Uber entered the country early in 2014 and the first time I heard and tried it was around September of the same year. I already know what Uber was but I never thought it would be possible for it to be available in the Philippines due to the country being poor (no pun-intended). Now that it’s here for more than a year, I figured that considering doing an Uber business is not too insane to consider.
I started blogging in 2008 when I was still a college student. During the time I was taught to target a broader audience that can easily relate to the topic that I’m writing about. These audience were considered the ‘paying’ audience as they tend to buy stuff online and even if you’re not selling anything, these people will theoretically make you more money if you have ads on your site.
This is a guest post by Amanda Green.
So you’re a content creator, right? You’re a blogger, an internet marketer, a writer and trendsetter and brand expert.
Tell me about your Kickstarter.
Yes, like it or not, Kickstarter has become the new must-have brand accessory. Although it’s very difficult to make a profit from a Kickstarter (for reasons to be explained below), it’s also now difficult to be taken seriously as a content creator unless you’ve passed through the crucible of crowdfunding. And, because of market dominance and name recognition, Kickstarter is the only way to successfully get crowdfunded; other crowdfunding sites, like IndieGoGo or Quirky, are seen as sites for people who can’t hack it on Kickstarter.
With that in mind: when are you going to launch yours? Here’s what you need to know to get started:
You need a compelling project OR compelled fans
There are two ways to be successful at Kickstarter. First, create something that a lot of people want, like the Pebble Watch. Pebble–after designing and Kickstarting a watch that syncs with your smartphone to show text messages and emails on your wrist–is now a hugely successful company.
However, most bloggers and internet marketers are unlikely to have a Pebble-sized idea in their back pocket. Instead, you’re going to be Kickstarting a content-based project: a book of marketing techniques, a business course for new bloggers or a series of interviews with the best brand creators in the country. For this, you need fans. You need regular interaction with blog commenters and Twitter followers so you have a group of people who will mobilize and fund your project.
Perhaps ironically, the point of a content-based Kickstarter isn’t to make money (you won’t, and we’ll get to why). Nor is it necessarily to sell a brilliant product – that book of marketing techniques is likely to be culled from old blog posts, after all. It’s to announce your ascendance to the next level.
Having a successful Kickstarter shows the world that you have enough authority that people are willing to pay for your content.
This is a key step for content creators and internet marketers. Once you have that Kickstarter badge on your website, everyone will know that you’ve been accepted and supported by “the crowd.” You’ll be able to leverage this into further opportunities, including interviews, guest blog posts and – the ultimate goal – book deals.
You aren’t going to make money
Here’s the bad news. You aren’t going to make any money on your Kickstarter. Not even if you pad your budget with contingency funds or go 100% over your project goal.
This is why: In addition to your Kickstarter’s primary goal (“my new book, Everything I Know About Internet Marketing“), you also need to create tiered rewards. Every person who donates is entitled to a project reward commensurate to the level of the donation. This means you’re going to need to create, produce and ship multiple types of rewards.
Even if some of the rewards are low- or no-cost (like a PDF of MelvinBlog’s Blog Marketing Guide), you’re still going to need to create tangible products for high-level donors. Even a modest product like a “page-a-day marketing idea calendar” is going to cost you far more than you anticipate: in addition to writing 365 individual marketing ideas, you need to design the calendar layout, have the calendars printed, and pay to ship them across the country and overseas.
And that’s just the basic requirements for production and shipping. Smart marketers are going to add extra touches, like branded custom printed shipping boxes. They’re going to create stretch goals (so they can say “My Kickstarter funded at 100% over goal and then hit two additional stretch goals”) which require even more product design, development and shipping.
All of these expenses are on top of the cut that Kickstarter takes, the cut that Amazon Payments takes and the cut that goes to the tax man. (Yes, you have to pay taxes on Kickstarter funds.)
In short: don’t go into your Kickstarter expecting to make money. In fact, most content creators report paying out of pocket to create and ship their Kickstarter rewards.
