Tag Archive | "Marketing Efforts"

Should Coupons Be Part of Your E-Commerce Strategy?

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Should Coupons Be Part of Your E-Commerce Strategy?

Coupons are and have been for decades a popular method for retailers to draw more business by giving discounts to customers and also using the coupons themselves as advertising vehicles. Everyone knows what a coupon is and how it looks like. But how does this translate to the online world? Now that an ever increasing number of individuals are shopping online, e-commerce site owners need to find ways to get the maximum number of buyers for their products, by offering innovative promotions and discounts to their targeted audience. This has caused online coupons to become popular as well.

In the online world, coupons work a bit differently than with physical stores, as there is no face to face transaction going on. Online coupons can come in these formats:

A Discount or Promotion Link

Here the buyer clicks on a link, which can be a text link, video, banner or full page ad. They are redirected to a landing page that reflects the promotion that they’re supposed to get, such as a buy one get one free offer, a discount off the purchase price or free shipping.

A Coupon Code to Enter at Checkout

Here, the buyer would enter a discount code in a field during the checkout process. Coupon codes can be shared with the targeted audience through various means, such as email, social media, affiliate sites, etc. There are now thousands of sites whose only purpose is to list coupons for various merchants. People share coupon codes with offers, as well as give feedback to tell visitors whether the coupon is still valid.

Daily Deals or Time Limited Special Offers

Not really a coupon, per se, but works on a similar concept. An e-commerce site makes a special promotion that is only valid during a certain time period, usually a day or a few days. The promotion is mainly shared through the company’s own marketing efforts or through affiliate sites.

Discounts and Coupons Aimed at Specific Customers

Here, the promotion is not available to the public, but rather to select customers, usually those who have already purchased something from the site in the past. Sometimes, it is a rather large group of customers who gets the promotion, such as those who bought something in the past few months, or the customers could be hand selected by the merchant. This can be combined with loyalty programs.

Can coupons really help you as an e-commerce site owner? This is the question that many online retailers are asking. In reality, coupons can have many benefits to online merchants and help them drive more sales, even if it results in lower profits for some transactions, as the customer will essentially be paying less for their items. Tomorrow we will see some ways in which integrating coupons as part of your overall marketing strategy can help you get more sales and in the long run make more money from your e-commerce business.

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Better Use of Social Media

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Better Use of Social Media

We all know that social media use is very important to promote a business online. In fact, the majority of businesses, both large and small, now have a social media presence. But there are a few things that you should know if you want to make the most out of your social media marketing efforts. Here are a few tips that are used by some of the leading online marketers:


  • Understand Your Audience and What They are Looking For


Having an understanding of who will read your social media pages will allow you to tailor your overall marketing strategy to their needs. For example, if you want to get maximum response to your new posts, you should time them correctly. If the majority of your readers will be working between 9 to 5, for example, making new posts during these hours will not get you as much readership as you want, as by the time the user gets home and logs into his Facebook account, your update will probably be buried under a dozen others on their news feed.


You should also consider what your audience is looking for when they visit a company’s social media page. Some may be motivated by discounts and saving as much money as possible on their next purchase. Others may be looking for the latest and most innovative products in your niche without too much regard as to how much they cost. Then, there are readers who also want to be informed about some of the happenings in your industry without feeling that they’re constantly being marketed to and enticed to buy something from you.


  • Encourage User Participation and Feedback


Remember that social media pages allow two-way communication and aren’t just a “billboard” for you to promote your products. Encourage your users to talk to you on your page, by asking them what type of content they would find useful, or what they think of a certain post. This will help capture people’s attention and keep them engaged. You may also get some good ideas on what you would want to post on your page in the future.


If you want to know a bit more of what your users think, consider creating a poll or short survey and post it on your page. Ask users what they think of a certain piece of niche related news, how they use products they’ve bought from you, how they like to shop online, etc. While this may not be the most scientifically correct way of gathering market research data, it can give you some ideas on what you can do to improve your business overall.


  • Get Everyone Involved


Should all your staff be involved in your social media efforts, or should you have a dedicated team to manage your pages? Actually, it’s best if everyone was involved at some level. Tomorrow we will see how everyone in your business can participate to improve your social media presence.

