Google is a powerhouse in the online world – search engines, video sharing sites, maps, smart phone sat nav, SEO and today’s post is to talk to you a little bit about a lesser known feature that it has – which for an online, sorry ANY business owner is a little bit of dynamite for their communication weaponry with their clients and prospects.
Enter GOOGLE GROUPS – something that is really quite well hidden inside of Google’s dashboard but if you head on over to the “more” section in the top tool bar, followed by “even more” then you will find them. It’s almost like it’s a little secret they want to keep from you, and throughout this post you will end up seeing why (I hope)
Aside from the obvious “forum” set up that you can add to your website, much like we have done at Bizzebee here (yep, no expensive outlay for building a forum into your existing website, this is all free of charge courtesy of Google)
A Google group can also be a great place to actually start building up a free email / subscription list.
It wasn’t until VERY recently I became aware of this feature, but thanks to my BNI networking group I am a member of near my hometown, I came across the email facility, which then got my cogs ticking over.
When you join want to join a Google group, you are normally logged into your Google account, therefore notifications would be delivered to the email address that is associated with your Google account – as an example mine is [email protected] – however, you can request to join ANY Google group and associate it with any email address you like, any owner of a Google group and add people to the group by inviting them by email – once accepted that email address is associated with the group and your notifications for the group hit your inbox.
Here’s the great thing about this – YOU DON’T NEED TO PHYSICALLY GO TO THE GOOGLE GROUP TO RESPOND OR POST A QUESTION OR SEND AN EMAIL (perhaps an offer) TO THE GROUP MEMBERS.
Because each group has it’s own unique address that is set up when the group is created for example our one for Bizzebee is [email protected] as soon as you are a group member you can write an email out to that address (from your email client) and it will deliver to all the members in the group. Likewise when replying it will reach all group members too.
It has a really great capability because you don’t need to go looking for the group – when a conversation or forum question is asked you get the information direct into your inbox – so its really convenient for busy business people.
So imagine the capability of a large group – if you really are an extensive member of the Google community, and manage to successfully gain members (and there are various ways in which you can do this) you have a large network literally at your fingertips, which won’t take hours away from time with procrastination!
Some suggestions for any business owners out there on this one from me would be to communicate with all existing customers and explain you are introducing a really great new Forum that will allow customers to share experiences and communicate with you in a public format, and by accepting invitations to join will allow them to keep in touch with you about special offers and any important product information and updates.
I’ve recently added my family’s printing business whole existing client database to a group, and amended the settings so that when they reply to any messages we post out are only coming back to me directly. We are testing this out as a different form of email marketing to see if it has any different results to the normal kind of email marketing. (Incidentally each customer has been notified of the invitation and encouraged to join, by giving them a nice freebie with their next order if we see they are a part of this Google group)
Rather than explain here step by step the set up process, (which is pretty versatile and extremely straightforward) what I’ve done is create a short video that shows you the set up and how to utilize it from your email client inbox too. You can view that video over at our YouTube channel here.
I don’t believe that Google groups are at all a replacement for email marketing products such as Aweber, but for someone in a start up mode with little free cash around to spend, it could be a really great start up tool, as all you need to do is dedicate yourself some time and go out and graft to get the group’s numbers up!
Are you a member of any Google Groups?
The Bizzebee Colony group can be joined by clicking here
I want to discuss something that came about from an experience I had two weeks ago with a hosting company here in the UK. Something that I believe could have been losing them money because they were not pandering to ego and focused more on the technical aspect of their business.
I wasn’t going to name the company as I intended not to dis them just use them as an example of what I believe a business should and shouldn’t do but after re visiting today I see that there have been some changes and I know understand more of what they do and what a customer will get.
The company is screenflowhosting.com and whether it was my email that helped or not I really don’t know but what I do know is that they have made some excellent positive changes. So the article is to also big them up and give them so extra exposure.
Today’s post came about from listening to the legendary Slipmatt radio show the World Of Rave. I am a lover of all things Electronica music. I am especially a big fan of the music that was around in the late 1980s and early 1990s. That was when I was in my teens & early twenties and clubbing and there is a big ‘old skool’ movement happening now with radio shows and rave nights dedicated to the music from that era.
As part of the DJ Slipmatt’s show he does the usual call out to his sponsors and help including the guy who deals with the technical side of the radio and the hosting company responsible for the running of the radio show.
I have a website that is loosely dedicated to the music and have thought about having my own online radio show for it. I have in fact been in talks with one online radio station DanceRadioUK that also hosts Slipmatt’s show to do a late night show for them about all forms of Electronica called ‘Everything Starts With An E’ (Will keep you posted if it comes off!)
Online radio is great because many different radio stations can connect and broadcast the same show so for example ‘The World Of Rave’ which is Slipmatt’s show is broadcast on a Friday night between 5 and 7 on several online radio stations as well as direct from his own website. Below is a recording of one of his recent shows.
When I heard Slipmatt call out the name of the hosting company I went over and took a look. After looking around the site for several minutes I rightly or wrongly decided to send them an email sharing my thoughts. Not to criticise or bash but to say from a customer’s point of view how I was left dazed and confused at their site and services.
Offering the best service and equipment is one thing good businesses should do but the best businesses generally think from a customer’s point of view and if a customer is not tech savvy it doesn’t matter if you supply the new ‘Mega 4000 Max Power Kyrptonite Processor, NRA Based Server’ or ‘40 Tonne Kilowatt Bandwidth’
What I as a customer needs to know is will it do what I want, I need to know the results I will get from system and as it was music related many DJs will be ego driven and want to know ‘How many listeners can I have and will it cost a lot’
As part of the system requirements and package specifications was a button, ‘Learn More’ which when clicked took me to the ‘order form’. I didn’t learn anything new and was not sure what I was paying for and whether I wanted to pay for it.
As a DJ (potential DJ lol) I saw that I could have 100 listeners as part of a £10 a month package, this didn’t sound a lot to me, I wasn’t sure how this worked whether it was a bandwidth thing or something at my end or what. All I know is that I would want to be set up and have the potential to broadcast to thousands if possible and at what price. Now having a Radio 1 size audience is probably well out of my price range but I really do not know.
Getting only 100 visitors doesn’t sound a lot and worth bothering for £10 a month: that is me simply thinking like a customer. I could be completely wrong here with other radios all being able to tap into radio streams it could be possible to be like Ibiza Global Radio and broadcast around the world connecting to different services and set ups.
