ghost writer. Typically, a ghost writer is someone else you pay to write your e-book while you’re the one retaining full rights to the e-book.

You may also want to consider recording yourself talking. Once you’ve done that you can have it transcribed for you and then edit your content.

Optionally, you can also use Private Label Rights. Generally speaking, private label rights products are products you can buy and re-sell as your own.

Private label rights is a concept used in internet marketing and derived from private labeling. It’s a license where the author sells most or all of the intellectual property rights to their work. The license is defined by the author of the work and has no legal definition.

Public domain is yet another option to consider when creating your own product. Public domain products are products that no longer have a copyright (most books written before 1923 and some before 1977). Similarly, as in the case of PLR products you can sell and/or edit a public domain work as your own.

Works in the public domain are those whose intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable.

AUDIO

An audio product has a higher perceived value than an e-book meaning that it can be sold for more. Typically, an audio product can be sold for anything ranging from $27 to $147.

You may wish to consider creating an audio course, bringing in an expert, running a question and answer session, getting interviewed or creating a show. 

SOFTWARE

Software is perceived as a high-end value product and offers the highest return on investment, however, of all four main digital products it’s the hardest one to create as things can often go wrong… With that being said, creating your own software can prove to be rewarding in the long-run.

There are a few things to consider before creating your own software such as outsourcing, hiring a programmer, its time frame, design and customer support. You might want to ask yourself the following questions before you create your own software product:

  • Is your software unique?
  • Who will use your software?
  • Why will they use it?
  • What does your software do that other software doesn’t?
  • When will they use it? 
  • How often will they use it?
  • Where will they use it?

If you want to learn more about digital product creation watch the video below for a more in-depth process. I highly recommend you read Leon Jay’s Do Less Work, Make More Money: A Step By Step Guide To Doing Business And Making Money Online
for more tips on How To Create My Own Product.

Source: Do Less Work, Make More Money: A Step By Step Guide To Doing Business And Making Money Online by Leon Jay

What Is Online Marketing?

What Is Online Marketing?

What is online marketing and how does it work? Online marketing also known as Internet marketing or online advertising is a strategy that plays an important part in reaching out to consumers and establishing a brand. It builds your online reputation by increasing your chances to be found online and getting your name out to the public.

How does online marketing work?

By taking advantage of the fact that a large number of your potential customers browse the internet you leverage your chances of being found online and building your reputation.  Therefore, you increase your chances of getting your name out to the public. Online marketing takes on different forms and encourages potential customers to look for information, products or services you offer.

Online marketing boils down to a few essential aspects including website development, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Management (SEM), email marketing, display advertising and social networks.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing the visibility of a website/web page in a search engine’s “natural” or unpaid organic search results for desired keywords. Generally, the higher the ranking on the search results page the more visitors the site receives. Search Engine Optimization tends to be a long-term and targets different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines. It has many contributing factors including on-site content, internal and external links, site architecture, keyword research and competition analysis. What SEO basically does is that it helps you being found online which is probably one of the most important aspects of online marketing, however, there are other strategies that supplement these efforts.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

Wikipedia

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Once a website is built the next stage of your online marketing strategy is to promote it. Search engine marketing (SEM) is a strategy adopted in online marketing referring to promoting websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results with keywords related  to your business. Search engine management includes per per click ads (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO).

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization and advertising. SEM may use search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages, or use pay per click (PPC) listings.

Wikipedia

Per per click (PPC)

Pay per click (PPC) is a method of charging for advertising on the Internet. Per per click is basically an ad ad that displays on search engine result pages. The advertiser (typically a website owner) pays only when the ad is clicked (as opposed to pay per view ad (PPV) when the advertiser pays when the ad is viewed).  PPC is simply the amount spent to get an ad clicked.

Pay per click (PPC) (also called cost per click) is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, in which advertisers pay the publisher (typically a website owner) when the ad is clicked. It is defined simply as “the amount spent to get an advertisement clicked.”

Wikipedia

The advertiser (or website owner) pays when the ad is clicked and the user is then redirected to their website or landing page. Pay per click can provide an almost  immediate exposure online while offering you a very transparent way of measuring your efforts.

What the difference between Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Management?

In the past, Search Engine Marketing used to refer to both SEO and SEM. However, nowadays it tends to refer solely to paid search as opposed to SEO which refers solely to unpaid search.

Social Networks

One of the ways to leverage online marketing is through use of social networking sites which are a powerful marketing tool as they give you a platform to build a reputation. Their main advantage are word-of-mouth recommendations as  these networks give you the option to adopt reputation management strategies and advertise your company, website or services. .The main goal of social networking sites is to increase engagement with your existing and potential customers.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an increasingly powerful online marketing strategy used to reach out to existing customers.  Essentially, every email sent out to your customer could be considered email marketing.  The main goal of email marketing is to build loyalty, trust and brand awareness by sending ads, request business, solicit sales or donations, newsletters, coupons or informational emails to either sold lists or existing customer database.

Broadly, the term is usually used to refer to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business, sending email messages with the purpose of acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and adding advertisements to email messages sent by other companies to their customers.

Wikipedia

One of the ways to use email marketing is to give new customers an incentive to sign up for your newsletter or mailing list. While marketing to a new list is a fairly new concept it enhances your email marketing strategy by giving you access to targeted leads who have given their permission to receive newsletters or informational emails on the subject of their interest.

Display Advertising

Display advertising is a type of advertising that is located on websites. It can be seen in a wide range of different formats and contains items such as texts, images, flash, video and audio. The main purpose is to deliver general advertisements and brand messages to the plus 40 million people connected to the Internet each month.

Wikipedia

Display advertising or online display ads are advertisements on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Rich media ads contain images or video and involve some kind of user interaction. They also give you the option to access metrics of your audience’s behaviour such as the amount of time spent interacting with your ad. Display network provides accurate measures regarding interest in your products or services while using visuals that increase your audience engagement.

Website Development

Website development plays a important role in reaching your target audience given the fact that potential customers search for information, products or services that you provide on your website. Your website is simply a tool to increase your online presence that lets your customers make an informed decision regarding your company, its products or services. Creating a website should not be underestimated as its a window to your target audience especially given that fact that nowadays designing a website is fairly simple and cost-effective. You can choose from free websites that come with a number of limitations, professionally looking template websites at a reduced cost and turn-around time or the more expensive custom websites tailored to suite your company’s needs.

Online marketing plays an important role in running a successful business in today’s digital world.