Archives for November 2011

20 posts on Blogging you should read right now

Writing

Image via Wikipedia

Everywhere you look, someone is talking about Blogging – here’s a round up of some of our favourite posts on Blogging – let us know in the comments if you find them useful!

Instant Weekly Roundup - Free WordPress Plugin
Enhanced by Zemanta

Facebook roundup for Facebook business users

Item 5: Example of a Custom Page on Facebook

Image by OnTask via Flickr

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Facebook recently, so here’s a roundup of some Facebook posts on this blog that may help you!

Hopefully you’ve found something to help in there, but if you have a different question please feel free to post it in the comments or Tweet me @nikkipilkington!

Instant Weekly Roundup - Free WordPress Plugin
Enhanced by Zemanta

Are You Man Enough?: Social Media Campaigns & Why They Work

Don Athaldo

If you want to quickly and easily reach a lot of people without cost, Facebook is the place to do it.

With over 800 million active users, Facebook is by far the most ubiquitous social network. Taking advantage of its access to millions of people for your promotions and campaigns has never been easier.

Many companies are becoming hip to the trend of the power and reach of social.

Much in the fashion of radio giveaways back in the day, social networks are now being used for campaigns and promotions to drive user interaction and spread the word.

Are You Man Enough?

One of the latest Facebook campaigns, Blue Nile’s “Are You Man Enough”, challenges¬†guys to create interesting, original, romantic or witty videos or written entries that¬†show they are manly enough to propose to their girlfriends ‚Äď in front of the entire¬†world, nonetheless. The winner will be flown first-class out to New York with his¬†girlfriend, put up in a hotel, provided a free dinner and spending money; he will then¬†propose live during the opening of NASDAQ on Black Friday, November 25th. And¬†the best part? The winning guy receives an engagement ring valued at $7,500 to slip¬†on his gal’s finger after she says “Yes!”

The contest encourages guys to be bold about their love in addition to thinking about wedding plans, possible dates or engagement rings. The creative heartfelt entries show that proposals are a huge step for guys to take, and that many guys are not only willing to take this leap, but to do so with charm.

Why These Contests Work

So, what is it about social media campaigns, promotions and contests that make them great for business?

Reason #1: People love anything they can get for free, without having to work for it.¬†Submitting a video or writing a short blurb doesn’t require much effort. Compared¬†to the time, effort and money people would have to put forth to fly first class to New¬†York and get a $7,500 diamond ring among other things, creating a video or essay¬†isn’t bad at all. Smaller competitions and giveaways for concert tickets or free lunch¬†through Facebook or Twitter require even less effort. Typically, users just write¬†something about how much they love The Goat Cheese Collective and they’ve won¬†free tickets to the concert. Or they write about how great the Chicken Tortilla Soup¬†tastes from Gina’s Diner and they’ve won free lunch. Whenever people don’t have to¬†do a lot to get something free from the Internet, they’ll most likely do it.

Reason #2: These contests involve little risk. The social media campaigns don’t¬†require people to physically go anywhere, run the risk of being ripped off, provide¬†much personal information or sit through a three-hour session or tour. They have¬†only to interact with business pages on Facebook or Twitter, something they do¬†daily, and then receive free goods or services.

These campaigns are great for smaller businesses that want to build their online¬†presence. Offering a free small item each week will keep users constantly coming¬†back and is perhaps easier for small companies to pull off than offering a huge trip.¬†People will also tell their friends about the contest, which brings even more traffic¬†to your site. Lastly, if you’re unsure about whether this approach would work for¬†your business, you can always start small to test the waters, and then build up to¬†something larger.

Henry Fitzgerald is a technology consultant based in Seattle. When not geeking out over the latest tech gadgets, he spends his time cooking, playing soccer, and sailing. Check out his tech blog here or follow him on twitter:@hfitzy34

Enhanced by Zemanta

Let me update your Facebook Business page for 5 days – for nothing!

P Harry Potter

Image via Wikipedia

I know, it’s crazy!

But many of you will know I’ve had a whole lot of¬†hassles¬†moving house and I am currently working from a cupboard in my bedroom – that kind of work environment makes a girl do crazy things!

So, here’s my cerrazzy offer!