As I said StreamfloHosting.com have changed their site and added some new information that has helped increased my knowledge and understanding within a few minutes of reading. My email might have helped or it might have been nothing more than a simple coding error and the information was there all the time just I was unable to connect with it. Whatever it was, I know understand far more than I did before which is great.
Whatever your business is, you must stop and think from your customer’s perspective and think ‘What is it I would want to know, look for and buy if I was the customer?’ Think about the ‘X Factor’ for a minute (I know it is an awful show but please just try J)
Imagine Simon Cowell said to a group of teenage wannabes…
‘I will get you into a large studio with Reason, Cubase software, Akai and Roland equipment, big microphones and record a song’
…the teenagers would be stood with a semi excited fixed grin thinking…
‘I have no idea what you just said really’
but if instead Simon had said…
‘I will make you stars, with millions of adoring fans, millions in the bank and a life of mixing with celebrities’
I can guarantee the teenagers would be jumping around in joy screaming and whooping.
The desired results they want are stardom, adoration, money and a celebrity lifestyle. They are not interested in or understand the technical aspects of a recording studio or equipment. I am not saying they won’t develop an interest along their journey to stardom but that isn’t why they go on the ‘X Factor’
Unless you are a real geek, when getting website hosting you are more likely to be interested in what it can do for your business, brand or popularity and not what the actual software or hardware is and it is the same for any business.
Drug dealers know this well, that is why they never sell the drug, they sell the experience, the high, the happiness and the effects the drug can have. Obviously there is a place for system information and technology specifications and I am not saying you should become a ‘Willy Wonka’ style character only selling dreams all the time. That can fall into the dubious realms of copywriting which can be as unethical in the way it sells dreams as selling drugs.
What I am trying to say here is that when you are offering a service or selling products, do not get too wrapped up in the specifications of the technology or service. People buy things for a reason and often that reason is driven by an expectation of a result so you should be selling results more than a service or product.
Besides, the average Joe Public know what they want as a result but they probably do not have a clue about the technology and hardware. You could soon leave them dazed and confused with information overload and quite possibly scare them off from making a decision losing you the sale. And I know you do not want that, do you?
If you are interested in running an online radio and they are very popular and powerful please check out Streamflowhosting.com and if you simply want to hear some cool sounds both old skool and new please check out my recommended list of online Radio stations.
Also if you want to be a superstar DJ like Slipmatt he is soon to be doing a special online training course covering all styles old and new. I am ok with the old but need serious help with the new technology so I shall be signing up!
Well it is Saturday and it has come around fast again. I hope you all have had a good week. Apart from work it has been a quiet week for us really, both Matt and Clair are back from their travels and back at it full time.
Mizanur is has been enjoying the Eid ul Azha Festival over at his home of Chittagong and the rest of us, Sam John and myself Andi we have just been beavering away in the background. I have to be honest; I did go and help my uncle fit a set of French doors for a few hours. After leaving the building trade 2 over years ago I was reunited with muscles I had forgotten about and have been aching ever since but never mind. I am sure it has done me some good, well so they tell me.
So what have you been doing this week?
As always we have 10 great articles for you to read this week including the extra fun wildcard post at the end. So let’s get into it.
Our first article was put forward by Clair and comes from one of our favourite writers and bloggers Ramsay Taplin over at BlogTyrant.com. Today he is talking about VPN’s (Virtual Private Network) and why every blogger and internet marketer should be using one.
Simply put it, if you work on your laptop at a hotel, café or anywhere that offers free wifi the people sitting nearby can all access your private details, passwords and credit card details. Using a VPN can protect you and your information. Is it time you thought more about your online security?
Both myself and Matt put this post forward, it is good to see that we think alike on some things J This is a post written by Ali Luke over at another excellent blog DailyBlogTips.com owned by serial and successful blogger Daniel Scocco. In this post Ali gives us some inspiration to keep on blogging when times are getting tough.
Believe me blogging and writing can be hard and it can take some work. Occassionally you will feel a little deflated and down, it comes with the territory especially if you have not yet hit the success you were hoping for or planning.
Ali gives us 7 excellent reasons why to keep on at it. If you are struggling at the moment then pop over and take a read.
Here is an excellent post by Stephen Hill over at Tweetingz.co.uk. Blogging is about being social and sharing is a major part. When your content is good it will be shared but even if it doesn’t that doesn’t mean your content is poor, it could be read by people who has a huge social network of friends who are not interested in that very same topic.
For example, I come from a small town and my circle of friends consist mainly of people who were not really into the same music as me and who didn’t enjoy the kind of clubs I went to so whenever I hear a piece of music that I love but know my friends are not going to appreciate I probably won’t share it and that has nothing to do with the quality of the music or musician.
So if you are unsure whether your blog posts are under performing or performing perfectly then this article will help you clear up any confusion and might even advise you to do something that you were not yet doing.
This is an excellent post written by Nicolette Beard over at TopRankBlog. This is one of Matt’s favourite sites and we can see why. This post is about how eBooks are a great for Content Marketing.
There is an excellent SlideShare presentation of one of TopRanks very own eBooks and you will see that a successful eBook comes down to putting in a lot of work on the design, layout and content. Their eBook has had over 85,000 views. Now that has some serious potential to drive traffic to a website!
EBooks are powerful, there are so many ways to share them these days and they can be read on so many different machines so if you are wanting to use content marketing as part of your business then you really should consider creating an eBook or two for your business.
This is a great post from my blogging friend Ben Barden over at his QuickBlogTips.com site. Ben is great for giving productivity and time management advice and this is another fine example of one of his great posts.
What I love about Ben and his site is that as the name suggests, he gives Quick Blog Tips which means he is straight to the point and doesn’t fill his articles with fluff and filler. All of his posts though are full of great information and you do leave feeling like you have learned something.
Tip no 5 is a seriously good one, I used to be in the habit of checking stats a lot, it sapped me of a lot of time. I rarely do it now, I focus on creating content, it is more productive. J
Pop over and say hello to Ben and say Andi sent you.
Our blogging friend Erik Emanuelli owns a great site called NoPassiveIncome and here is a post he has published discussing 5 excellent link building tips.
If you are blogging then you must know by now that search engines work similar to political systems and that a backlink is a vote of confidence. The more backlinks you have from reputable sites can help to throw your website up the search results.