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Improving the Performance of Your Online Advertising

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Improving the Performance of Your Online Advertising

Previously, we’ve seen how important it is to keep track of how your online ads are doing and what you can do to make this happen. But if you notice that you’re not really getting the results that you were hoping for from your online marketing efforts, then there are a few things that you can do to try and solve the problem. Here are some areas that you can examine more in detail to try to change the way things are going:

Your Ad Copy

Having a good ad copy is essential to success in the online world. The ad copy is basically the ad itself, which could be a text ad, video ad, or banner. Look at how your ad is made. If it’s a text ad, like in a classified ads site, is it well written, without 10 spelling mistakes per sentence and gives people an accurate representation of your business (products, prices, etc). Does it have a call to action? For a banner ad, is it visually appealing? Does it at least give some information about what you’re promoting? Having a good ad copy can make a big difference.

Keywords/Demographics/Other Parameters

These would be factors that are specific to each type of online advertising method you use. For example, if you use PPC ads on search engines, you will need to target the right keywords. If you use media buying, you can select demographics so that your ad will be displayed on websites that are more likely to be frequented by the section of the population which are your target market. You can also select your ad to be displayed on specific sites, etc. Don’t forget geo targeting. If you have a local business, showing your ads world wide is simply a waste of money. Get familiar with the advertising method that you’re using and tweak some of the parameters as necessary.

Marketing Channel or Specific Site/Service

Not every single advertising channel will be appropriate for every business. Also, certain specific sites or services could yield better results for some users. For example, a company may not get much luck getting good customers on the classified ad site Craigslist, but could get much more quality visitors and customers from Backpage, etc. Don’t hesitate to drop a certain service or advertising channel from your portfolio completely, especially if after making many changes, plus putting in time and money you aren’t able to make anything work well for you. There will always be other options available to you.

Obviously, these are just some general tips on what you can change to get some improvement. There are plenty of free resources available online such as e books and forum posts which deal with the specifics of certain advertising channels, or give advice on how to promote a specific kind of business online. By reading these materials, you will get a better look at some additional things that you can do to improve the way your online ads are now doing.

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More Efficient Use of Online Marketing: Checking Your Progress

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More Efficient Use of Online Marketing: Checking Your Progress

If you own a local business and use the internet to promote it, then you’re probably concerned as to whether you’re getting the results that you’ve wanted from your marketing efforts. After all, nobody wants to spend time and money on online advertising only to make little progress with it. This is why it is very important for you to monitor your progress with internet marketing and see which of your strategies work and which ones don’t work as well. This will give you an idea as to whether you should keep doing what you’re already doing, or whether there are certain changes or improvements that would be in order for you.

While this sounds easy to say, keeping up with the performance of your online marketing efforts will require a bit of work, especially if you haven’t really been paying attention to the results that it’s been bringing you. This happens to many small business owners that get caught up with their main line of work, especially if their business has been doing quite well as of late.

The first thing that you would want to do is to make a list of all of your marketing and advertising channels that you’re using. Then, divide these into sub groups. So for example if you use social media and classified ads sites, you would have these 2 as main advertising types. Then you would list the specific social networking sites that you use for your business, as well as the classified ads websites that you post your ads to on a regular basis. The same can be applied to other methods of online marketing that your business uses, such as pay per click ads, where you can further drill down the traffic and results that you’re getting by each network, each specific ad campaign & ad copies, as well as individual text or banner ads that you’re running on the network. Remember to be as detailed as possible as this will help you optimize your efforts.

Now that you have this list done, you would need to track where you website traffic is coming from. If you haven’t already set up a tracking script (there are many free ones out there that you can use), look at your server logs to see where the traffic on your business website is coming from.

As for tracking conversions (visitors who became paying client or took other action that is profitable for you), there are many free scripts that you can use in order to see which clicks are converting, if your site is directly selling items to customers. Otherwise, if customers contact you by phone or walk into your place of business, then tracking conversions won’t be that easy since you will be limited to asking customers how they found out about your business.

If you’re satisfied with the results, then keep doing what you’re doing… but keep paying attention to where your traffic is coming from. If on the other hand, you want to improve some things, then we have some more tips for you tomorrow.

