Posts Tagged ‘Advertising’
Many online marketers try starting a Facebook Ad campaign once and to their standards fail, leading to never exploring Facebook advertising again. I’ve had many online marketers tell me that the blame rests completely on Facebook, and that it’s just not a great place to advertise online. Is it really Facebook’s fault or is it the online marketer who can’t find a way to make his/her ads work?
A little bit of both I think. See… some brands just won’t do well on Facebook regardless of the effort you put in. Some brands cover boring topics, and boring topics tend to not do so well on Facebook. Especially with Facebook advertising. Read More
Affiliate marketing is an often underrated but highly profitable means of selling laden with multiple benefits. Affiliate marketing not only is a brilliant source of earning additional income via advertising but it is also a valuable tool to increase an affiliate marketer’s goodwill and standing.
If you’re keen on becoming an affiliate marketer or indeed have already initiated an affiliate selling campaign, the following guide will manifest the finest ways of achieving success in the field and staying ahead of the competition. Read More
We all are well aware about the importance, dos- don’ts and basic etiquettes associated with email marketing. But one question that intrigued and amazed me was why this marketing option enjoys the monopoly in the social marketing world. True, it has the ability and scope to reach out and engage maximum customers but so does the other online marketing tools. Then where does the difference lie? To discuss it and compare it with other marketing tools, here are few points that deserve consideration: Read More
If you are blogging and are enjoying it, the idea of going pro is likely appealing to you. After all, who wouldn’t want to earn their living doing something they love, especially when it can be done almost anywhere a wifi connection can be found?
But the truth is that turning a blog, even a popular one, into a full-time income is tough. Competition is stiff, the landscape is uncertain and even if you can find a path to success, it’s uncertain if it will still be available tomorrow. It’s no wonder that there are entire communities dedicated to exactly this problem.
Fortunately though, there are many different paths that you can take to monetize your blog and, eventually, turn it into at least part of your full-time job.
But while there are too many to count or mention in one article, especially when many approaches are really combinations of other schemes, there are some methods that have been used more often, and with greater success, than others.
With that in mind, here are five of the more popular ways of going pro with a blog, including who they’re right for and what the perils of that approach might be. Read More
Bloggers “sell themselves” to their readers every single day, they do so by being honest about their opinions and writing factual articles that serve the niche for which they write, however despite the ability of bloggers to sell themselves to readers they often do not sell themselves well to advertisers, company’s looking for product reviews and even other bloggers. The biggest pitfall in this area comes from a lack of a decent media kit.
What Is A Media Kit
In it’s most basic of terms a Media Kit is a page on a website or a file that can be sent to potential advertisers that explains why they should be willing to pay for ad space, product review and other types of advertising on your website. Read More
It’s the golden road for bloggers, it’s how every great writer is supposed to make his millions (or at least thousands) off the Web. You start up an awesome blog, write great content, build a good audience, slap up a few Adsense ads and let the money come rolling in.
While it’s a system that works great for some bloggers, for a vast majority it’s a road to nowhere. A select few get rich, a few more get some spending money and the majority never even see a check.
For most blogs, advertising is a terrible business model. For them, it doesn’t work, it can’t work and it never will work. It’s that simple.
I learned this the hard way myself years ago and I cringe as I was other bloggers go down the same path, usually falling flat on their face.
Why is advertising such a terrible business model? The reasons are painfully obvious when one takes the time to look for them, but few, blinded by the promise of easy money, see the reasons until they’re staring at their paltry earnings report.
Still, for those who want to know why this is a bitter truth, I’ve outlined five reasons below. Read More
Blog branding is hard work. If you started blogging because you wanted to write, you’re probably not the world’s best designer and, though building a site is pretty fun, it’s a task that gets in the way getting new content online.
The problem is that blog branding is extremely important for your site. Not only is it one of the best ways to reduce your bounce rate, but it’s what gets your content taken seriously and lets your writing speak for itself.
As we’ve talked about before, you can’t ignore blog design and blog branding, no matter how much you want to. To make matters worse, contrary to what promotional material for various CMSes say, you can’t just download an attractive theme and go.
Unfortunately, if we’re playing the odds alone, chances are that your blog branding sucks right now. While it’s not your fault, you can rest assured many of your visitors will blame you for it and hold it against you and your content.
The good news is that if you avoid a few simple mistakes, you can go a long way to building a good blogging brand and giving your site the chance it deserves to thrive. Read More
Whether you love or hate Apple products, there is no doubting their success, both in terms of their general reputation and in sheer dollars.
However, that success has not been due to market research. Steve Jobs has repeatedly quipped that Apple never performs any market research nor hires consultants. In that regard, he joins Henry Ford who famously (allegedly) said, “If I asked my customers what they want, they simply would have said a faster horse.”
So, while James’ excellent column earlier this week on opinion polls is correct that asking your readers what they want is important, it’s also important to take what they have to say with a grain of salt.
Simply put, your readers probably know what they want, at least to a certain degree, but they likely have little idea as to what they actually need. However, it’s your job as a blogger to give them the latter because giving someone what they need is exactly what makes them the most loyal and long-term readers possible.
So how do you give your readers what they need without ignoring their opinions? That is a much more difficult question to answer.