It is no longer about the amounts of links you have and more on the quality of the link and that can be similarised to having a celebrity endorse your product, service or site. The more recognised, reputable and trustworthy the person is seen the better the result and same goes with backlinks.
Pop over and read up on 5 great backlink methods that are working well this year.
They say that to be successful you need to study successful people and one of the best ways to get information about successful people and their habits is to visit the popular success.com website.
This is an excellent post about time management. Apparently the best way to manage your time is to do Event Management.
‘If you don’t know what’s important to you, you will do the things that aren’t’.
Who can identify with the statement above? I can, I was terrible for watching the same old TV over and over again. If you do not know what you want to do, you will certainly end up wasting time doing things that will not benefit you.
Another one of our favourite bloggers and marketers is Yaro Starak, here we have something a little different. It isn’t an article on his site but one of his newsletters that he has uploaded to his website and shared.
It is about mindset and asks the question, what would you do if you were earning $20,000 a month? For many people they do not see it as possible unless they won the lottery and they are generally surrounded by people who think the same. So if you want to walk through the door to wealth then you will need to see the door first and we suggest you read this great newsletter to help change your thinking habits.
This post was put forward by Sam and come from the BloggersMakeMoney.com site. Written by Wade Harman, this article discusses the art of creating an emotional response in people. Emotional marketing has been around for years. Copywriters get paid thousands and thousands of dollars to write enticing and exciting copy that drives desire and makes the reader respond by buying products.
Wade discusses ways to create emotional response with your social media updates using powerful words such as ‘How’ ‘Why’ and ‘When’. This is a very interesting read.
Rounding up this week’s list of important posts is this excellent infograph…
This is over on the excellent QuickSprout site by Neil Patel. If you do not know who Neil Patel is well he is one seriously successful and clued up person.
Here he has had created an infographic about what is required to make the ideal landing page. Neil is one of those guys who will know what makes a high converting landing page so please take a look at this if you intend to create some killer landing pages for your business.
I had to share this. It comes a week after I was stood discussing with a friend about using drones for business and how it was in its infancy. Then all of a sudden they seem to be everywhere!
In Australia a company is testing out delivering text books to students using little helicopters known as drones. This really is exciting and fun. Will the skies be filled with little drones delivering stuff all over the place? It would be great to see but the last thing we need is drones crashing into each other overhead when the skies are filled with them.
At the moment I believe it is illegal to use drones in the US unless you are a Government agency as one guy had his photographs taken away from him after using a drone to take them. The video below shows that fast food take away companies like Domino’s Pizzas could soon be using drones to delivery tasty pizza… aggagarr pizza, I love pizza! 🙂 Enjoy your weekend.
For any online business having a social media campaign and network is a must. They are great ways to interact with people and promote your products. Facebook and Google Plus both allow you to build pages dedicated to your business. The idea is that you promote your products and services via these pages and not your personal profiles which go against the networks terms and conditions.
The big problem is that Facebook pages have taken a slump that many have not been able to recover from. Facebook have pushed their ‘Promote a Post’ system where you pay them to show your post in the feeds of the pages fans, this is something that should have happened anyway. It seems that they lowered the reach of page posts so very few fans saw them in order to get people to use the new paid ‘Promote a Post’.
This crippled many pages who had small numbers of followers, when the reach has dropped and only 40-60 people out of say 900 are only seeing your posts then there really is not much point carrying on with the page. Google Plus has its own version of a page but it seems very few people are bothering with them.
Not many people are following Google Plus pages in my opinion, I could be wrong, maybe somewhere there are people who have pages with loads of followers but it seems Google Plus is more about people socialising than it is business. (Interestingly now called Boost Post)
Facebook Groups have been around for a while and were more popular than pages in some circles. Pages were the domain of teenagers creating fun pages that went viral and the craze of ‘liking’ pages was born. The more serious people like business people were using groups to network and communicate with similar like minded people.
When the Facebook pages were given an overhaul many businesses saw the potential in them and set about creating their business page. They then started to use Facebook’s own advertising system to drive traffic to them to get people to ‘Like’ their page. When someone liked a page, they would get the pages posts in their newsfeeds. When Facebook created their ‘Promote a Post’ system and started messing around with the reach of pages, pages soon lost their potential and appeal.
Many page owners had paid a lot of money using Facebook adverts to find fans so that they could now place their business posts directly into their newsfeeds. When this stopped and posts no longer landed in people’s newsfeeds pages became desolate places which forced many owners to simply abandon them. Many were pretty cheesed off at the fact that they had invested money with Facebook to get these fans only for Facebook to change the system and try and charge them for a second time.
For many this simply wouldn’t do yet they still saw great potential with Facebook so they decided to forget their pages and create Groups instead. Groups have been untouched and are not subjected to the reach problems associated with pages like having to pay for people to see your posts. With groups you have members and those members get notifications when a group member has posted in the group as well as if anyone had commented on your post.
Groups can be open or closed, an open group means that when someone posts in the group their friends will see it in their newsfeeds as well which can bring in new members if they are interested.
The communities on Google Plus are pretty similar; anyone can create a community and invite people to join. People who ask to join can be accepted or rejected so you decide who you have in your special group. You can give administration rights to anyone you choose so you do not need to do all of the admin work alone.
If your group or community is full of people worldwide and you get the occasional person posting spam posts you want them removed asap, if you as an admin are asleep in the UK when the post went live you could do with someone on the other side of the world who could administer swift deleting of the non wanted posts.
The great thing about groups and communities is that you have like minded people in them. Unlike pages that can be liked or followed by anyone with a simple click of a button, groups and communities can only be joined by people requesting to join or being invited.
People who do not have an interest in the group subject matter will not go through all of the trouble of joining whereas someone who is interested will. The people in the group have asked to be there, they are highly targeted people.
For example; if your group is about Content Creation, the people who join will be people who want to offer their services, look for people to hire or people who want to learn more. You will have a Mastermind group or a community of people that are looking for things that relate to that group. It is the same if your group is based on Social Media Tips, SEO Expert Advice or Internet Marketing.
Using the example of Content Creation, if you owned several websites and wanted to discuss ways to create content and was thinking of looking for people to outsource your content too you could create a group about Content Creation, invite a few friends, build up the group by accepting new people and then within a few short months you could be sitting on a good network of friends and people who can offer the services you want.
