For choosing your blog titles, here’s the advice I’m sure you’ve heard:
Affiliate links just look plain ugly and there is always the chance that someone will be petty enough to gyp you out of your commission by stripping out the tracking code. As a tangent I noticed a while back, these days Clickbank has a new URL that no longer include the Clickbank username (but still a tracking id). Wonder whether that is working out any better. To avoid this problem you want to hide the original affiliate link with a pretty link. This is what many mean by “affiliate link cloaking”. But cloaking has another meaning, which is showing different content and links to the search engines versus to the humans. That’s really not what I’m talking about here, nor am I going to touch on the topic of hiding affiliate links because Google doesn’t like them. I don’t really have a lot of affiliate links compared to all the content I have, so I’m not worried.
I was looking for a couple of features:
I had heard good things about GoCodes and was planning to install it. However it is no longer available via the plugin WordPress repository search and hasn’t been updated since 2009. Too bad as it was a nice solution.
Are you ready for the new frontier in online advertising? Mobile marketing in the guise of SMS marketing has been around for a few years, but it’s reach has expanded to the web. Now that smartphones are becoming more common, Comscore reports 6.8% of all US web traffic is now over mobile devices. However even if your target audience isn’t the digerati toting the latest iPhone, keep in mind that many non smartphones are WAP capable, giving them some internet abilities. In fact Google Adwords allows you to create WAP ads specifically.
More and more users are turning to their cell phones for search while they are on the go, or even while sitting in front of the television. With some people, the cell phone might as well be attached surgically to their body. With mobile web advertising you can target your ads to these mobile searchers.
Searchers with a phone can do one thing that a desktop computer can not, which is to actually make phone calls. This creates an opportunity for mobile ads to have a button or link that actually places a phone call when tapped or clicked. This is known as Click-to-Call.
Just back from Loral Langemeier’s Alumni conference in San Diego. While not specifically focused on internet marketing, there were several internet marketing sessions there, including a panel that included Geoff Zimpfer from Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft if you are not aware of it, is the uber online customer management system. It’s a CRM (customer relationship management), EMail Marketing and eCommerce system all in one. It’s pricey, but a quite a nice system and surprisingly intuitive.
Geoff said something interesting that I wrote down. I think we all can agree that with email marketing it needs to be a balance between providing value and selling. But what’s that balance? Geoff proposes a point system. For each email you send out that delivers value to your audience you get a point. An email that is a sales pitch, you deduct 7 points. So he’s recommending you strike a 7 to 1 balance here.
I think he is right that a balance needs to be struck, however I’m not sure I agree with the math. Why would 5 to 1 be less effective? If you deliver great value and it in general is more frequent than the sales pitches, does the 7 to 1 ratio need to be rigorously adhered to? My suspicion is that he based the comment on statistics that Infusionsoft has available to it, so I don’t think we can dismiss the comment lightly.
This year I got serious about increasing the traffic to my blog. The result? Over three months I saw traffic double. For the month of June I got 1200 visitors, 1000 of that was organic traffic. Here’s the five things that I did:
There is definitely more work to be done. I need to guest post more and get more of a Facebook strategy. I have additional blog configuration items to tackle and I need to focus more on linkbuilding overall. But it’s nice to get the feedback that I am on the right path.
Perhaps I was just plain stupid in deciding to advertise via my Clickbank affiliate link. I had heard that most affiliates had abandoned Google PPC due to the strict quality guidelines and that it was very hard to get an ad approved. But I didn’t have a suitable landing page to advertise. And for my learning purposes, if none of my ads were approved I could live with that. Just the exercise in setting up a campaign would be useful. Apparently this was a fatal mistake.
A while back I ran an online marketing survey that asked two questions:
The sample size of the responders wasn’t significant enough to be statistically significant, but I thought some of the results were interesting so I’m sharing:
Which of the above questions do you have?
I’ve seen several “top blog directories to submit your blog to” articles, however these lists are often light on details or out of date. Here are 16 blog directories that I went to take a look at. Like regular web directories, some blog directories will only list you for a fee, and yet still more request a reciprocal link before they will list you. Some are rather sneaky about it, you don’t figure out you have to reciprocate or pay until you are a step or two into the submission process.
That being said, just like web directories, it might be worth paying for a listing in some of these blog directories, however that analysis (choosing which one to pay for) is for another day.
For some of these you should be prepared to create an account and choose a category that your blog belongs to. Some ask for a full profile. Some have validation/ownership verification processes. It WILL take more time than you expect. Many of these will have a human review the submission before publishing it. That’s ok, in fact it is good, as google looks more favorably on directories that have editorial review.
While there was quite a ruckus this past week on Google’s latest algorithmic update that appears to penalize “content farms”, Google watchers would be wise to watch a more fundamental shift that is occurring.
For years, Google has done a great job at delivering information to searchers. This fact was not lost on affiliates who built sites designed to rank for searches and then monetized through affiliate links. Some eCommerce websites typically have trouble ranking well. They lack informational content and are plagued by duplicate content problems. These are still problems, however Google is providing a way for them to have more attractive listings when they do rank.
Copyright law exists to protect the creators of a original work, whether than be an article, a photo or a drawing. As soon as you create it you have copyright to it, which stays in place 70 years after the author’s death; at that point it belongs to the public domain. Unless you grant license for someone else to use your image, it is considered a copyright violation if they use without your permission.
Image theft is an important issue on the web, especially to people who make their living creating visual art. Just this week there was a furor over the site http://lxixixl.com/ which was copying and hosting entire collections of images from people’s websites. Complaints shut it down but there are others that are doing the same thing.
Theft of content and image happens every day on the web, so what can you do?
Ultimately it is up to you how much effort you want to put into preventing image theft and violation of your copyright, but don’t just ignore the issue, decide on an approach and take action.