If it’s a lot of work and you aren’t going to make any money, why bother with crowdfunding? At this point, it’s the equivalent of hosting a YouTube channel or creating your first ebook. If you don’t have one, people are going to wonder why. To maintain authority in the information economy, you need proof that your ideas are supported by large numbers of people. The way to do that, at least for the next year or so, is to Kickstart a project.
So: when are you going to launch your Kickstarter?
This is a guest post by Reuben Dickison.
It is a Catch-22. Polls consistently find that people choose email as their preferred method of being contacted and updated. The same polls find that the highest source of irritation to online consumers is spam. This brings up the obvious question of –
What is the difference between Email and Spam?
Much like beauty – it is in the eye of the beholder. If it is of interest to the person, even if it is pure direct advertising, it is a welcome email. If the person receiving the email is not interested, it does not matter what the message is – they will consider it spam. This is the biggest factor in deciding how to use email to increase traffic to your blog or website.
When implementing email marketing campaigns more is not better. If you have something genuinely useful to say and it is timely it will probably be well received. It is a reasonable presumption that if a person visited your site, registered, and provided an email address then they have some interest in your site or products. This does not mean they all want a daily update on your site.
The purpose of your email updates or newsletter is very simple but often overlooked. It should be to drive traffic back to your website. I subscribe to one blog that I follow quite closely. I get a newsletter once a week (which is too often for most in my opinion). It contains the complete article of new posts. While I find it interesting it does in fact mean I have not actually visited the website in months as I have no need to. This is drastically reducing the value of any advertising they use to support the blog.
To run an effective email system there are some basic steps.
- You need to have email addresses. To collect email addresses you must actively solicit them. A call to action to register and to subscribe to newsletters must be highly visible.
- The emails or newsletters sent out must be for the purpose of directing traffic to the website. Highlight the most popular posts and pages in the email with a link to go to the complete post. Use your web analytics to determine the most popular.
- The more tailored the message the more effective it will be. If the reader can choose categories they are interested in then their emails should focus on those categories.
- It should not look like a cloned email every time. Aside from your logo, change up the look and format frequently to encourage them to actual read it as opposed to opening then immediately moving to trash or spam as “the same as always”.
There are numerous free plugins to use to set up email and newsletter campaigns for either specific or ongoing use. The better ones require more set-up and include an email verification (click here to confirm subscription type email) system.
If you want to grow your website or business through the use of purchased or shared email lists then always use an alternative email account to do the mass unsolicited mailings. This will prevent your primary site email from being tagged as a spammer account by the major email servers.
Hiring professional services sometimes makes sense, particularly if there is an e-commerce portion to your website. Whether it is to simply purchase a list or to conduct a full marketing campaign check to make sure that you have access to the account the emails get sent from. If you purchase 5000 emails in a list and 2000 of them are bounced as undeliverable you need to know that and be able get refunded or new to replace them.
Reuben Dickison is semi-retired freelance writer and blogger currently living in the United States. He is writing for email marketing services from emailergo.com. He holds degrees in Marketing and Public Administration with past jobs including consumer financial management, general manager of a multi-million dollar retail business, and private business management training and consulting.
This is a guest post by Amanda Green.
Becoming Eco-friendly in the business world is more than just a fad. For many entrepreneurs, it is a way of life, and more businesses need to jump in on the cause. Not only will recycling and saving energy increase profit and lower costs, but it will also serve as an inspiration for employees and work associates. It is just as important, if not more so, that businesses participate in making the planet greener, as it is for anyone else.
Going green for a business can be as simple as switching to energy saving light bulbs, or as complicated as converting the entire office or building to some type of sustainable energy source. There are many cost saving ways a business can participate in making the world more Eco-friendly. Here are few of the more popular ones:
1. Go Paperless
For a long time, industry leaders have been trying to promote the paperless office; it is more efficient, safer and saves money. Use digital memos, calendars, emails and documents to reduce paper waste.
There are actually several business benefits to going digital: employee efficiency increases and it can create a substantial savings on paper, which can amount to as much as $1,800 a year. Additionally, a company that uses less paper also spends less on file storage, printer ink, toner, copy paper and document shredding.
2. Energy Efficiency
Save money on energy by replacing regular light bulbs with fluorescent. Turn off unneeded lights at night. Adjust computer power settings so they run on “power saver” mode and replace appliances with energy efficient appliances. You can learn more about getting great rates on electricity at www.Electric.com.
