How Not To Promote Your Business On The Internet

December 6, 2008

If you want to promote your business on the Internet, do it right. If you make some of these mistakes when you try to promote your business, you could do it more harm than good.

1. Using keyword stuffed names in blog comments and on social networking sites, is a foolish way to promote your business. Folk can’t have a serious conversation with someone called “WoodenFurniture” or “ColonMadness”(yes I really saw that name on Twitter). And building any sort of relationship would be out of the question.

2. Talking persistently on Twitter about how you’ve got almost 2000 followers. Nothing makes folk hit the unfollow button quicker. Folk in social networks want friends who are going to join in the conversation, not count them like sheep.

3. Ripping people off.
I was promoting an affiliate product on this blog and the seller offered one of my readers the product for free, if she bought an additional product from her. That was really scammy, as it meant I wouldn’t get any commission for promoting her product. I complained, giving her the opportunity to put things right. But instead she ignored me and wrote a lengthy, drivelling blog post about how she deserves to make money.

If one person calls you a scamming bitch, some folk might think that person has a grudge against you and give you the benefit of the doubt. But do it more than once, maybe someone will write about it and link to other articles or videos that have called you out. And no matter how much you try to promote your business, it won’t do you much good, if you’re known as a scammer.

4. Bombarding webmasters with requests to link to your articles.
Get to know folk before you ask them to do stuff for you. I have one guy who does this to me. I’ve never had a conversation with him, beyond his requests to “give his articles the exposure they deserve”. The only exposure his articles get from me now, is to the spam folder, with the rest of the crap I get.

5. Asking favours from folk you haven’t even tried to get to know.
I get asked some pretty huge favours, often from complete strangers. Why should folk bother to spend hours doing something for you, when you’ve not even taken the trouble to get to know them? Spelling my name right would be a huge start.

6. Making sycophantic comments on blogs that get more traffic than yours.
Being friendly is one thing but there’s a distinctive line between a genuine compliment and false flattery. And folk will see through you, even if they pretend not to.

7. Leaving spam comments all over the Internet.
You should know that most folk have Askimet installed to pick up spam. And most bloggers will delete things like “great post - I really like your site”, aside from those who are desperate for comments.

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Affiliate Commissions - Is Your Anti-Virus Eating Them?

November 29, 2008

If you use affiliate marketing on your website, or blog, your Anti-Virus software could be preventing you from getting affiliate commissions.

Over the last few days, three people have mentioned in emails that they bought products advertised on my blog. Trouble is, I didn’t receive affiliate commissions for any of them. The first couple of times it happened, I figured those people had previously clicked an ad on another site. But when I got the last email, I was a bit concerned, as it wasn’t an ad I’ve seen in many places.

I know three sales doesn’t sound like too much to worry about. But you’ve got to remember that only a tiny fraction of visitors to this website would ever email me and mention that they’d bought a product.

So, I did a bit of research and discovered your anti-virus software can actually block the tracking copies, used by some affiliate programs. And sure enough, when I checked mine, I discovered that McAfee was doing this.

I had no idea it was happening. I’m not particularly technically minded and I tend to install these things and leave them to get on with their job; without really knowing what they’re doing.

Now, I don’t know how to change the settings on other Anti-Virus software but on McAfee, here’s what I did:

Go into advanced menu, then go into Computers And Files.

Click configure. Then click real time scanning.

On Virus Protection Enabled, go into Advanced. Uncheck scan and remove tracking cookies, then click apply and ok.

Next click custom scan, then click scan and remove tracking cookies - click apply, then ok.

You also need to ensure that your browser enables cookies. For Firefox, go to Tools, Options, Privacy, then tick accept cookies and accept third party cookies.

For Internet explorer go into tools, internet options, privacy and change the settings to accept all cookies.

Problems like this can be prevented if you do your research properly. But it’s easy to read a whole heap of information and forget a lot of it. I’m now re-reading the Super Affiliate Handbook, to make sure I’m not making any more glaring errors.