To be clear, as James said, user opinion can be incredibly valuable. However, it has a very serious limitation, it is almost always backwards-looking.
The only thing you readers can do is take a look at what you have done currently and then find ways that they think you could improve upon it or ways you can add to it.
While that can be very useful, they aren’t going to see any departures from the norm that might be wise or even necessary. For example, if you run a blog that focuses on reviewing headphones, you readers might recommend that you do a review of a certain brand or maybe focus on cheaper/more expensive models, but they probably won’t propose a guide on how headphones work, something that could be very useful to your audience and help you expand your readership.
Another problem is that readers will, generally, only suggest things that are to their benefit, often ignoring your needs and the needs of the site. For example, readers might complain or even protest the use of ads on your site, ignoring that, without those ads, the site couldn’t exist.
What this means is that, while it is critical to know what your readers want, it’s important to remember where that desire is coming from and that those wants may not always be practical or even what is truly in their best interest.
Simply put, sometimes you to ignore and go against the wishes of your readers, the trick is to know when.
How to Avoid It
None of this is to say that you shouldn’t take opinion polls or ask your readers what they want. That is still very important and both Steve Jobs and Henry Ford are extremists in this area. That is an approach that can bite you easily as the iPhone copy and paste debacle showed.
Still, you can’t trust your readers, no matter how astute they are, to know everything they want or need, especially what they will want or need in a few months time. As Steve Jobs said, “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”
You have to be the one to look farther down the road and to make the big decisions about the direction your site is going to take.
To do that, you have to put yourself in your reader’s shoes. To accomplish that, you need to know who they are. So, instead of or in addition to asking them what they want, ask your who they are. Get all of the pertinent information you can including their age, education level, general tastes, viewpoints, etc. and from that try to imagine yourself as them as they visit your site.
From that perspective, you need to look at what they need or truly want. What does someone like that need that they might not know they need until they get it?
Going back to the aforementioned headphone review site. If you took a poll of your readers and learned that they were primarily music buffs and not engineers or scientists, you would quickly glean that they likely had almost no understanding of how headphones worked and that such knowledge might help them make smarter decisions down the road.
Your readers might not know that they don’t know or might not realize that they need to, but once you provide the info, they’ll quickly see how valuable it is.
In short, what you need to do is try to understand your readers needs and wants better than they understand themselves. It’s not hard to do with an outside perspective, but you have to look past the answers on a survey to do it.
In the end, your job as the owner of a site is to be looking forward and trying to be ahead of your readers’ needs, not behind them. This can be tough, especially if you only go by what readers say they want, but that is exactly how you build a loyal and devoted readership.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t take opinion polls from time to time. As James mentioned, they teach you about your audience, help your readers feel engaged with the site, can give you some great ideas and even point out some holes that you need to fill before moving forward.
Opinion polls are a necessary part of the equation, however, using them is not as simple as compiling a list of their suggestions and implementing them one after another. The goal is to take that information and those suggestions and construct something even greater.
While that requires a lot more thinking and a great deal more work, if you can do it, you’ll have a site that, like some of the better companies out there, are able to anticipate user needs, meet them and grow because of it.
That, in turh, is how you go from having a “good” blog to have a “great” one.
If you work on your blog long enough and hard enough, at some point you’re probably going to want to earn at least some revenue from it. After all, though most bloggers get started out of fun or love, revenue is not only a powerful motivator but it also frees a blogger up to invest more time and energy into their site.
Contrary to what many believe, earning money from your blog does not mean “selling out” nor does it mean you’re no longer blogging out of love or passion. Most understand the need/desire to earn revenue from your site and, if the business model is respectable to both your content and your visitors, many will actually find your site to be more professional and more respectable.
However, finding the right business model is both tricky and vital. A bad approach will not only fail you to earn any money, but can effectively kill your site by turning visitors away and destroying your reputation.
So how do you choose the business model that’s right for you? It’s not a simple question to answer, but one that every blogger has to address. Read More
Imagine, for a moment, that you were invited over to a friends house to watch a movie or catch up on their news. However, instead of giving you what you went for, they bombarded you with advertisements you didn’t want, practically shoving them in your voice and begging you to read them.
Then, when you get past the ads, they start annoying you with irritating sounds and distracting movement, anything to get your attention away from whatever it is you visited for. Then, when you finally turn to leave, your friend does everything they can to prevent you from going. This includes locking doors, rearranging the furniture and everything short of handcuffing you to a wall.
This person, almost certainly, would not be your friend much longer and it is even more unlikely you’d ever go back to their house. At the very least you’d consider this a bad experience and, at worst, it would feel like a form of kidnapping.
However, as extreme as this example sounds, it’s exactly how many websites treat their visitors. Sadly, many webmasters don’t see their visitors as guests in their virtual home, but rather, like sheep meant to be shorn and exploited as much as possible.
But while we can all recount the terrible experiences that we’ve had with sites that have tried to trap and bombard us, there are other, more subtle ways a webmaster can impose on a visitor and they can be just as deadly to earning trust.
Unfortunately, many webmasters fail to realize that they are doing it and some are left wondering as to why so few of their visitors ever come back. Read More