3. Start a Recycling Program
Recycle as many products as you can. Make recycle bins available for employees. If you are a small business consider combining your recycling efforts with those of other businesses in the building. Most businesses and people already recycle so making this a daily business activity shouldn’t be that difficult. Be the change you wish to see.
4. Promote Telecommuting One or Two Days a Week
By having some employees work part time from home you can promote better energy efficiency. The fewer computers used in the office on certain days, the more you can save business on energy costs.
5. Sustainable Energy
Sustainable energy is very popular all across the country right now, so you may be able to find inexpensive solar power or wind energy options that will power your installations at least partially. This can save you a lot of money on energy costs, lowering your overhead and increasing your revenue.
If each one of us takes it upon ourselves to make these practical changes in our personal and professional lives, collectively we can go a long way. Don’t get overwhelmed by the forces of disinformation: your planet is depending on you!
Despite of me being totally busy with work and other stuff, I decided to launch a new website purely based on it being a hobby (or maybe not even really). ‘Passion projects’ aren’t really the best thing in life because aside from the fact that it doesn’t give you assurance of making money, its also a time sink and something that could hinder you from doing other things that are more “worth it” financially speaking. But life is all about being happy eh? 😛
If there’s a type of blog entry that is potentially getting traffic from search right now, its undoubtedly your old blog entries. As we all know, search engine traffic takes time. No one really writes or puts out something, and then expects search engines to start sending traffic to that content as soon as its published. That’s why its really more long term and that I always tell people to just do the basic search stuff, but not get too obsessed with it. In short, do other online marketing stuff as well and don’t really on Google.
In this blog entry I would just like to share some
rambling stuff regarding search engine traffic here in this blog. As you all know, I haven’t been blogging actively for quite a while now and in fact I’m not that much into the game anymore. So understandably, the traffic that this site is getting is considerably lower than ever. And because of that, its easier for me to spot the increased search traffic that I started getting.
While the traffic increase for the past 18 months is not massive, its very evident that I started getting more traffic from search and that comes with me not posting that much during the period of increase. And the traffic is still consistent as of this writing. More search traffic when not posting too much, amazing? No.
The truth is even if I am posting consistently, I would still get the same (or more) amount of search traffic because the content that are getting the hits from search are old blog entries.
Now I’m not really a search guy. I wrote before about writing for search engines but I don’t mostly work with doing SEO stuff. I love putting out content and engaging but I’m not a search guy. However, the reason I started getting more search traffic is quite a bit surprising.
About 3 years ago I wrote a cheesy post about the best birthday gift for the girl that I love (or more accurately I have a crush with). That was college days so please understand that I was dealing with puppy loves and whatnot. :p. Now, I noticed that I started getting like 10-20 hits a day regarding keywords related to that blog entry. I was obviously surprised because the article was not written in a way that one would expect it would get traffic.
So when I got convinced that I had to do something to get better traffic, I studied the Analytics and Webmaster Central data even more. And then I edited the said blog entry to try to ‘massage’ it more and eventually get better rankings. I’m not really able to follow it closely because of work but for the past 2 months, I realized that I’m now getting 30-50 hits from search from keywords that are related to that blog entry. It was fascinating because I never really expected it to get traffic from search at all. Also, its on the first page of Google right now when you search for ‘best birthday gifts for girls’ which I thought was amazing.
And now there are some other keywords that I never intended to rank for that are ranking well and are getting me some traffic.
So what’s the moral lesson of this blog post? The lesson is to never underestimate traffic from search engines. But another is that when you feel like you are starting to get some, don’t be afraid to make modifications to that specific blog post. You have all the data to look at from Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Central and it reveals almost everything to help you. Do some tweaks and those little tweaks can definitely help.
My stance on not getting too caught up with doing SEO is still the same and I don’t still consider myself as a guy doing search engine optimization primarily but it definitely gives me some things to experiment for now. And getting search traffic and maximizing it is something that I know will be useful in the long run.
How about you? What’s your no.1 tip in maximizing search traffic?