Archive for the ‘Social Networks And Web 2.0’ Category

February 12th, 2008

How You Can Make Money With Kaboodle

From the emails I got yesterday I thought I would break this up a bit over the week. Yesterday we covered product research and features on Kaboodle and today we are going to cover ideas on what you have already built on the web in your affiliate marketing businesses and how Kaboodle can help you. First I would like to cover something though. You know those posts where I write something and later on someone comments and figures out that I failed to mention something? I would pay real close attention over yesterday’s, today’s and the future posts we cover over Kaboodle. I’m not going to sit here and hype it, but I can tell you that I would not a spend a whole week covering it for nothing. Keep that in my mind, and any questions you have, feel free to ask them in the comments section here. Tomorrow I will cover more.

February 11th, 2008

Product Research And Features On Kaboodle

Kaboodle

 {Edit} All graphics for this post were lost.

In my last post we talked about utilizing Yahoo Groups to conduct some initial market research. While there are tons of options available to assess markets and look for hungry people wanting solutions to problems, let’s shift our focus a bit and utilize a source I love personally to conduct some PRODUCT research.

Kaboodle is one of those sources that are one in a rare few. When I first started scanning their site and assessing products and reviews it kind of reminded me a little bit like Amazon and Ebay in one. However, the social interaction aspect of Kaboodle is a heck of a lot cooler than either of those two in my opinion. It’s because Kaboodle was built on the foundation that it was initially a social networking site. However it has evolved into a system that allows users to create lists of products, articles, websites/webpages and share them among the Kaboodle community. A hidden gem among this is optimizing each product you list within your targeted theme lists with proper on-page SEO and you can snag some great Search Rankings as well.

I am going to cover Kaboodle in depth this week (maybe like a series) but for now let’s look at it on how we can go there right now and get ideas on what type of products we as affiliate marketers may want to promote.

The first thing you need to do is sign up to become a user. I am not telling you to do this for the hell of it. I am going to show you an image of my account right now and hopefully you will see why the inside of your profile is truly a gem for product research. There are hundreds of features to utilize on Kaboodle, but let’s look at the goodies that are presented to us right off the bat after joining.

Inside my profile:

Inside Kaboodle

Right off the bat we can see a section of what’s hot (hot picks) on Kaboodle as well as what’s being searched heavily (Popular searches). Now this is just general information for a beginner on Kaboodle and that’s why I am pointing it out. You may ask “What kind of store or lists should I create”? As you can see there is a Popular Stores section right there in your homepage profile that you can use to see what others are doing to give you a general idea on what you might/could do.

 So you can see the benefit of joining already. Now let’s look at some of the really cool features of Kaboodle. One of the neat things I found is the gifts tab. Watching thru Christmas and now on to Valentine’s Day there are so many things here to give you an idea on what to promote. This one feature alone within Kaboodle could potentially make your job of finding a product to promote as easy as it possibly gets:

Gifts

Kaboodle’s sole premise is to stay a social networking shopping site. It’s unique twist on being able to add polls, leave comments and personally review products is why this place is an Affiliate Marketer’s dream. Let’s take a look at 2 critical components on why this site is going to explode in exponential growth this year and why as an Affiliate Marketer you should take notice:

1. You have the ability to add product polls: This allows social interaction to rate your products :)

Polls

2. Deals And Discounts – This Is Huge!

Deals

Are you seeing the endless possibilities here? I know I probably rambled on a bit about all the cool features of Kaboodle and honestly, we have not even covered them all. There’s too many for just one post. This is a HUGE resource to check out thousands of products that are being sold everyday. Not only can you check them out but you also get an unbiased rating and review system by thousands of users from within the community. Seriously folks, this is just another goldmine. It’s not a secret but it’s a resource I have kept tucked away for quite awhile now.

Now if your all pumped up about the possibilities of Kaboodle, then I think you will enjoy tomorrow’s post when I explain all the necessary elements to utilize Kaboodle while being an Affiliate Marketer.