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Better Marketing Habits to Establish: Part 2

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Better Marketing Habits to Establish: Part 2

Previously, we’ve seen some good habits that you can establish to start off the year well with your online marketing efforts. Here are some more tips that will help you make the most of your online marketing activities, no matter what line of business you’re operating in.

  • Understand Your Audience and Target It Correctly

There are still many businesses which aren’t targeting their audience right when it comes to promoting their products and services online. While advertising on a “general” site can sometimes be profitable, most businesses will get better results with advertising that is targeted towards customers which are more likely to buy their products. If you use search based advertising, then you’re already doing this if you’re targeting the right keywords, meaning keywords which people are likely to search for when they’re interested in buying something that your business sells.

But if you use on-site advertising, such as by buying text ads, pay per click ads, video or banner ads on various websites, then you will need to be more careful as to whether you’re really displaying your ad to the right audience, meaning people who will visit your website because they’re likely to buy your products, as opposed to being simply curious. Many advertising networks now let you choose the sites on which your ads will be displayed. You can also target your advertising to specific geographic areas, such as cities and states, plus also select demographics such as age, gender, income level, etc. By thinking about who your buyers are and targeting the segment of the population that they represent, your ad campaigns will be a lot more likely to be successful.

  • Track Your Results on a Consistent Basis

One important advantage that using online marketing brings you is that you can track your results and see how you’re doing, often in real time. However, there are still too many online marketers that aren’t taking full advantage of these tracking capabilities. There are free tools and scripts which you can install on your web server that will tell you exactly where the clicks to your website are coming from, how long a visitor has stayed on your website, which pages they have visited, etc. Since they’re available to you for free, you should definitely take advantage of them.

Many advertising networks also provide you with detailed information about how your ads are doing, such as which ads and keywords get the most clicks, etc. Use these metrics to determine which of your ad groups and advertising methods are performing at their best, so that you can focus on using these, and get rid of or make changes to ads or marketing methods that are simply causing you to waste time or money. Keep tracking how your ads are doing each day and at the end of the month, compare the statistics to see how each ad group has done. This will give you a much clearer picture of what works and what doesn’t work too well for you.

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Better Marketing Habits to Establish

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Better Marketing Habits to Establish

We’ve previously seen some of the changes that could happen in the world of online marketing in the year 2012. While it’s good to know about what will be new in online marketing, it’s even better to know how you can apply this in a more practical context, as in your own online marketing efforts. If you want to establish some better online marketing habits for this year, there are certain things that you should do. Of course, not all of these tips will apply to you as some might be specific to local businesses, e-commerce websites or affiliate websites. What you should do is to think about what will make sense in your own situation and how you can integrate it within your business. Of course, you should also develop your own methods, strategies and ideas if you’ve resolved to have better success with internet marketing during 2012.

  • Establish a Plan

This is how you should start, no matter how simple your goals are. There’s no need to buy $1000 software that creates fancy graphs and flowcharts either. A simple plan drawn up with a pen and paper is sufficient. List your goals, as well as the methods that you intend to use in order to achieve them. Also, list some backup options or side goals that you would want to use if your main objectives don’t work out for whatever reason, or have already been achieved and you would like to do something more.

  • Keep Track of Changes in the Online World

Anyone that does online marketing, whether as a primary occupation, a side job, a hobby or as an alternate to other means of marketing (print, radio ads, etc) should stay on top of the new things in the online world. This is because you could find some opportunities to take advantage of that you otherwise wouldn’t have even known existed! By reading online marketing related blogs, forums and news sites you can see if there’s something that could be useful for you, such as a new advertising network which has a unique business concept, an up and coming social networking site that is starting to grow, etc.

  • Cut Costs Whenever You Can

Now this doesn’t mean that you should go for whatever is cheapest without regard to quality, but there are many ways that you can cut your business expenses online. For example, if you’re using a web host that charges you $25 a month for just 1 website and domain, you could find other hosting companies that can provide you with unlimited website hosting for just $5 a month and still be of high quality. The bottom line is that you need to look at the services that you’re using or are planning to use. Think about whether it would be possible to get the same functionality and quality for a less expensive price. This can be done by contacting your existing partners and providers to negotiate better rates, or comparing other companies online to see if they have something that would be right for your business.

