Archives for June 2012

Win a Copy of Camtasia 8 from Dragon Blogger

If you’re not familiar with Dragon Blogger, it’s a great technology blog run by Justin Germino.  One of the nice things about the site, aside from the great info is that Justin is constantly hosting giveaways.  He’s got another great one running right now, giving away a copy of Camtasia 8.  The other good news is that, since I’m a hosting blog, all you’ve got to do to win is sign up in the form below!

The giveaway is over. Thank you for participating.

 
Bingo, bango, fill out a few things, perform a few small actions, and you’re entered!
 

Jump on Pinterest to Promote Your eBusiness

Do you run an eBusiness that specializes in a particular niche? Are you interested in promoting and marketing your website to a massive audience, which can translate to increased traffic and revenue? You may already understand the importance of promotion through social media in the world we live in today. A hugely popular social networking tool that can help propel your eBusiness to new heights is Pinterest, the fastest growing website of all time, according to Fortune magazine. Take a minute to digest that fact. Pinterest has exhibited a rate of growth and expansion that surpasses the likes of social networking powerhouses Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Image, Logo: Pinterest is beating Google+ and is now the 3rd largest social network © by MRBECK

So, what exactly is this Pinterest? It is virtual photo-sharing community that allows its users to organize, share and disseminate fascinating and appealing multimedia content. Pinterest users can create their own virtual pinboards that are organized by various categories, such as beauty, fitness and inspiration, for example. “Pinners,” as they are called, can then “pin” images to their various boards. If a user sees a truly inspirational image either on Pinterest or anywhere on the Internet, he or she can pin this image to their inspiration board. Pinterest deserves a great deal of credit in that it has created a virtual community atmosphere. Pinners can follow other users who share similar interests and tastes to keep track of their boards and content. It is possible to leave comments on boards, which can initiate a dialogue among users. The most popular content themes on Pinterest include beauty, fashion, fitness, recipes, home decor, arts and crafts and inspiration.

Now, let’s get to the part that will interest you. How can you tap into Pinterest to promote your eBusiness? Read on, brave explorer…

Dig Deep into the Heart of Your Niche

In order to develop an understanding of whether or not your eBusiness can truly tap into the full potential of Pinterest, you must consider your niche. Does any aspect of your eBusiness appeal primarily to women? The reality of Pinterest is that 80 percent of its users are female, which should make sense given the most popular content themes on this photo-sharing tool. If your eBusiness involves selling beauty products or quality women’s clothing, for example, you can absolutely utilize Pinterest for marketing and promotional purposes. It is easy to create a company or brand profile on Pinterest and you can get started right away.

Variety is Key on Pinterest

If you do reach the conclusion that Pinterest is an appropriate tool for you to use and have created a profile for your eBusiness, it will be highly important that you follow and connect with a variety of other users who are interested in the niche you are targeting. If your eBusiness is selling a fitness product, you can easily connect with other pinners who are fitness enthusiasts. As you imagine, this can help generate sales. You should also connect with other companies on Pinterest that are targeting the same general niche as you.

Additionally, variety will be key in terms of the multimedia content you choose to add to promote your products or services. It may be in your best interest to hire an expert digital graphics designer who can help create eye-candy images for you that can then be shared on Pinterest. These types of visually appealing pins tend to dominate Pinterest. Also, you can even create video and text-based pins to share. You may want to consider create a video pin that features a satisfied customer using one of your products. You could even convert a positive customer testimonial into a text pin. Pretty cool, huh?

Add a “Pin-It” Button to Your Website

As your eBusiness develops a strong presence on Pinterest, you should add a “Pin-It” button to your website, which can be done easily especially if you have a WordPress-based website. This will allow pinners who frequent your site to have the ability to easily pin images to their own boards. This is excellent for you because it increases the chances that your images will be re-pinned on Pinterest. As you can imagine, this “Pin-It” button will begin to work for itself in no time.

Closely Monitor Analytics

If you are running an eBusiness, chances are good that you have a strong business mind and understand the importance of analytics and number-crunching. You can easily track where your traffic is coming from through Pinterest by using such tools as Google Analytics. This can help you adjust your strategies as you understand key metrics. Of course, you should do more of what seems to be working for you.

Your ability to successfully tap into Pinterest for marketing and promotional purposes will depend largely on your niche and the quality of your pins. Pinterest drives more sale than any other network. It is in your best interest to seriously consider adding this powerful networking tool to your social networking arsenal.

Jamie Bush is a freelance writer, web content coordinator for BabyChangingStation.com. Jamie is also an avid “pinner” who enjoys using Pinterest to find recipes and home decor tips.

Easy Steps to Draw More Traffic

Ad revenue not what you hoped? Here are some ways to turn it around.

Trying to earn money from a blog can be a discouraging proposition; many bloggers create quality content with attractive design, but never see the ad revenue they’re anticipating. Thatedeguy has already outlined excellent services to monetize your blog, so we’ll focus on drawing traffic, which will determine your success regardless of the monetization strategy you choose. If you’re not implementing these simple strategies, you’re missing out on easy ad revenue.