It is a win – win situation, I have seen this happen many times. People within groups have become friends and work has been passed onto each other. If your service is writing, social media manager, SEO or things like that, getting involved in a group can and will lead to paid work and new customers. I know this first hand.
As a group/community owner you do need to police the group regularly and with a firm hand. You will find people ask to join your group without the intention of really joining in. They see them as traffic sources and usually the MLM or Network Marketing fraternity are the worse.
They join as many groups and communities as they can and post bomb useless marketing style posts to try and tempt people to join their networks so that they can start making money and reduce their monthly costs.
It is quite sad how many people do this kind of stuff, they post nothing of value and desperately try to get new people into their downline any way they can and if it means ruining your group they will. So keep on top of it, delete useless spam posts otherwise your group will become flooded and the genuine good people will leave which is a real big shame because when done properly, a Facebook group or Google Plus community of like minded people can be a very valuable thing to be part of.
All there is left to say is that if you are not a member of at least one good Facebook Group or Google Plus community, you should go and join one or start one now. You will not regret it.
You are probably aware that there are many ways to make money online, many of the courses and marketers are telling you that you need an email list and that you should be selling information products and yes this is true.
Creating products showing people how to make money online and then selling them to your own email list can be a very fruitful business model. The biggest problem is that product creation can be quite time consuming and labour intensive.
That is if you try and create the bigger products like a 12 month training course which you can sell for big money. These bigger products mean they can be too costly for some people but on the flip side you can sell less to make a good profit.
There are however other great products that you can create and sell that more people can afford and that you can create quicker and more regularly. When you look at people like Ryan Deiss they create a lot of little reports which they give away for free as a teaser for bigger products that they promote later.
The reason I use Ryan as an example is that the reports he has created are really good quality and crammed full of good information that could be sold as small eBooks in their own right.
There are people who do exactly that, I was on Imram Naseem’s email list for few years and he was one of many people who would create a new report each month and sell them for the price of $5-$7 each. These reports are easily affordable by most people and he probably went on to sell quite a few. I know I bought a few and was not disappointed either.
These small reports only need to be about 15 pages long, as long as you have enough useful information and ideas then there is no reason why you cannot sell them and make a good profit. If writing or creating screenshots is not your strongest skill you could easily outsource the writing and graphics to people on Odesk, Elance or even Fiverr.com.
Let’s say that you get a report created for $100 all finished ready to promote, at $5 you only need to sell 20 to break even, an email list of 500 highly targeted people should easily give you at least 20 sales. Once the reputation of your quality reports start to grow as well as your email list you will increase your sales.
You are not limited to just eBooks or reports; you can create short video tutorials or even things like sales page templates for WordPress. It can be anything really. At $5-$7 it isn’t hard to over deliver on quality.
For example, if you created a short 20 minute video that you sold for $5 in which you showed people how to make $20 a day profit for free, by promoting Amazon products on Facebook or Twitter for 5 minutes work, already the cost of the product is overshadowed by the value it delivers and the potential profit it can generate.
If you are not yet able to afford screen capture software like Camtasia which is not cheap you can use excellent free online software like Screencast-O-Matic.com which allows you to record 15 minutes of high quality video for free.
If you really want to push the boat out you can pay $15 to have access to Screencast-O-Matic’s whole editing suite which will allow you to fully edit your recording and give you longer recording time. $15 for a whole year? That really is nothing these days.
The idea is that you create these reports or videos and sell them to your own email list, but if you do not have a large email list yet as it is early days then why not offer these reports to people who have established email lists and do a joint venture offer where you give them half of the money generated?
Yes you lose money but then again, you will sell more than first expected so you will make more also you will add people to your email list if you set up an opt in box where people hand over an email address to access the product.
Finding ideas for your reports isn’t hard either, sign up to a lot of email lists from the big marketers, read some of the bigger blogs and find out what they are promoting or what advice and ideas they are giving out. You can soon formulate ideas and methods from the works of these people. Obviously I do not need to tell you not to copy them, at least re word them and add some new information to them to make your own.
This business model can be grown into one that requires very little work on your part by paying someone to create the reports and videos for you and then you simple upload them to your own site, write and send an email and then profit.
Let’s say that your reports are averaging $100 each to have made. When you sell them you make $500 a month from each report; it isn’t bank breaking but it’s a good profit. Look at it this way…
You didn’t spend your time creating the reports, someone else did
You profited from the work of other people
The profit is extra profit made on top of the day job if you still have one
You would not make that profit each month if you put $100 into a bank account
This business can grow and grow into different niches with several reports sold each month
Seriously, stop and think about it, you can put $100 a month into a bank account and not get any return these days. Some accounts will cost you more than you make unless you are banking big money each month.
Even at a profit of $100 a month after the investment of $100 will still be $1200 a year that you didn’t have. That will pay for your holiday or rent for a few months. That is looking at it from a very reserved point of view; there are no reasons why you cannot build this business up to a very, VERY profitable business if you decide to create a business plan and stick with it.
In reality you will sell more reports at $5 than you will at $97, yes people attach quality to a higher priced product and you need to only sell a few to be in profit but it can also back fire on you, if you sell an eBook at $97 and the information is poor, the value of the product is less than the price, then you will have to give refunds. You can upset people very easily and they will remember, they will also warn people about you meaning that you will need to find new people to join your list which can be a costly exercise.
At least with $5-$7 reports, if people are dissatisfied with them, which they won’t be because the value will always be more than the price, they are more likely to shrug their shoulders and not worry about losing the price of a beer. At $97 however, that can be the price of a grocery shop so over charging at that price but delivering a book worth only a quarter of the price will not do you any favours.
Remember, it is a lot easier to create smaller 15 page reports, you can sell more and the refund rate will be less. This really is a viable publishing business. Look around you will see offline publishing houses have been doing the same thing for decades.
I thought it was about time we got down to talking about something that all of us Bizzebee’s do with our own sites – affiliate marketing, which can be a fantastic way to monetize your website. In this post we will talk about what affiliate marketing is and try to answer some of the questions that you may have. Let’s get started…
So, What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a way of earning money on your site by promoting other people’s products. You get a commission for every sale that is made via a referral from your site. Many websites like productexpert.com use affiliate marketing as a way of monetizing their website (as well as other methods) as it can be quite effective when done properly.
What Products Can I Promote On My Site?
Short answer – more than you think!