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Building Your Blog for Online Marketing

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Building Your Blog for Online Marketing

You’ve probably heard about how effective it can be to build a blog to help you with your online marketing efforts. It is true that if you have a website, adding a blog can be very useful, as it will deliver interesting content that will be both useful for your readers and also will be well loved by search engines like Google. This will help you rank higher for your targeted keywords and ultimately lead to more money for you in the end. Building a blog is straightforward enough, but there are some things you would need to be aware of first. You will see some of the things you can do to make your blog a more effective tool.

Choosing a Good Blog Hosting Provider

If you already have a website, then your web host will probably allow you to add another website either on its own domain, or as part of a subdomain of your existing one. If you don’t then you should sign up for a basic shared hosting account to begin. Avoid using the free services like Blogger, as they’re not really a good choice if you want to make money from your blog. A paid hosting account gives you more flexibility and reliability over the content of your blog.

Figure out How You Will Make Your Blog Profitable

If you already have a website where you’re selling your own products, one of the ways to make your blog some money for you would be to link to the relevant pages of your main website from articles posted within your blog.

But there are also other ways that you can monetize a blog even if you’re not selling anything directly online. For example, you can include affiliate links to products that you provide information on in your blog, or that are related to its content. So if your blog deals with mobile phones, you can include mobile related affiliate offers on your blog. It is also possible to add some pay per click ads from a service such as Adwords or Bidvertiser, where you will get paid for every click that someone makes on one of the ads served on your blog.

Decide What Kind of Content You Will Have On Your Blog

Of course, you need to decide on a niche for your blog. But also, you will need to determine what you will be talking about more specifically in that niche on your blog. Your blog could, for example deal with new happenings in your niche/industry. Or you could provide product reviews of products that you sell on your own site or are an affiliate of. And then there is the possibility of putting up informational and educational content that’s related to your main niche. Of course, you can also combine all of these possibilities in your blog, but it is a good idea to know what kind of posts you will be making once the blog is up.

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Save Time On Your Online Marketing By Outsourcing

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Save Time On Your Online Marketing By Outsourcing

One complaint that many online marketers have is that they don’t have the time to do all the things that they would want to in a day. We all know that being an internet marketer is sometimes not easy. Certain tasks, such as creating landing pages, writing articles, creating graphics and logos, etc. could be quite time consuming. However, there are ways around this which would allow you to save a lot of time and focus on your marketing efforts, rather than to get bogged down in the technicalities of doing the job.

The great thing about internet marketing is that there are many tasks which can be outsourced to others for a relatively low amount. You also don’t have to maintain a permanent staff on hand like in many other businesses (unless you actually want to). Most of the tasks related to running an online business can be outsourced to freelancers that you can find in online forums or on freelancing sites such as Fiverr or Odesk. Here are certain things that are easy to outsource:

* Content creation

If you do article marketing, or have a blog that you need updated regularly, you can have this part outsourced to a content writer that can deliver the content that you need based on your specifications.

* Landing page and website design

If you are an affiliate marketer, you probably run a few different campaigns at the same time. It can be quite hard to find time to design all the landing pages for your advertising campaigns. You can outsource this task as well. It is possible to have a freelancer with experience in online marketing and web design create landing pages for your offers based on your specifications, including lead capture boxes or affiliate links, etc.

* Graphic design

If you need graphics, logos, etc. designed, outsourcing the process can be an excellent idea. Sure, there are many programs out there such as Photoshop and GIMP that allow you to create your own graphics for your marketing materials, however learning how to use them to get professional looking results can be quite difficult if you don’t have much experienced and aren’t very skilled in the graphic arts. You can find people who can, for example, design a logo for your site, or edit a picture in Photoshop for just $5 on many freelancing websites.

* General administrative tasks

You can get a “virtual assistant” to help you with many of the aspects of running an online business. This can include things such as responding to customer inquiries, uploading new pages and videos to your web server or to various sharing sites, updating your social media pages with your recent promotions, etc. Having a virtual assistant usually doesn’t cost that much, depending on how many hours of work you would need done by them every week. On various freelancing sites, it is possible to hire someone for less than $10 an hour.