I will:

  • update your Facebook page twice a day
  • encourage people to sign up (via my 30,000+ network of Facebook, Twitter and other connections)
  • encourage interaction on your page (the best way to engender loyalty)
  • be your Facebook gooroo ūüėČ

For free?

Yup. Sign up via the Paypal subscription and I’m giving you a 7 day free trial of my service. This allows for the fact that there are weekends in every week (a girl has to have a rest sometimes!) so you get a fab 5 days of me working my magic on your page!

What’s the catch?

There isn’t one! If you decide not to go ahead with an ongoing full service with me, simply cancel before your 7 days is up. Obviously I’m hoping you’ll realise that having someone else handle your FB page is a great idea and leaves you free to concentrate on other things ūüôā

You’re mad!

It has been said, but I want to hit the UK in style (I recently moved back from France if you didn’t know) and what better way to do it?

What happens after the trial period?

If you decide to let me carry on being your Facebook wand waving genius, then it’s just ¬£50 a month.

 

So, to reiterate:
  • I’ll update your FB page 2 x daily
  • I’ll encourage people to sign up
  • I’ll make sure your readers are seeing things that will entertain, educate and encourage them to remain loyal to your page
  • Oh and you’ll probably get a lot of visitors to your website too
OK I thought of a catch – I’m only taking on 15 of these deals. Sorry, but I have a life and a family too ūüėČ
So, if you want your Facebook page to be energetic, interactive and the talk of the town, subscribe below and hop on the NP bus!
Small print:
  • You will have to make me an admin of your page
  • If you sign up and then cancel straight away then you’re not playing the game, so no ball, sorry ūüôā
  • If you don’t cancel I will presume you want to carry on and you will be charged via Paypal accordingly
  • I cannot be held responsible for the huge amount of enquiries and interest that may come your way
  • I reserve the right to stop working from my cupboard and move into my lovely office at any time

Go back up and sign up now – there won’t be many places left!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Top 6 Reasons Why Web Video Is Becoming An Essential Internet Marketing Tool

The role of web video is becoming increasingly important to the marketing strategies of businesses and brands. The following article explores the top 6 reasons why web video is becoming such an essential Internet marketing tool and how it can benefit businesses and brands of all niches and sizes:

1. Web Video Is Popular
Web video today has become an integral part of the average browsing experience for most Internet users. Its online popularity has been documented by YuMe who reported that in February 2011 49% of Internet users were watching web video daily and on average for over 7 hours per person, per week. With YouTube’s video uploads, video views and users increasing seemingly every week, this
figure looks to only increase come 2012.

2. Web Video Can Generate High Conversion Rates
Video connects with its audience in ways plain text and pictures simply can’t. This unmatchable engagement is what makes web video a viable marketing strategy. By embedding a video on a web-page next to interactive links the likelihood of that content being clicked improves greatly. With an audience’s attention maintained via the use of video the content around the video will also receive
much more attention. This will help to generate more traffic to your desired location, resulting in an improved conversion rate.

3. Web Video Can Benefit Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Web video is rapidly becoming a key component in the search engine results battle. Video sites like YouTube often appear on page 1 of Google and such video sharing sites can also be optimized to benefit SEO. By creating video content, uploading it to video sharing sites and maximising their keyword potential through their Channel, descriptions, tags etc, businesses and brands can help to boost their position in the search engine rankings. Utilizing the facilities sites like YouTube offer you can begin to boost your page and domain authority simply by using web video content effectively.

4. Web Video Is Becoming Increasingly Affordable
Fantastic technological advances in the video production industry has meant that creating and producing web video content has never been more affordable. Competition within the industry keeps generating better and better equipment at cheaper prices and given video sharing sites like YouTube are completely free, the distribution of your quality web video content has never been easier. These advances have helped to make advertising to a wider audience more affordable and simpler than ever.

5. Web Video Is A Great Communication Tool
The engagement web video provides to its audience can not only create better conversion, but an overall better communication and understanding between business and client. Double Click reported that video ads increased brand awareness amongst viewers by 10% more than typical image/text advertisements. The report also addressed that viewers favoured the brands and businesses with web video content more than those without, because of the clear communication the videos could provide.