Many people new to affiliate marketing think that there must only be a handful of affiliate products that they could promote, but in fact there are vast amounts that are available for you to promote.
Think about it – if someone has a brand new product that they want to sell, instead of selling it themselves, they setup an affiliate program for that product and pay a commission (let’s say 30%) to everyone that helps to sell it. This can help that product reach a much wider audience than would have been possible by doing it themselves, which in turn helps them to earn more money.
For this reason alone, many current products, in a wide range of industries, have some sort of affiliate program that you can sign up too. All you have to do is find where the affiliate program is.
OK, So Where Can I Find Affiliate Programs?
There are a few different places to find affiliate products to promote.
The first place you should try is a product’s official website. You may find a link somewhere (usually the footer) where you can join their ‘affiliate program’ or ‘become a partner’ – something along those lines. If you can’t find one, it probably just means that they don’t have an official one.
The second place you can try is a dedicated affiliate product website (like clickbank or commission junction) and search for them there. These affiliate marketplaces have thousands of products available for you to promote (though admittedly they aren’t all worth promoting), in a number of different niches.
The third place you can try is big eCommerce sites. Sites like; Amazon, iTunes, WallMart, etc. all have their own affiliate programs that you can sign up too, allowing you to promote and earn commission on the products that they sell. This method can really help you to find the type of product that you want to promote for your site as they literally have thousands to choose from.
The best bit though is that you can signup to as many different affiliate programs as you want and promote multiple products on your site, all of which can earn you a commission if a sale is made.
What Are The Highest Paying Affiliate Programs Then?
This is a question that comes up time and again and frankly this is the wrong question to be asking!
Instead of asking “what the top affiliate programs are?”, you should be asking yourself “what products would my readers be interested in?” Only then will you truly be able to make the most of affiliate marketing.
For example – Let’s say that we found an amazingly good, high paying affiliate program for an airline and we wanted to promote holidays with them here on Bizzebee. This simply wouldn’t work as Bizzebee is a business site. People aren’t visiting our site looking to book a holiday, they want to learn about ways to help their online business. It wouldn’t matter how much we got paid for a commission as we likely wouldn’t make any sales because our readers aren’t interested.
When thinking about what to promote, ask yourself;
What are your readers interested in?
What products do you use that you could recommend?
So If I Pick The Right Products, I’ll Make Loads Of Money?
Affiliate marketing “can” potentially make you lots of money, HOWEVER a lot depends on the traffic your site is getting. Remember, you only get paid for every sale, not click, which is a result of someone buying via your affiliate link. The more people you get to your site, the more chance you have of people buying.
Affiliate marketing is simply one way that you can monetize your site, but just like any other method, you need to work on building up your traffic. This is not some “get rich quick” scheme, it requires lots of hard work to make it work, but if you do, it can be quite rewarding.
Do you use affiliate marketing on your website? Where do you find products to promote? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.
It’s that time again. I hope you all have had a good week. This week we have all been busy doing various things. Clair has been enjoying some parties in Ibiza, Matt has enjoyed his last week visiting family in Japan, I have spent most of this week fighting with the new kitten and believe me they do sap productivity!
Mizan has been beavering away coding and developing a WordPress plugin, Sam has been busy keeping the site on top form as well as enjoying time with his children and John, well John has a secret bunker somewhere where he develops new products and marketing tools. He has something cooking but even we bizzebee’s have to wait until he is ready to unleash it. So what have you been doing this week?
We have 10 great articles for you to read this week. So let’s get into it.
Our first article comes from Lee Odden over at his excellent Top Rank blog. Here we are given 10 fantastic tools that we can use to create and distribute our content. Have you heard of Contently or UberFlip? No I hadn’t until I read this article. When marketing online or building an online business we need tools that make our jobs easier and ways to analyse how well we are doing.
I suggest you pop over to the site and take a look, you might find something there that you could use to make your work easier or better.
Heidi Cohen is a well-known and popular blogger, in fact she is an actionable marketing expert. When she speaks we all listen. In this post Heidi gives us 4 examples of how we can use micro content as part of content marketing.
For those who don’t know content marketing is where we give good quality content to build up trust, following and a good reputation which helps build our brands and in the long run make us more money. For many people content marketing takes up too much time and money, some companies may not have the workforce to help with it.
If a lack of time, money or workforce is preventing you from going forward with content marketing then maybe you should think small. This post could be just what you are looking for with some excellent tips and advice as well as examples.
Matt one of our SEO experts put this article forward. We cannot do a weekly update without some Google related posts. Google have recently rolled out a new Now Card system across the US (even though a screen shot was for London?!?!) where you will be shown details of what is happening at a place when you search for it on Google Maps.
The Now Card is the system designed for the Google Glass and for Mobile devices. It is another exciting development for businesses. Imagine doing an event at a popular building and when people do a search for that building they are shown a Now Card that informs them of your event. Free traffic and potential customers thanks to Google. 🙂
This is the first of two articles we share today about the use of #hastags. This is from Mashable.com and is an excellent guide aimed at beginners. That could be you, I once was a beginner when it came to understanding #hastags.
Many social media networks use them. Twitter was the first with Google Plus and Facebook following with other sites like the photographic social media site Instagram using them too.
Written by Rebecca Hiscott, this is a very detailed post with great tips, advice and information that everyone needs to know about the use and understanding of #hastags. My personal opinion of this post? #veryinformativeanduseful 🙂
This is slightly different to the usual post as we have a video here on YouTube by Google’s very own Matt Cutts. Here he discusses whether redirecting a user based on their location is considered spam by Google. It is a short and very informative video which you will find interesting.
Some people say Matt Cutts is Google’s very own Ministry of Misinformation, only this week I heard the excellent quote by SEO Expert Alex Becker… ‘Asking Matt Cutts how to rank in Google is like asking a dad how to get into his Daughters knickers’ boy did I chuckle to that. Whatever you think about Google and Matt Cutts, this information is likely to be trustworthy and useful.
Another one of our favourite people is Kim Castleberry of Just-Ask-Kim.com fame, Kim is a WordPress specialist as well as a font of tech knowledge, all of the important tech tips online marketers and businesses need answering, she will know the answers. Her site is a treasure trove of useful information and tutorials.
In this post Kim discusses a tool called FB Purity that allows you to block certain posts and statuses being shown in your Facebook newsfeed. Before to block people or posts you either hid them or unfriend them. You could remove the post but on the whole it was remove the person completely or have to see the posts.