February 8th, 2008

A Valuable Niche Research Tool

Yahoo GroupsWidely known but heavily under-utilized. Yahoo Groups are one of the best ways to conduct market research online. This resource is nothing new, in fact it’s been used for a long time now. However not a lot people really talk about it. Well, let’s dare to be different.

Yahoo Groups is vast. It is worldwide. As a matter of fact here are the countries they cover along with the US:

Yahoo! Groups Worldwide: Asia • Argentina • Australia & NZ • Brazil • Canada • France • French Canada • Germany • Hong Kong • India • Italy • Japan • Mexico • Spain • Yahoo! Telemundo Groups • Taiwan • UK & Ireland

There are thousands of established groups already covering nearly every topic on the planet. For all the digital information sellers this is a potential goldmine for you. This is like the biggest forum ever covering everything from questions, discussions, problems, and answers in one easy to manage place. There are niches I have never even thought about in there. Let’s look inside some of the health groups:

To effectively utilize Yahoo Groups you really need to look at groups with a large member base (obviously) as well as the amount of recent activity going on within the group. As an example I have picked out Healthy Recipes For Diabetic Friends. Now before we jump right into market analysis I want you to think about why I chose this group.

  1. First I chose it because the headline “Healthy Recipes For Diabetic Friends” told me right off the bat that a potential niche for diabetics could be formed here. Not only are there going to be a large number of diabetics involved in the discussion here, but there are also a large number of diabetics that already have TONS of problems identified for us, and will give us the easiest of easy answers of what they are eating.
  2. As a marketer we are looking at problems that has garnered a large niche audience (the member count tells us this) and that a lot of people are here discussing and sharing information among themselves. (This tells us that the problem is actually one worth seriously looking at).
  3. Quite simply from the headline I knew that an information product could be developed rather quickly and this will appeal to the general reading audience of this blog. For new and advanced marketers, digital products are about the easiest products to create and get your income going.

Moving into the group I want to read the description of it inside and out. This is going to tell me what kind of people the group will attract and also a ton of other market research gems that will allow me to know whether I want to continue or not.  I take a look at the message history:

Awesome, people are talking and they have been since 2005. This is a dedicated group right here! Everything is in place for me to know that this group is established and people have been openly communicating for a long time. This group has stability and I feel it (as a marketer) that I am about to have my next info product on “Food Recipes For Diabetics” already completely spawned out in front of me. I know there is an active group of people looking for this information on the Internet. They are obviously dedicated so I am thinking that the market is probably pretty good for this. If it’s not guess what? It did not cost you a dime to find out.

I am going to end this post abruptly folks. I am going to end it with just three images that I picked up from when I joined this group. It’s seriously this easy to find a niche and have everything you need to write that next book (if that’s your thing) or to hop in these groups and have something you want to promote as an affiliate. We wont go into marketing to these groups directly. That is a completely different subject and quite frankly it’s an art. If/when you get caught, you can take some pretty serious heat from the members. I know that for a fact. However with the three images below could you possibly tell me why you could NOT write the world’s most bad ass ebook over recipes and healthy food for diabetics? Apply this post as an example and know there are endless niches located there.

 Loads Of Recipe Posts:

Recipe Posts

List Of Files Containing Recipes:   It does not get any easier than this.

Recipe Files

A sample of one of the Recipe Files:

Sample Recipe

BOOYAA…Market And Product Research Complete. All at once.

January 22nd, 2008

Ximmy Top Social Reviews A Money Maker?

XimmyI am really not into stuff like this but the fact that Ximmy is now up and running and the fact that I see tremendous growth potential should warrant at least a mention about them.

Basically the whole idea of Ximmy is to pay you for sharing top sites, videos, stories and pictures from around the web. Upon reading their rewards page they say this:

We are the first company to reward you for your contributions to our community through points that you can redeem for cash. Just registerfor an account. (It’s free!) You will earn points for submitting stories and posting comments. When your story is published to the home page, you will receive 15 points. Once you hit a points bracket, you can redeem the points for cash at any time. Payments are made via PayPal.