Get Specific

Not that Kind of Traffic! img credit: © by epSos.de

Your blog’s niche determines who your competitors are, how big your readership can be, and how much work it will take to get noticed. The idea here is to have as many readers as possible, with as few competitors as possible. Let’s suppose you want to write a generic “car blog”, for instance. If you Google that phrase, you’ll see that your front-page competition is Jalopnik, Autoblog.com, and Car and Driver—big blogs with big SEO budgets, who will make sure your little blog stays in the wasteland of page 12 on the Google rankings for all eternity. Narrow your topic down until the front page results for that topic are small but successful blogs—the kind of competition your blog can handle.

…But not too specific

You want to make sure your niche is something readers care about—so take a look at Google Insights to see who is searching for key phrases related to your blog. If there are only one or two people searching for those phrases in a given day, you might want to consider broadening or even switching your niche altogether. If you’re dead set on covering your chosen topic, recognize that those one or two visitors are the only shot you have at making money, so you’ll have your work cut out for you.

Maintain a consistent content stream

Nothing kills readership like erratic updates, so commit to updating your blog on some kind of regular basis, even if it’s just weekly. Loyal readers (the kind who will share your posts and expand your readership) enjoy the “ritual” of checking for updates, so don’t disappoint. You can undo a lot of hard work with just one or two missed posts.

Keep your content web-friendly

Successful bloggers know that writing online is not like fiction, or school essays, or even print journalism; people read online content differently, so you need to know how to write differently. Attention spans are shorter online, so keep your content clear, concise, and well-organized. A few ideas:

  • Unless you’ve got a very dedicated audience, 1000 words should be your ceiling for a single post. If you can’t say what you need to say in that space, consider narrowing your topic or publishing it as a series.
  • Clearly subdivide your content. I chose bolding and bullet points for this post, but don’t think your blog is too good for “top ten” or numbered posts—Cracked.com and other heavy hitters have built online empires on that format. It’s easy to read, easy to write, and numbered titles grab the reader’s attention.
  • Include visuals. Buying images for every blog post might be prohibitively expensive (and using images that don’t belong to you is a bad idea, obviously), but for a post you’re particularly proud of, seasoning it with a couple great pictures can really help users stick with you.

Don’t try to go it alone

This is probably the biggest mistake that keeps amateur bloggers ‘amateur’. If you want to make money blogging, understand that networking is part of the job. Find successful blogs in a related (but not competitive) field, contact the author, and offer to guest post. Include a link back to your blog in your bio—as I’ve done below—so that their readers can find your blog. This will also help search engines notice that your content is solid and authoritative, which will help your rankings. Never stop building your network, and don’t be afraid to offer your best content—if you want someone besides Mom reading your blog, guest posts are the way to make it happen.

 

Tiffany Gantt is a staff writer for ApronAddicts.com, a website dedicated to the love of cooking and looking good while you do it! You can often find her getting creative in the kitchen as she whips up something yummy in one of her flirty, color coordinated aprons.

 

Subtle ways to make money with affiliate marketing on your blog

For a lot of people, blogging is a full-time profession – it takes up all our waking hours, and the limited time we have left is spent in marketing the blog, and networking with fellow bloggers. If you’re wondering how all the famous blogs in your niche make enough money to sustain themselves, there really is no easy answer. All bloggers rely on different money making methods, but for those who are still exploring the world of blogging, affiliate marketing is a great place to start.

Before we talk about how you can make money with affiliate marketing, it’s important to understand what affiliate marketing is and why you shouldn’t overdo it. An affiliate marketing system pays you a commission whenever someone purchases the product you’re promoting. For example, if you have a food blog, you can promote a brand of flour or butter with an affiliate program. When a reader purchases this product, you receive a small commission, usually between 3% and 9% for most affiliate programs.

While affiliate marketing may look like a good way to make money, overdoing it will cause more harm than good. Don’t stuff your blog with ads, instead focus on creating relevant content, and use no more than one affiliate link in one blog post. If you want to use banner ads as well, avoid pop up ads.

Here are some interesting ways to use affiliate marketing successfully:

Have a niche – A niche helps you identify with a certain type of audience. A blog about photography tips will attract amateur photographers or photography enthusiasts. These people will be interested in improving their skills, getting suggestions on cameras, and even photo editing software. When writing posts about cameras, photo software, and camera accessories, you can use affiliate links to the product(s) you want to promote.

Give unbiased reviews and suggestions – While it’s understandable that your primary reason for using an affiliate program is because you want more people to purchase a product, so you earn more money, giving an unbiased review of a product will not only help people make an informed decision about purchasing it, but it will also give you extra points for the good karma! If a reader is happy with the product you endorsed, they’ll also be happy recommending your blog to their friends.

Generate a buzz around it – When you’re done writing a blog post, make sure you spend time marketing it. This is relatively easy if you use social media for promoting your blog. Introduce affiliate links in your tweets and Facebook updates, and also include a link to your post.

Depending on your audience, geographic location, and niche, you may have to experiment with different marketing methods to understand how your audience reacts to affiliate links in your posts, and what profit you’re making through it.

Joe Linford writes on behalf of Broadband Genie, a social shopping and consumer advice website for broadband, smartphones and tablets.