6. Web Video Can Be Used Offline Too
Web video doesn’t just have to stay on the Internet. Once you’ve created a video you can embed the file in to Power Point presentations, distribute it on DVDs or USB sticks for advertising or even training purposes and watch the content as many times as necessary. This makes web video content very flexible for the needs of any business or brand.

 

Andy Havard is a Marketing Executive at Skeleton Productions, a UK based web video production company.

Loving this Social Media Chart

10 ways to monetise your blog’s content

Cheque from Google AdSense

Image via Wikipedia

There are prolific and talented bloggers all over the ‘net that aren’t making a penny. They are failing to monetise their blogging not because their blog isn’t very good, but because they don’t know how. In this post, one of our affiliate marketing series, we’ll look at the why and explain how it’s not hard to monetise your content.

  • Services (done for you)

If you don’t tell your readers what you do, they can’t buy from you. Have a services page on your blog and refer to it in your content. You may prefer a “Hire me” page or a consulting page.

  • Consulting and coaching

Again a page and references to your consulting / coaching services in your content. Your call to action after each post can refer people to your consulting offers. If your readers don’t know that you do it, how can they book it?

  • Sell your own products

If you have your own products sitting on your desktop they are never going to monetise your blog. You will never earn a thing whilst they are sitting there doing nothing. If you haven’t got an ebook or information product looking at creating one. Ebooks are a great way for potential clients to sample your abilities before they make a leap to your consulting and coaching services.

  • Affiliate offers

Find complimentary ebooks for your content and review  / recommend them. Add your affiliate link and you will make some sales. Go over old content and see if you can add a link for a relevant product. Look at your stats see what your most popular posts are and see if there is an opportunity to monetise that content.  Consider adding a toolbox or resource page in which you list how your blog was set up and what tools you used. Sign up to some affiliate networks and have a look around.

  1. ClickBank,
  2. PayDotCom
  3. Share-a-Sale
  4. Commission Junction

Are just four places you can find good quality products for your toolkit / resource page

  • Google Adsense

Google Adsense isn’t for everyone but if you want to cover your hosting fees and a blog revamp every now and then this is the way to monetise for you. ¬†Don’t think you can’t earn decent money using Adsense because you can. I have a friend who has Adsense sussed and he earns ¬£2,500 a month from it. He blogs twice a week about Gardening. Yes, gardening. Very niche.

For local and mobile¬†advertising¬†oin your blog take a look at Chitika. For some bloggers this is a good revenue stream. I have not tried it myself but that doesn’t mean you can’t look into it.

Kontera¬†specialises¬†in ad links that are in text. The ad is underlined and linked so if you reader clicks through you are rewarded. I have mentioned a few times in this series of posts (about monetising your blogging) that affiliate links in the content itself convert better. If you don’t like Adsense and don’t want the hassle of sourcing the right affiliate links then this is for you. Kontera understands semantic content and acts accordingly. It’s intelligent and responsive to your readers needs and doesn’t detract from the reading experience.

  • Ad Networks

BuySellAds is one such network, and it’s a huge network. Huge. Have I mentioned that it’s big? ¬†BuySellAds has excellent customer service and are very responsive. It’s worth looking into. Think that you have to be generic in your ad network? Think again… if you are a mummy blogger / parenting blogger / pet blogger or Latino blogger then take a look at the BlogHer network.

Into advertising, art and design? Take a look at http://fusionads.net/ and think that you are just too niche for advertising or it will conflict with your personal beliefs then you can take a look at http://beaconads.com/.

With a bit of creative searching you can find an ad network to monetise your blog.

  • Sell Advertising

Add a page to your site that says “advertise here”. Simple. As I mention in the coaching and consulting section, no one can book it if they have no idea you offer it. Need someone to manage it for you? ¬†Take a look at¬†https://www.isocket.com/.

On your advertise here page your potential advertisers will want to know how many visitors you have and their demographics. Now is the time to install Google Analytics if you have’t already.

  • ¬†Sponsored posts

Over at Birds on the Blog one of the ways we monetise is through¬†Sponsored¬†Posts. ¬†This section is headed up for us by Suzan St Maur from How to Write Better. Suze¬†liaises¬†with the post’s sponsor, extracts their aims and then creates a quality post for them. Suze’s writing and editing skills means that the quality of the post is not compromised or spammy, but of use to the reader and the advertiser. Your potential advertiser may just wish to add a banner to your post or a link. Paid links are generally set to no-follow so you don’t get a penalty from the search engines for taking payments for links.