With this tool you can set it to block posts coming into your newsfeed by creating a list of ‘words’ to block. So for example if you are fed up of seeing posts by people promoting the awful ‘Empower Network’ (I certainly am) you add that phrase to your list and it will stop them from being shown.
How cool is that? The tool is available for the browsers Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera.
This week we take another visit to John Paul Aguiar’s excellent blog. This post was put forward by John Banks who is no stranger to making money on Facebook and loves a marketing dabble or two with the social media giant.
This article is written by Carter Schimpff and is an excellent and fun post crammed full of ideas and advice on how to make the best of your marketing on Facebook. Essentially it is all about creating a plan and being focused but it is amazing how many people generally overlook these tasks.
If you are thinking of using Facebook to help grow your business, and you should be as it is free, then we recommend you pop over and take a read of this cracking article.
Another Facebook and social media post by Patricia Redsicker over at the excellent Social Media Examiner site. I said earlier that we had two articles that discussed #hashtags, well this is the second one.
We know Facebook uses #hashtags but how well are they working? This article explains what is and isn’t working on Facebook from a marketing point of view. This is a report that has recently been published showing that #hashtags are not working on Facebook as they were first hoping.
If you are using Facebook as part of your online business then you really should check out this article.
This is a great article from one of our friends over in Australia. Kapil Jekishan is the owner and blogger behind the LatestCrunchs.com site. Today he discusses the great software that can be added to your website and blog which allows you to chat to site visitors and potential customers in real time. I (Andi) have used Zopim chat and found it really useful for chatting live to people who have questions.
Kapil has listed six other great software plugins that allow you to chat to site visitors. Pop over and take a read and don’t forget to say ‘Hi, Andi & the bizzebee team sent me’ 🙂
Rounding up this week’s list of important readables is this excellent post…
Ste kerwer is one of my favourite bloggers and he isn’t one to mince his words. His blog Dukeo.com is a great resource of blogging information and experience. In this article he tells us what is the most important skill you need to be a long term successful blogger.
In his words… ‘Conversation. The most important skill you can have for long-term blogging success is to be skilled at engaging in conversation. Easy, you say? Not so fast’
You might be good at writing, you could write an article that reads like a book but believe me and I agree with Ste here (I wonder if he thinks I am a good conversationalist?) if you cannot write engaging content that ‘talks’ to and with your readers then you are not going to go far.
Articles that prompt people to want to ‘reply’ and ‘respond’ will help you to grow your blog and business faster than those that don’t. Simples.
Today’s fun wildcard post comes from Engadget.com and is one for us Sci Fi lovers and the science geeks among us.
AlphaDog is an autonomous machine, or robot to you and me, that is wandering around the wilderness in field test which is now learning how to master rocks. So is Atlas another autonomous machine which is a bipedal robot that can now also ‘climb rocky paths’
This is a fascinating article with video updates to show the advancements of modern robotics, but I do fear that it could all end up with some system called ‘SkyNet’ and semi naked Austrian robots shooting guns everywhere shouting ‘I’ll be back’.
Maybe we should pull the plug on it all now! What do you say? 🙂
All there is left for me to say is please share with us your favourite post of the week in the comments section below. We are more than happy to read your recommendations. Please remember though, only serious articles to do with blogging, marketing and social media etc. We do not mind some fun and interesting posts or articles just not the dodgy ones and you know the ones I am talking about 🙂
We are now in a time where physical hard drive space may be a thing of the past. Well, maybe not completely but hear me out. More and more businesses nowadays are looking to the clouds for their storage. So, what is this cloud storage everyone is talking about these days?
Cloud storage is basically hard drive space on the internet. For you. So, you could if you wanted to store all your pictures, files, music etc on cloud storage. There are many packages out there that offer a small amount of storage for free as well as some premium rate packages. And when I say premium rate I mean very reasonable rates.
Why would you want to move to cloud storage?
Well, this has many benefits. The first and probably most obvious benefit is that is does not take up your “actual” hard drive space on your computer. So you can use the storage effectively for running your programs rather than clogging it up with pictures, ebooks, PDFs etc.
The second benefit is the file sharing possibilities it has. Most cloud storage providers will allow you to share the individual files or folders to other people. Usually just an email address and you can send the files to your friend or colleague.
This is great if you are working in teams but may not always be in direct contact with each other. You can share files easily without having to send large files via email which is not always the best way.
But the greatest benefit in my opinion is the ability to access files remotely anywhere. This is fanatastic – no longer do you have to be sat at home on your desktop PC to view those all important designs, or no longer do you have to be at home to watch the latest training video you wanted. As the cloud servers are web based you can access your files from any PC with an Internet connection. Also, the top cloud providers will have their systems running across multiple platforms so you will be able to access your folders and files from not only PCs. But now you can get your data from your netbooks, tablets and smartphones.
So, let’s say an important video is made in the office of your company and one employee is on the train to an informal meeting at a cafe to talk about such video. He arrives, opens his smartphone and opens his cloud storage account and as if by magic the video is already in his folder. As the accounts match or the folders are set to be shared, the account will synchronize live if any editing is done to any folders within it.
What are the top cloud storage providers?
Dropbox has to be considered one of the top cloud storage providers, simply because it was one of the first of its kind. If you mention cloud storage to people they will most likely be familiar with this name. This could be to do with the fact that they offer a referral scheme which get the referrers more storages. We are users of Dropbox here at Bizzebee and whilst it is not my personal favourite it does a great job. The interface is simple, and it is very straight forward to use. There are no pre-requisites before joining and free accounts start with 2GB storage. I mentioned above that you can get more be offering referrals and using their apps and other features. Within a week of getting my free account I was able to bump my storage up to 52GB just buy using it on my mobile phone and referring a couple of friends. You do not have to do this obviously – it’s up to you.
It is very simple to share links and files, and the platform syncs really well with other devices. I use this across four devices and it all runs smoothly.
Here is a little video showing you inside the dashboard and how to share links.
The support is top notch too with teams supporting virtually every operating system, desktop and mobile device.
Next up is Google Drive – my personal favourite. Google is slowly getting (or rather already has) its fingers in many pies and it was not going to miss the opportunity of cloud storage once it hit the market. You get 15GB of storage absolutely free, which is very kind of them. The one thing that you need to have in order to have access to Google Drive is a Google account – this is no big deal, and with all the other great tools that Google have to offer you really should have a Google account by now.