Points Earn:

1 point – Story Submitted
1 point – Comment
15 points – Popular (homepage)
Points Rewards
1,000 $10
1,800 $20
3,200 $40
6,000 $80
12,000 $160
20,000 $300

Bonus: Once you hit any of the points bracket, you’ll receive an extra $20 bonus during payout.(Expires 6/01/08)

Upon seeking a little bit more clarity on this their FAQ’s page was basically a model of what we already read. At least they have a contact page.

The bareness and lack of professionalism is a total turnoff. However they also go on to tell you about their Affiliate program. They pay you $5 for joining up and $0.50 for every referral. Peanuts if you ask me but I thought I would pass this along in case anyone has a list or blog readers that might be interested in it.

There are no affiliate links within this post.

January 7th, 2008

Sneaky Links – Meta Refresh Vs. PhP Redirect

This is pretty basic and is used often by many spammers bulk emailers. It was actually a godsend back in my heavy Myspace spamming commenting days. The whole idea to most people is simply to redirect their traffic thru their own domains and servers. Most CPA networks actually encourage this. Do you know why? Yea, you guessed…spammola. Now I won’t say that CPA networks DONT want to know where your traffic is coming from because most of the time this is untrue. However, sometimes YOU may not want certain people knowing where your traffic is coming from.

Case in point…

Have you ever seen a CPA Network that has some kind of bullshit sentence like "Affiliates caught promoting on Myspace or Facebook will be banned"? Your probably thinking to yourself that the network just told you NOT to promote on these sites. This in most cases and with a lot of networks is actually FAR from the truth. They are in it to make money people and behind the scenes I can tell you personally that it is sometimes a VERY fugly business. It actually says "if your caught", it does not say to NOT promote there.

So I won’t get into specifics here, nor will I name any specific networks (hell, that may incriminate me), but reading between the lines and knowing how and what to do can actually keep you making money somewhere where you thought your glory days had ended.

Another case in point is with Yahoo Answers. Have you posted a link from a CPA Network and been banned? I know of affiliates that got the hammer from Maxbounty for posting links on Yahoo Answers. Answers explicitly prohibits any commercial traffic in their terms of service and Maxbounty will have none of it. Keep what I am about to tell you in mind, it will save your tail in the long run (or at least allow you to concoct some bullshit to tell your AM).

The difference between a PhP Redirect and a Meta Refresh is that a redirect can still log referrer information. What this means is that your Affiliate Managers can and will see exactly where your traffic is coming from. A redirect simply *redirects* thru one of your domains and can still display information that will let people know who are looking, as to where you been dropping your links.

It’s time to get smart because frankly I am sick of people griping about lost network accounts. A smart way to hide your referrer information is to use a the Meta Refresh. Here’s the code:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns=" http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="0;URL=AFFILIATE URL HERE">
<title>SITE TITLE HERE</title>
</head>
<body>
</body>
</html>

Just load this into a text file and name it whatever you want with a .html extension.

With this code you will have people passing your site and refreshing immediately. There are other ways you can do this and even set the count to a few more seconds. However in doing so you will clearly be showing that your passing thru and this may turn off potential WHATEVERS. The moment they hit your domain, it will get refreshed allowing you to display that your traffic is coming from your domain. Of course when this happens you are armed with a whole slew of ways to keep jabbering should you encounter problems.

In case you wanted the PhP Redirect code as well here you go:

<?php header("Location: Your AFFILIATE LINK HERE"); ?>

Save in a text file, load up to your server and rename it whatever you want with a .php extension

Of course there are a number of ways to modify this as well I just wanted to give a quick rundown and explanation as to what to do to hide that referrer information. I would never suggest you go out and do anything that breaks a site’s TOS or get yourself in trouble but the fact of the matter remains that a lot of people do it anyway. So take it for what’s it worth.