You don’t have to do all of the above, ¬†start testing a few of them and your blog will soon be monetised.

Things to remember when monetising your blog:

Research your potential advertisers, don’t compromise the quality of your site by going with just anything. If you are not sure, err on the side of caution.

Not every post has to have advertising and affiliates links in. Go with what you are comfortable with.

If you are unsure then start with a few product reviews – my review post formula is here.

You still have to build trust Р5 ways to build trust on your blog and you might be asking some of these 15 FAQs about affiliate marketing via your blog.

Need a checklist to help you out?

Subscribe to Nikki’s newsletter, the ebook, the checklist and the planners are coming soon

Sarah

PS tell us what you use to monetise your blogging, or get accountable and tell us in the comments what you are going to try.

Enhanced by Zemanta

What Type Of Affiliate Marketer Are You?

What type of affiliate marketer could you be?Affiliate marketing is one way to earn money via your blog. Other ways are by promoting your services and by selling your own products.  There are some very different affiliate marketing models which we will explore in this post, see what type appeals to you.

Niche affiliate marketing means building smallish / micro sites in different niches. These sites are set up with the aim to promote one or more affiliate products for that niche. The products can come from multiple sites like

Some niche sites are set up with the goal of promoting AdSense, they need to have great keyword-optimised content to get found, for that content to be relevant to the reader in order to gain the click. See Nikki’s 30 day SEO challenge if you are thinking of doing this, it will help you get better results.

Another method of affiliate marketing is setting up a pre-sell page to promote only one product. These are known as squeeze pages, that page then leads to the product creator’s sales page.

Depending on how good a copywriter you are depends on your success here.

If you are good at writing copy that converts then give it a go. If you are not, check out this review of the sales copy master class. The downside to this model of affiliate marketing is the product you are trying to sell might be fab but the sales page you direct the prospect too may just stink. ¬†Another thing to consider is that sometimes you can go a bit overboard with marketing ¬†this page, that you think you are promoting the site when you are actually spamming people to death. Because it’s only one page you are relying on a lot of luck (and SEO judgement) to get found.

Tools that can help you create a fast slick squeeze page

  • Genesis
  • Premise

Some affiliate marketers do product reviews, or simply post on their blog about topics of interest or concern in their niche and mention various products as possible solutions.¬†Affiliate links in the content itself converts far better than affiliate banner placement.¬†¬†BUT a well written article and an add placed nearby can work almost as well – think newspaper advertorial style. If the newspapers do it, they do it because it works. They don’t waste newspaper space on things that don’t work.

Don’t disregard marketing to your newsletter with affiliate offers.

They have to be relevant to your audience. If you blog about cats and have a small email list full of fellow cat lovers sending them an offer about a great credit card deal may just ruin your credibility and their trust in you. See this post here about building trust as when you use affiliates links.

Amazon associates imageOther sites (Like Birds on the blog) focus on promoting Amazon Associate links. Again these can be in content or via reviews. If you review a book at the end of the post you can insert an Amazon Associates link. Think of this as a service, you write a review  Рopen and honest and at the end is your link and perhaps an image of the book. If it piques the interest of the reader they will click through and buy a copy. You can review all kinds of products through Amazon Рmusic, DVDs and toys.

No matter what niche you blog in you will find one aspect that you can monetise through Amazon.

  • Mummy blogging – toys and games reviews
  • Food blogging – cookbooks and cooking equipment
  • Transport blogging – Sat navs, maps and other equipment

There is more than one way to market affiliate products online some are natural and organic, some take a lot of work. Keep in mind you don’t have to follow one way only; you can use a combination approach to monetise your blog.

Sarah

PS We have a book about monetising your blog using affiliates. Subscribe to Nikki’s newsletter to find out more. Remember, we don’t market the slutty way. We market using open and ethical ways and if that appeals to you then this guide will be perfect for you. Subscribe asap; our best offer for this guide comes¬†through¬†this newsletter.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Real Time Analytics Google