This brings me onto the next point about Google Drive and that is the fantastic collaboration it has with its other tools, formally Google Docs to be specific. This is your docs, spreadsheets, presentations and drawing software. If you have this linked with your Google Drive and you have also shared your drive with other members in your team then they your documents can be updated live across all members devices. This is especially useful in accounting for example if a tracking spreadsheet is being updated, all parties will be on the same page and there can be no arguments over which version is updated!
Again, very user friendly and very generous free cloud storage. Even the premium plans start from $4.99 a month for 100GB.
Next up is SkyDrive. This is Microsoft’s entry into cloud storage. They have marketed it to work with the Windows 8 platform and Office 2013. Sure, it runs without these but the platform really comes into its own when it runs with them. It works really well and updates great with Office 2013 – either on the PC desktop or on the tablet devices. As well as the others above it also has its own mobile apps which all work well and sync with all the devices you have linked to it.
If you were lucky enough to get in while they were still beta testing this service you probably have a nice 25GB of storage – that is not to be sniffed at. However now for a free account they will give you 7GB.
As with the others too there is great potential with the API integration, and also with the SkyDrive app you get access to free versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote viewers in your browser so you can share your documents from your Office 2013 suite on the go and with ease.
Here is a list of some more cloud storage providers, perhaps not as well known:
There is still a lot of talk about whether you should use a domain name that has a keyword in it or not. It seems that Google are still ranking websites that are using EMDs (Exact Matched Domains) and brand new sites using keyword based domains are landing on the first pages in Google very quickly for matching keywords.
These kinds of sites are excellent for the small affiliate based sites designed to earn affiliate commissions from one or two products from Amazon etc but for sites that are business based it could be a bad idea to have a keyword/niche based domain.
For example, the dating business is big business, dating is quite a competitive keyword and some of the biggest players in the dating industry have created brand names that are now the searchable term. Take Zoosk.com and Match.com for examples, they have nothing that makes you think of dating. Ok so two compatible people are a match but that is as close as one gets to dating.
The Flexability Of Not Saying What You Do
They are brand names that offer flexibility, so for example, and I am going off at a real tangent here, if there was a sudden drop in the dating industry but an increase in dinner parties, Zoosk or Match could change their business direction and slowly adopt the new business model without the name becoming a hindrance.
Now compare that to another dating website called UniformDating.com which as you can see is niche specific and possibly also keyword based. Should the bottom fall out of the uniform dating market what can they do? Even worse if the bottom fell out of the dating industry completely where do they go next?
They can’t really can they? So it is advised that you think carefully about your website name if you are planning on creating a business and not just a simple thin affiliate site. As I have just pointed out, the business name you choose also needs to take into consideration any possible future changes in your business.
Gazing Into That Crystal Ball
Now I am not saying that some companies have not done well and weathered a changing market but times do change and companies that have a business name rooted in an old business method can soon become old and just the appearance of being old and out dated can lose you custom.
For example the company Radio Rentals did just that, they rented out radio’s at the time when people could hardly afford to buy their own. Now your standard mobile phone comes with a radio, the internet we can access from our phones can connect to radio stations from all over the globe.
Once TV became the norm, Radio Rentals started to rent them out too, now there is nothing wrong with that it was a gradual evolution from shows that were sound only to shows that were moving pictures. You could rent out TVs from the company and it was accepted even though the company was called Radio Rentals.
When TVs and radios became cheaper and were being sold from shops of all types Radio Rentals’ business dropped, I mean, why would you go to Radio Rentals to buy a TV, they rent them don’t they? Why else would they have the word rental in the name?
The fact that people hardly bought stand alone radios anymore as Freeview and Satellite TVs now also come with radio let alone renting them out nearly destroyed the business. However there is a happy ending for Radio Rentals, after the business nearly died there was a surprising increase in people renting TVs from them due to the economic slump and increasing costs of modern gadgets.
The recession has made it hard for people to afford the basics let alone the luxuries and in the UK the TV broadcasting companies were all swapping from analogue to digital which meant most people’s TVs were outdated and wouldn’t receive the programmes. People needed to update and if they couldn’t afford it they had no option but to rent so Radio Rentals got a nice boost in business.
I think you can see what I am saying here, choosing your business name is important, choosing your website domain name is also important especially if you do a Radio Rentals and go niche specific or keyword specific. You may not think that your business will change but it could, and it could be without warning or without your control.
Back To The Future
In many ways having a business name that matches your name could be the way to go, Take Guinness for example, we all know of Guinness as a dark stout drink from Ireland named after its creator Arthur Guinness. Having a name like Guinness doesn’t tell the user what it is or what they do so it was often advised to not use these types of business names especially online but if you look closely you will see that many of the new online companies are going that way.
They may not go with the traditional route of naming your business after the owners last name like Guinness but there are Zoosk’s, Zoopla’s and MoonPig’s popping up all over the place. If you didn’t know what these websites produced or sold could you guess it from their names? No of course not, but as you know, should their industry change to point it is unrecognisable at least we know they can change direction without their names becoming a hindrance.
The final thing I want to say about these new style business names and domain names is that instead of fighting with other companies for search terms and keywords they create names that are short and memorable and using methods to grow the brand and make their names stick in the minds of people they create their own keywords and search terms.
No one searches for cheap cards these days, well not in the UK, they just type in MoonPig or FunkyPigeon. Looking for a property to rent or buy? Simply type in Zoopla, looking for love? Type in PlentyOfFish or Zoosk.
So now you know to spend some time thinking your business name through carefully, you now have the fun task of getting your brand name known and that is for another post. 🙂
Wahey it is Saturday again. I hope you have had a good week. This week we have been busy writing and recording videos but it hasn’t stopped us reading. We have some seriously good articles to read this week. Several articles are about Google and the changing world of SEO and others covering social media and we have one looking at the Google Garage believe it or not. Did you know Google started out in someone’s garage?
No neither did we, we shall come to that later but first we recommend you take a look at this great article about Google Plus.
Written by Julie Deneen over at FabulousBlogging.com this article is a great beginners introduction to the fastest growing social media network owned by Google. If you are new to Google plus or have never used it then you should pop over and take a read.