 

November 29th, 2007

Make Money And Build Traffic With Video Marketing Using These Methods

I thought I would share my personal method of using videos online to drive traffic to a few sites I own. I also use this simply to drive traffic to domains I redirect to affiliate programs but I much rather send my visitors to a squeeze page. It’s the thing these days you know! Actually, it always has been but it seems the effort it takes to make a squeeze, put in an optin box and write up a well thought out email series is just to much these days for white and blackhat marketers. So since I want to see you succeed I am going to give you the traffic building part of your marketing campaign a FREE massive kickstart in acquiring visitors. Maybe if traffic building was easier (or people were better at it) then maybe making money online wouldn’t be as hard it seems. In any case, I am going to reveal a 4 step strategy to get visitors to your site using online video.

There is nothing really secret about this. I use 4 programs (hence the 4 step process). If I am not mistaken then all of them offer a free trial. Now, on the basis of truly believing in these programs and to give you an unbiased opinion and details of these programs and how to use them to your fullest advantage, I have included ALL outgoing links in this post as NON-AFFILIATE links.

*Disclaimer* — I use very fast and efficient means of getting videos. I do not horse around and make my own videos for these methods. I did at the first and it takes to long and I prefer hundreds of dollars over a few dollar commissions everyday. So if you have a problem with taking other people’s videos then this is probably not for you. You can however make your own videos, but at the sheer speed and volume I can do in less than 30 minutes a day your results will most likely be dramatically stunted. I don’t advise stealing people’s videos, but I do advise that you pull your socks up (so to speak) if you want to use this method to its full potential.

Step 1. – You will need a program that can easily download videos for you in a very fast timeset. For this I use a program called Ultraget. This program is COMPLETELY free. It is a program that will allow you to download any Youtube video. Just go to the site, it is very self-explanatory. I like to do batches of a dozen videos at a time. I quickly go over to Youtube and check out the recent videos. I always go for videos that do not look to personal. I don’t want copyright problems, so wrecks, accidents, sports and pets are great for this.

Step 2. – You need a video converter. The idea is to watermark all your videos with a link to the site you want displayed throughout the video. This is CRITICAL. ALWAYS have the website link displayed nicely within the video. Think about the domain for this, the more catchy the domain is the more likely people will type into their browser. This works great for redirects as you are getting only type in traffic. You could probably use this for domain parking as well. I never have, but I know a friend that does. He may comment on this later. So knowing that you need a video converter, I personally use a program called Total Video Converter. The program is offered on a trial basis. I believe it lasts 15 or 30 days (don’t quote me on that). It will easily pay for itself in just a few days.

When you use Ultraget to download Youtube vids they will download as FLV files. You just add these files in Total Video Converter and I personally found that converting to MPEG is the easiest and smoothest. This works great for all 27 video sites you will be uploading back to later on. So download and convert to MPEG and save those new files in a folder. It is now time to watermark them with a domain.

Step 3. – Watermarking videos could not be any easier than it is with Video Watermark Factory. Again this program has a free trial, but I don’t know how good it is, I just bought it outright. After downloading from Ultraget, and then converting to MPEG with Total Video Converter, you simply import your MPEG files in Watermark Factory and here you can edit them or add your watermark. It’s very simple.

Step 4. – Now that we have downloaded, converted and watermarked, it’s time to take these videos and upload them to the web video sites. I use a program called Video Post Robot. I believe it also has a free trial, but I simply pay my monthly membership. If you do any type of video marketing then you will understand that this payment is peanuts compared to the profit you are pulling. Quite simply, this program uploads your videos to 27 video sharing sites on the web. Google, Youtube, Veoh, Dailymotion, Metacafe. There are tons of them and each site has tons of users.

The program itself is very simple. However when you first get it, you will have to sit down and sign up for an account to each site. I did all 27 in about 30 minutes. I now have multiple accounts on these sites, which is also a very good idea. Heck you could even make niches and and account for each. The sheer amount of traffic you can and will receive is insane. It’s all so simple to do. After you have your accounts, you simply make a project for each video and pick the categories to upload to for each video site. I can do about a dozen videos start to finish in around 30 minutes using these tactics. I hope you find this helpful. Other than the cost of a few programs, you can easily have thousands of visitors to your site in just minutes.

