Jan 28 2011

Unique Ad Campaigns – Thinking Outside the Box

a sheep behind the wheel

Advertising is only as good as your ad. You target your ad for your audience whether it’s banner, commercial, radio, video, or social media. With an ad that fails, your campaign fails as well.

That forces companies, businesses, and bloggers to ‘think outside the box’. One thing for me was the idea of contests and giveaways after I had seen it so successfully done on other blogs.

One prime real estate for ads is SuperBowl commercials. They even have shows DEDICATED to the best/worst commercials. With the SuperBowl it’s at the top of tops. When you are spending millions on 30 seconds, you make sure it’s good.

Hyundai… Conspiracy?

Hyundai is taking a very different approach this year in their advertising and marketing counting down until their Superbowl AD. One that has been going around is a sheep behind the wheel.

I mean I get it, a sheep… follower… etc .The good thing is that it doesn’t really seem like it’s an ad, but the bad is that it’s definitely not clear WHAT it’s going after. It’s not your typical “hey here is out product, go buy it” campaign.

I do like the one about the car in reverse. Subliminal messaging and back masking is an interesting topic I have always kind of found intriguing.

Going after the conspiracy theory is definitely interesting. What do you think?

If my own subliminal messaging worked you have subscribed to my blog….

Sep 22 2010

Grow Your Blog by Working With PR

Contests really took over the blogosphere when I was getting started. By being able to offer different items for free, it made the appeal of your site that much better. It also really gave visitors to COME BACK and a way to grow your numbers daily.

Just by hosting contests on your website you could require them to become an email subscriber, a friend on Facebook, or a member of your forum. I even built up a list for the top 20 contest blogs. Even though it’s a bit outdated it was really popular.

From the emergence of contests, so has people working for companies to find bloggers to host contests. This is where my site, Its All Free Online, has been able to grow. Sometimes the trouble is FINDING those PR reps.

If you are spending all your time looking for companies to work with, it can take away from your blog, as well as the quality of your content. Having THEM come to YOU is always a plus.

There are a few places you can use to help you out with that. And guess what? They are all owned by Moms!

Momdot Brandfluential

momdot

I have been a member of Momdot for several years. I like being ‘the guy’ on the forum. The ladies on there accept me as their own, helped me grow, and have been a huge supporter. The owner, Trisha, has gone out of her way to help me out on more than one occasion.

After I joined their “VIP” section of the forum, which is a co-op for PR pitches, my blog changed forever.

Now Trisha is going more mainstream and offering her newest service, Momdot Brandfluential.

Are you a blogger that loves to work with Public Relations? Are you Brandfluential? When marketers reach out to us for specific campaigns, let us know if you want us to email you with potential review, giveaway, or mainstream media opportunities.

Within just one short week of starting this program, she was already able to share a unique spa opportunity with her members. Along with that, she is in the works with more campaigns.

I know this will be a success and I am happy to be able to get in on the ground floor.

Blog Friendly PR

Blog Friendly PR

Through my Momdot connections I have also been able to work closely with several bloggers. One of those is Shasta. She recently purchased Blog Friendly PR and revamped the entire site.

Right now she is trying to spread the word and offering a $25 gift card if you post about her grand re-opening!

Double Duty Divas

I am new to this network, but I have already gotten 2 opportunities. I asked them to send me information about their site and this is what I received:

At BlogHer 2009 Bridgette (Experimental Mommy) and Cecelia (Cool Baby Kid) realized they had a full time job, part time blog and two young children each in common. They decided to join forces and create a blog network to support each other and the other Double Duty Divas that shared their multi-tasking challenges. Since that time the Diva network has grown to offer, in addition to support and cross-promotional opportunities for the bloggers, review and advertising campaigns for companies. With some of the top review bloggers among their ranks, the Divas also provide Twitter parties, coupon code campaigns and holiday gift guide inclusion opportunities. Speaking at BlogWorld 2010 about Harnessing the Power of Numbers and Creating a Blog Network, Bridgette and Cecelia plan to help others cross-promote and support blogs within their niche to grow and build a promotional network of their own.

Make sure to check out these websites and feel free to comment below on any networks that you use!

May 21 2010

Protect your Blog from Getting Hacked

Hacking is a commonly used term and generally it refers to the process when an unauthorized person modifies a program or changes configuration settings in order to gain access to data or files he or she is not allowed to access.

Hacking is one of the worst things that can happen to a web master. Even the most reliable web hosting provider can’t fully protect you from being hacked. In addition to the other losses you suffer, getting hacked ruins your reputation.

When you have chosen a best web host, even if it is shared web hosting provider, there are ways in which you can make your site hack-proof. Of course, if you haven’t chosen a reliable web hosting provider, all your efforts to protect your site from getting hacked are in vain. The best web hosts take security serious and they do a lot to protect your site.

Secure Operating System and Web Server Stop Hackers

Anti-hacking measures start with the security of the operating system and the web server. These are steps the best web host should take, especially if you are on a shared web hosting plan. With shared web hosting you can’t do a lot about the security of the operating system and the web server, so if you haven’t picked a reliable web host, you will pay for this dearly.

Some of the steps a reliable web hosting provider will take in order to secure the operating system and the web server are:

  • Install patches as they are released.