If you use affiliate programs on your website or blog and haven’t read the Super Affiliate Handbook, I’d encourage you to do so. You could save yourself a lot of trouble, not to mention loss of affiliate commissions because of silly mistakes.

Have you lost affiliate commissions, due to anti-virus software, or other reasons? Do you have any other tips, or advice to share on protecting affiliate commissions?

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We’re All Responsible For The Walmart Tragedy

November 29, 2008

Whenever a tragedy occurs, there’s always plenty of people looking for someone to blame. And the case of the Walmart assistant, who was trampled to death by Black Friday sales shoppers, was no exception.

Hundreds of message board users pointed the finger at the 200 shoppers involved, Walmart, the Government and anyone else they could think to blame. But the truth is, we are all responsible for the Walmart assistant’s tragic death.

People who flock to the type of sales that Walmart run are motivated by two powerful emotions - the first is usually greed, they want something as cheap as possible. And the second is fear - if they don’t get through those doors fast enough, they’ll lose that half price tv they’ve had their eye on.

And I know that like me, many of you hate shopping but that doesn’t let us off the hook. If you have a business, you’re selling something. And if you’re doing a decent enough job of it - you’re appealing to people’s emotions to buy. And the strongest and easiest emotions to appeal to are fear and greed.

Some folk would call this manipulation and others would call it persuasion. But either way - you’re doing it. If you’re not, you’re probably not making much cash.

Ok, so maybe you’re not selling “stuff” - you might be selling products or services to improve people’s lives in some way. But does that really let you off the hook? The woman down the street selling trashy fashion jewellery might think she’s improving people’s lives too.

So lets think about the Walmart tragedy again. What do you think could be done to stop something like that happening in the future? Do you think it would be easier if folk stopped looking for someone to blame and accepted that we are all responsible? Or do you think we’re not responsible at all?

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Is Google Smart Pricing Your Ads?

November 27, 2008

Do you run Google Adsense ads on your blog or website? Is Google paying you a pitiful amount per click? Then Google might be smart pricing your ads.

Recently, I mentioned new strategies I have been trying out, to increase my Google Adsense revenue. And while the new ideas I’ve implemented have increased my clickthrough rate, the amount of money I’m getting per click has plunged.

Then, I read about Google smart pricing, through another blogger who was penalized on his site buy Google, because one of his sites sucked. And he doubled his income from Google Adsense, by removing the offending sites.

If you own a blog, which Google doesn’t like for some reason; or if ads on your site convert badly, they’ll give you crappy irrelevant ads and pay you a pittance for them. Apparently, if your blog is about making money blogging - you may also be penalised. Many people who blog about making money blogging only get around 5 cents a click. But I’m betting most of them probably deserve it.

Trouble is, if you own more than one blog or website, they’ll pay you a pittance for the ads you show on those too.

Recently, my Google Adsense earnings took a dive. Initially, I thought it was because of a couple of new sites I’d added. But it didn’t take long to figure that Google was penalizing my former hideous website that used to be one of the worst websites on the Internet.

Evere since I beautified the site a little - Google has served it with crappy, irrelevant ads. The annoying thing is, the content is almost the same - it just looks better. So it looks like Google prefers ugly sites.

If you’ve recently added new sites to your Google Adsense account and your earnings have dropped, you may want to remove ads from them for a few days and see if they go up. And if you’ve got one of the ugliest websites on the Internet, you might want to think twice, before giving it a facelift.

Also, if your earnings per click have always been bad, you may have been smart priced all along. Apparently, most of those make money blogging blogs are usually smart priced and they make terrible earnings per click.

Unless you get a huge amount of traffic, it’s crazy to rely on Google Adsense alone to make money from your website or blog anyway. You can make a lot more money using affiliate programs. And you can learn more about affiliate programs from the Super Affiliate Handbook.

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