Of course how you market and what niches you target will determine your success, but everyone likes to make more money, people go to video sites for entertainment so games have worked great. Screensavers, wallpapers, layouts, certain niche focused health products (think weight loss, acne) and I have even heard of people doing quite well in the adult niches (obviously). I do not engage in the adult niches with video marketing but it works.

*Note* One thing I like to do when ripping youtube vids is that if I get the feeling that uploading the same video back to youtube will cause problems, I simply don’t upload it in Video Post Robot. There are 26 other sites you can upload it to. :)

October 29th, 2007

MySpace Tom Lies About His Age

I SuckHaHa,

TechCrunch is widely known for taking huge dumps on breaking stories. Well, here’s one in case you haven’t heard already. Tom’s brithday is coming up and turns out he wasn’t this hip, younger gentleman that wanted to be your friend.

Obviously, who cares now right? They are pulling the cheese but I bet things might have went a little bit differently had people known his true age.

So here’s the poll:

{democracy:2}

September 5th, 2007

Introduction To StumbleUpon Advertising For Your Blog

StumbleUponI was checking out StumbleUpon’s Ad Campaign Service today and was actually starting to take quite an interest in it. There are many benefits to a service like this, and if you have a blog that is extremely popular you have the potential to pull some really good traffic numbers. I would say that your blog topic and writing style are going to have huge effects on the nature of such a campaign. Is it worth or not? I really do not know as I am just gearing up to run a campaign on one of my Video Blogs (Vlogs).

Here are a few site testimonials from a couple of large sites:

“By advertising on StumbleUpon, Farecast has been able to reach an audience that is actively looking to find new and innovative websites like ours. An added bonus is the ability to target based on a user’s geographic location or interest in a specific category. This has allowed us to land users on highly targeted and relevant landing pages, resulting in positive Stumbles.”
Farecast.com

 

“StumbleUpon proved to be a wonderful channel to drive targeted, cost effective traffic to our website. Furthermore, their vocal community helped us to further understand how to better position our product.”
Sixapart.com

 

“We are a new site that needed some promotion and found Stumbleupon to give us almost instantaneous results.”
SimplyExplained.com

Pretty lame testimonials if you ask me, but it is an ad service intended on bringing blogs traffic. I don’t know for sure but it is in my opinion that StumbleUpon users are very finicky and particular as to what they like in a blog. I have always found that the “bizarre” tag when submitting a page to StumbleUpon always seems to bring the most traffic. I guess trying to cater to that would be an effective weapon, but if your blog is not catered to that, then I guess your only going to get a fraction of the StumbleUpon traffic. At least that traffic will be better targeted right?

Now you should know that StumbleUpon Ads allows you to submit a PAGE from your blog that allows users to to stumble the page over and over again as they go about their business on StumbleUpon. Furthermore it cost about $0.05 an impression, so for about $5 you can get 100 visitors to your page.

Now like I said there is going to be a huge strategy involved here. If you have a dud page then your not going to get much into it. After researching the bizarre tag in StumbleUpon I have found a lot of stuff that I can use to my advantage. Funny videos, weird pictures of people and places seem to be the biggest motivators of users Stumbling your page over and over. So for $5 you can take the chance and use it as a means of research. If your page is shit then you will know right off the bat, but if you have a page that takes off and people start to Stumble it over and over, you can use this as sort of a marketing weapon to cater blog posts around one of the largest networks of Social Bookmarking. Catering to what their users want is a great way to take a blog from “Zero To Hero” in a short amount of time.

If you would like some tips on how to make StumbleUpon Advertising work for you then go over to Problogger and check out Darren Rowse’s tips that he posted here. I would give you the tips right here but Darren went to great lengths and research to come up with his tips and I don’t want to dupe his content or take anything away from him.

Best,

Ruck