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Some Article Marketing Tips

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Some Article Marketing Tips

Using article marketing is a good way to drive some traffic to your sites, as it works in two different ways. First, you can receive traffic from people who are viewing your article and then decide to click through to continue on to your site. You also have some SEO benefits from it, as every time you include a link to your site, it counts as a one way backlink which can be very useful in boosting your search engine ranking. But are there some things you should do to increase the efficiency of your article marketing efforts? Definitely. Here are some of them:


  • Use Only Unique Content


In most cases, article directories only accept content that is unique and has never been posted anywhere before. It doesn’t matter if you wrote it, or if it has been posted on a site that you own. Your content needs to be unique. Search engines frown on duplicate content and so do visitors. If someone starts reading the article and notices that they have already seen the exact same information some where else, they will probably just move on to something else and not bother continuing.


  • Avoid Making too Many “Salesy” Articles


There are way too many fake “reviews” of online products being posted all over the place and this is something that seems to be especially popular when promoting internet marketing related stuff such as e-books, membership sites and courses. The articles usually go like this: “Product X is a SCAM!! Arrghh!!! Oops… Actually, It’s Not, Buy It!!!!!” See, the thing is these might have been effective 6 years ago or so… but not anymore. The problem is that there are simply too many of them and the reader will automatically see that your “review” is completely bogus and you are just trying to make money by selling your own, or an affiliate product.


Articles that you post should always include useful information about your niche. For example, if you are promoting an “alternative energy” guide, you could post something about the different kinds of ways you can generate alternative energy and their pros and cons. Or, you could go into detail about how a certain method works and then explain why you think that it would be suitable as a solution for someone looking for an alternative energy generator for their home. Believe me, this is much, much more likely to result in someone visiting your site and buying the product you are promoting, as opposed to simply going on and on about how great the ‘ACME Green Energy Super Guide’ is and why everyone on the planet should drop everything that they’re doing and rush to buy it. Keep the sales pitch for your website. If a user has clicked through to it, then it means they are seeking more information about what you just told them in the article and now would be a good time to propose some products to buy.

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Internet Marketing Use In Small Businesses

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Internet Marketing Use In Small Businesses

A recent survey taken in the United States by a technology consulting firm gives some very interesting figures about the use of internet marketing among small business owners. Based on the results, the majority (close to 80%) of small business owners had a website for their business. Of those that didn’t the majority were planning to create one in the coming year. This result is really not something that is surprising. It has been said time and time again that creating a website is beneficial for any business owner, even those that run a very small local enterprise. It makes them easier to find by their prospective clients, many of who exclusively use the internet in order to locate a business that they want to use.


While this first statistic was not especially surprising to anyone, what followed next may raise a few eyebrows. Of all business owners that had an online presence, nearly 40% were not entirely satisfied with the results that it was bringing them. Some were not happy with the way their website looked and wanted one that was more professional and more attractive to customers. Some others had a website and were quite happy with the way it looked and worked, but they were not convinced that it was doing them any good, as they did not see their website bringing them the amount of customers that they needed. It has also been said that small business owners (outside of the technology or marketing sectors) did not have much knowledge of how internet marketing worked and only a minority of them (14%) wanted to spend some time studying techniques to make their site better and to figure out how to deploy betting marketing efforts such as SEO and other internet advertising, in order to get more visitors to their website.


Ok, this maybe news and it is always nice to know some stats… but what does this mean to internet marketers? The bottom line is that there is a wide open market of local business owners who would want to use your services. Some of them want better websites. Some want to do some SEO on their site to get a better ranking on search engines. Others would want to use internet advertising in order to bring in more customers but are not sure which kind to use and are hesitant to buy ads on their own.


For those of you who are just learning internet marketing, or who are doing something else (CPA, Clickbank, eBay sales, affiliate stuff, etc.) and don’t get the results you want, this is a great opportunity. What you need to do is simple: learn how to create simple, yet functional websites. Learn how to optimize pages for SEO and build backlinks. Learn about the different kinds of online ads (business directories, classified ads sites, PPC, etc) and how they work. Compile a list of tutorials and learning materials (there are hundreds of videos, articles and blog posts on these topics, all free) and study them for about 2 weeks. Then you can start targeting local business owners and providing them your services as an internet marketer.