Google Plus is growing in numbers and many people are now choosing it as their primary social media network. Are you missing out? This beginners guide is a great read if you are Google Plus virgin. 🙂
In this post Marcus Sheridan writes about the recent Google Hummingbird update over at the fantastic site TheSalesLion.com. Hummingbird isn’t just another Google update, it is a proper over haul of the algorithm to make a super new improved algorithm. Wahey!
Marcus also explains what 5 trends will occur as a result of the Hummingbird update, serious content marketers should be safe, Google want to have in their results sites and pages that are full of excellent educational content. If you have been creating good educational content then you need not worry. For more information on the latest Google update pop over and take a read of this article.
Over at one of my favourite sites Entrepreneurs-Journal.com Yaro Starak discusses the different ways two well known and successful bloggers Daniel Scocco and Joe Gilde make money from their blogs.
Yaro creates excellent posts which are crammed full of great content which is often inspirational and motivational as well as educational. Yaro likes to interview very successful people and in this post Yaro tries to help you work out what path is right for your blog by showing you the different ways you can monetize your site and online business.
Not every style suits everyone, for example, newsletters recommending products might work for one market but it won’t for others. Pop and say hello to Yaro and take a read of this excellent article.
If you have not yet heard of SEOMoz.com then where have you been? It has recently had a name change and now simply called Moz.com but it still has its excellent Whiteboard tutorials hosted by site owner Rand Fishkin.
Today Rand discusses about the apparent ‘Robbing of Keywords’. Google is slowly taking away keyword data and making it hard for people to better their websites by matching it to what people are searching for. I personally believe it is a plan to force people to forget organic SEO and use their AdWords system. (Not very nice Google!)
As Rand says… ‘The agreement that marketers have always had—that website creators have always had—with search engines, since their inception was, “sure, we’ll let you crawl our sites, you provide us with the keyword data so that we can improve the Internet together. I think this is Google abusing their monopolistic position in the United States. Unfortunately, I don’t really see a way out of it. I don’t think marketers can make a strong enough case politically or to consumer groups to get this removed. Maybe the EU can eventually.’
Pop over, see what he says and tell us what you think.
John Paul has an excellent list of those really good Twitter practices that can go bad very quickly. Twitter is a great place and social interaction and conversation is a must on Twitter which includes thanking people for sharing your Tweets.
The problems come about when you send individual thank you Tweets each and every day. It won’t take long for you to really cheese people off when you clog up their newsfeeds with useless Tweets.
Read the rest of the tips that can go bad over at John Paul’s excellent blog.
Love him or hate him Glenn Allsopp of the infamous ViperChill has his finger firmly on the pulse of SEO and his hands around Google’s throat it would seem. I think Glen is an awesome SEO experimentalist who shows that what Google says does and doesn’t work is as close to the truth as that ‘Lock Ness Monster’ photo released in 1934.
Glen has enjoyed his most profitable year and it is all down to him doing the exact opposite to what Google want us to do, stuff they say no longer works. Surely if it doesn’t work then he cannot land pages and sites on the first pages of their results in weeks even days and then profit from them quickly? Well, he does, what do you say to that Google? If Google were the Empire, Glen then is a SEO Jedi, I am just not sure whether he is on the dark side or the white side of the SEO force.
I thought it was only fair that we followed Glen ‘The Google Slayer’ Allsopp’s post with a trip into Google’s Lair. Well, maybe not their actually new home but the place where it all started 15 years ago. Mashable take us on a tour of the garage where Larry Page and Sergey Brin started to develop and build Google. It was a garage that they rented off a person who has since became a senior VP of Google. They remember those who helped them which is nice.
Did you know Google was started in a garage? No neither did we, Google pride themselves on their motto ‘Do No Evil’, they may not do evil, but that doesn’t mean they do nice either… Just saying… anyway you can read the Google history in this post.
This time we go over to the excellent TopRank website for an article by Alexis Hall. In this article she writes about the advice Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping gave at the Content Marketing World conference recently.
With the internet being filled each day with information the world is really suffering from information overload, I mean, there are 17 new web pages published every second and 2 million blog posts are published every day. So how the hell do you stand out and get seen in all of this information.
Andrew Davis gives us 5 excellent tips to help us be seen and not drown in this giant digital sea of stuff!
If you did pop over to Glen Allsopp’s ViperChill post you would have seen that it mentioned extensively Alex Becker, Alex is another ‘SEO Jedi Google Slayer’ who knows all the tricks and truths of SEO. Black hat, white hat, or grey hat, whatever your thoughts are on what they do, they do it very well.
So when you start to hear about SEO you will hear about link wheels, link pyramids and link tiers and if you were confused then I am not surprised. It can be very confusing when you are new to it all.
In the Bible it says ‘The meek will inherit the Earth’ (I think) but if you know SEO then ‘The Geek will inherit the Web’ 🙂
That is why I have added this post by Alex which is found over at his excellent Source-Wave.com site, this is a detailed online guide to all things SEO and link strategies. I am not saying that SEO is about doing simple 5 minute tasks and you are done but what I will say is that understanding SEO can open up ‘King Solomon’s Mines’
Rounding up this week’s list of important readables is this great post…
Written by Ian Lurie, this is one article of epic proportion that comes with great advice and discusses the future of internet marketing after Google’s updates andapparent ‘keyword robbery’ (as touched on by Rand in his whiteboard post on Moz.com)
With Google creating new ways to integrate data to rank sites and pages where does it all leave you and what can you do to survive these major changes? Well Ian will explain why dispersed citation is what it is all about.
Ok so that is it for the serious articles by serious people now it is time for some fun and here is this week’s wild card post.
Today’s fun wildcard post comes from the Huffington Post and is a compilation of excellent funny Twitter posts that came about due to the ‘Shut Down’ of the American Government. If only it was true! Be nice if the UK Government would follow suit, but then again if they did we probably wouldn’t notice. 🙂
Being English I am quite partial to no 7 on the list. I found it very amusing indeed but that is how I roll. And number 18 is a bit of clever political humour which I find scarily true too 🙂
So get yourself over to the Huffington Post and have yourself a good chuckle.
All there is left for me to say is please share with us your favourite post of the week in the comments section below. We are more than happy to read your recommendations. Please remember though, only serious articles to do with blogging, marketing and social media etc. We do not mind some fun and interesting posts or articles just not the dodgy ones and you know the ones I am talking about 🙂