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Promoting Your Membership Site: Social Media and Email Marketing

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Promoting Your Membership Site: Social Media and Email Marketing

Of course, having your members do your promotion for you is a very good strategy when you run a membership site, due to the fact that it is free and would actually not require any marketing efforts on your part. All you would need to do is to create a decent membership site and give your members a few incentives to promote it for you. But there are a few more free methods for promoting your membership site. Let us examine them here:


  • Social Media


Again, social media. This is something that is talked about a whole lot in internet marketing circles. Of course, there is one big reason for that: it works. Think of it, if it was ineffective, there wouldn’t be thousands of guides, forum posts, etc. about it. There are two things that you would need to do if you are promoting your site on social networking websites:


  • Create a page for it


Facebook lets you create a fan page for a business. You should do so for your membership site. Give a bit of information about it and make a nice looking, but not too pushy, sales page as well. People can also “like” your page. The more people like it, the more popular it becomes.


  • Make a post about it


With Facebook, you can post on your wall that you’ve created a new site and invite your Facebook friends to check it out. On Twitter, you can send out a Tweet with the link to your website included in it.


But to make your social media use even more effective, consider creating a promotion for those who access your site through social media. A discount on the membership price works very well, but there are also other things you can do to add value such as adding an additional product, or giving a free personal consultation with you, etc.


  • Email marketing


If you already have a mailing list, email marketing could be an excellent way to market your new site. This would work even better if you have released products before that were liked by your subscribers. All you would need to do to make use of email marketing would be to send out an email to your subscribers and let them know about your membership site. If your list is made up of people who have already purchased products from you, then they will be more likely to join your site.


Another way to build a list would be to release a free product and give it to people in exchange for opting in to receive emails for you. That would allow you to build a list of subscribers who are interested in internet marketing course products and might want to join your new membership site. While building a list from zero would take a bit of time, it is nonetheless a very good marketing method and something that you can consider doing alongside other promotion methods such as forum posting or social media promotion.

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Why Create a Membership Site?

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Why Create a Membership Site?

When it comes to creating their own products, you can see a lot of online entrepreneurs creating an ebook or a more complete course that comes with videos and several bonuses. Of course, these are all good ideas and can be very profitable. The issue, however, is that if you use this business model, you would only make one sale from each customer and will have no residual income from them. Sure, you can get them on your mailing list and try to sell them some of your other products or promote a new product that you have created to them, but this will require additional marketing efforts on your part. Creating a membership site will eliminate these issues. There are several advantages that creating a membership site has:


  • Recurring income


Instead of just making a sale once, you will be able to get a monthly fee from your buyers. As long as you update your site on a regular basis and thus provide them with interesting and new content every month, they will stay. In fact, some of them could stay for many years as long as they find your site to be useful for them. This is much better than simply making a “one off” sale.


  • Better perceived value from your buyers


Many people have seen a lot of ebooks, especially in the internet marketing niche. Plenty of them have bought these ebooks before and have been disappointed with their content. However, there are a lot of buyers out there who see membership sites as more valuable and useful to them than just a course or a guide. This is because the sites often have a collection of tools, several sections of learning material, a discussion forum, etc.


  • Increased marketing and money making opportunities


With a membership site, as opposed to a stand alone product, you have more opportunities to sell to people, especially once they become members. Sure, having a mailing list can be very good and can make you successful. But the issue here is that plenty of ebook buyers are already on the mailing list of every guru (real or wannabe) in town. They get so many of these emails each day that they might read one or two and ignore the rest. But if they become a member, they will pay a lot more attention to what you have to say.


So if you are promoting another product, whether it is an affiliate offer or one that you created, they are a lot more likely to take interest in it. Also, if your methods involve the use of services, like web hosting or online phone services, you can become an affiliate of these and include your affiliate link in the relevant section of your membership site content. This gives you an even greater opportunity to make some money from your buyers.


Of course, setting up and managing a membership site will require a bit more work than just selling an ebook. But it is not impossible to do and remember that in terms of profits, it can be a very beneficial activity for you.

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Is it Still Possible to use Craigslist to Make Money Online?

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Is it Still Possible to use Craigslist to Make Money Online?

Craigslist is a popular and free online classified ads site. While it certainly isn’t as popular as say Google or Facebook, it is still one of the most popular sites on the internet, with millions of users from all around the world visiting it. This has given online marketers a lot of ideas on how to monetize all of this traffic. Unfortunately, Craigslist is not what it used to be when it comes to internet marketing and you have black hat marketers to thank for that. What some people did went far beyond just spamming CPA offers to downright lying to people such as promising them jobs or mortgages if they complete a CPA offer for a credit report or a biz opp. As a response to that, Craigslist has upped its security mechanism and has even posted warning in many of its sections that specifically mention affiliate marketing.


But this doesn’t mean that is is completely useless to online entrepreneurs. There are a few ways to use it for your online marketing efforts. Here are some of them:


  • Promoting your e-commerce site


If you have a website that sells merchandise, then you can still use Craigslist to promote it. For example, if you sell clothes or electronics in your online shop, then you can post an ad in the proper section of Craigslist and get some traffic to it that way. Make sure to post in the right section, or your ad will be flagged down rather quickly. Also, don’t post the same ad in different cities at the same time. While there is nothing wrong with a global e-commerce site posting ads in multiple cities, remember that Craigslist is not mainly aimed at internet marketers, but rather for small, local businesses to post ads in the city where they operate.


  • Providing services


If you offer some services that can be done over the internet, then you can use Craigslist to get some business too. For example, if you create websites for businesses and individuals, then you can put an ad in the right section to promote that. There are plenty of services that you can do over the internet and have your clients pay your by Paypal or another payment system. Some examples include: translation, writing, graphic design, flier/advertising design, promotional video creations and a whole lot more. If you want to appear more professional and therefore more trustworthy when providing these services, you can always create a simple “business” style website that gives details of what you do and your prices, as well as get a toll free phone number to get your clients to reach you. You can get one for a few dollars a month and then forward it to your cell phone, or just leave it to always go to voicemail. Here’s a tip to get more sales: put a special discount or coupon code in your ad and tell readers to mention it when they order.

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Your Social Media Strategy

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Your Social Media Strategy

In the past, we have talked about what a great tool social media can make when you are trying to promote your business online. But in order to get good results from your campaigns, you will need to do things the right way, rather than simply plunging into the social media world unprepared.

We have already made a comparison between paid and free social media marketing. While there are some differences between both types of advertising, the following tips will be valid for both paid and free advertising on different kinds of social networks. Here are some things to keep under consideration:

  • Will you do things yourself, or hire outside help?

Social media marketing is not complicated. However, just like any type of online project, it will require that you spend some time on it and acquire the necessary knowledge to do things right. You may want to spend about half an hour to an hour a day checking up on your campaigns and updating your pages. If you can’t do this, you may want to hire some outside help, either from a dedicated online marketing firm, or from a freelancer that is knowledgeable on social media marketing for small businesses.

  • Which networks will you use?

There are plenty of social networking sites out there. Twitter, Facebook and MySpace are some of the most popular ones, but there are also some small and emerging networks that are used by many people. Some of these smaller networks could be quite popular with people residing in a certain region. What you need to do is to figure out who your targeted audience is, and what networks they frequent. You will then be able to focus your marketing efforts on the social media sites which are most popular with your target audience.

  • How will you keep your audience interested?

Remember that social networking sites are places where new content is posted all the time, ever single second of every day. While users come to these sites to learn things and inform themselves about what their friends and local businesses are doing, remember that these sites are not an encyclopedia or business directory. As such, you need to keep your content fresh and interesting for your readers. This can be achieved in various ways. For example, if you run an auto customization business, you may want to put up pictures of work that you have recently done on customers cars. You can also put up info on upcoming promotions or events related to your business. While you don’t have to update your page every single day of the week, you will still need to put up updates on a regular basis.

By keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to draw a much bigger benefit from your presence on social media sites. It is always good to have a strategy in mind, but you might need to make some changes to it if you realize it is not giving you the desired effect, or if you want to try using a new social networking site that has just become popular.

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