  • Limit access to your web server and site.

  • Disable all the services of the web server you don’t need.

  • Use password protection for files and directories. You can also password protect your files and directories from cPanel and the steps are easy. Go to Security ? Password Protect Directories and choose the files/directories you want to protect. Then in the next dialog box add the required data and this is all.


Read-Only Files and Directories

Read-only files and directories are one more obstacle for hackers. This is easy to do:

  • Go to cPanel and select File Manager.

  • In File Manager select the files you want to make read-only and click Change Permissions.

  • When the dialog box opens, leave the ticks only in front of the Read boxes and click Change Permissions in order to apply the changes.

Secure operating system and web server, as well as read-only and password-protected files and directories are not all you can do to make your site hack-proof. Firewalls and security plugins, together with secure passwords and regular backups are some additional measures to take.

The iFrame Virus

The iFrame virus is a widespread type of malware and you need to defend yourself against it. The iFrame virus adds tags to pages, thus allowing hackers to gain access not only to the visitors’ site but to the root and ftp passwords as well. You can protect your blog against the iFrame virus and here is how:

  • Format your PC in order to erase any info a hacker might get and then change your root and ftp passwords.

  • Install an anti-virus program.

  • Join an online webmasters’ community to keep pace with recent anti-hacking developments.

The measures we listed in this article are just some of the steps to take in order to make your blog hack-proof. If you take them and you have chosen a reliable web hosting provider, this will more or less make it harder for hackers to abuse your site.

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May 6 2010

Why Networking with Other Bloggers is Important

Too many bloggers view other bloggers as their competition. They have the mentality that it’s one against the world, so they never reach out to other bloggers. This is a dangerous mistake. Sure, other blogs are technically your competition, but networking with the right bloggers can yield numerous benefits.

Why? Because with a large network, you have everyone working together to benefit one another. In other words, instead of just you promoting your blog, everyone in your network is working to promote your blog. Everyone benefits, and with the combined efforts of many, you’re able to get better results than you could ever achieve by yourself.

Here are just some of the top benefits of networking with other bloggers.

  • Get on their blogroll—The blogroll is the little sidebar on blogs where the blogger has links to some of his (or her) favorite blogs. Not only does getting listed here give you another link back to your website, but it also acts as an endorsement from the other blogger. It tells his readers that your blog is worth checking out.

  • Guest posting opportunities—Guest blogging is one of the best things you can do to promote your blog and your brand. Guest posting on another blog puts you in front of an entirely new audience. It lets you position yourself as an expert, and you get to include links back to your website, helping you improve your search engine rankings. Of course, the first step to getting guest posting opportunities is to connect with other bloggers in your niche. Never stop networking!

  • Attract more back links—Most bloggers link out in their posts. It’s a way of providing readers with access to more information on interesting topics, and it’s also a good tool for networking with other bloggers. Remember, whenever you link out, the other blogger is alerted with a trackback. By networking with other bloggers, you make them aware of the content you’re putting out. So, whenever they mention a topic you’ve blogged about, you have a good chance of them linking to your post.

  • Get tips and advice from the best—No matter how long you’ve been blogging, you can always learn something from other bloggers. I love sharing blogging tips with fellow authors. Other bloggers may be able to offer you advice for promoting your blog more effectively, or they could show you simple tricks for being a more productive writer. Build relationships with bloggers you admire, and always keep your eyes and ears open for their advice. If your relationship is strong enough, you may even be able to solicit advice from them.

Now that you know some of the reasons you should be networking with other bloggers, let’s talk about how to network properly.

  • Comment regularly on other blogs. Make sure you leave value-adding comments. Not just self-promotional blurbs. And be a regular commenter on targeted blogs. After a few comments, the blogger will probably start to notice you.

  • Link out to other bloggers. This pings other bloggers with a trackback, letting them know your blog exists. More times than not, the other blogger will come check out your post, and he may even initiate contact with you.

  • Thank those who link to you. It’s great blogging etiquette, and it can serve as an introduction for building a relationship.

  • Connect with bloggers on other social networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). This lets you interact with the bloggers more closely, helping you build up your network. Focus on creating actual conversations with key influencers.

  • Be assertive, but not a pest. You can’t just sit back and expect other bloggers to come to you. You need to actively build up your network. Just make sure you aren’t overbearing. Respect the time of other bloggers. They’re busy too.

  • Give help before asking for help. You never want to be seen as a leach. Always give more help than you ask for, and make sure to establish yourself in the community before you ask for anything. Otherwise, people will just think you’re some newbie who’s only out for himself.

  • Reach out to lesser-known bloggers. The top bloggers are bombarded with messages all day long. You have a better chance of building a connection with a lesser-known blogger who has a decent following but isn’t huge.

What networking tips would you add to this list? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!

David Smith is working for Conversion rate optimization Company Invesp. Feel free to download free landing page templates from Invesp

Apr 10 2010

Free $75 Google Adwords Credit

This offer has ended.

Google Adwords Credit

I’ve never really been able to master the art of Google Adwords. There are certain ways that you should use Adwords, but I’ve never been able to really get into it. However like most things, it takes practice.

What better to practice with that FREE money? I have a great offer where you can get a free $75 Google Adwords credit. That means if your CPC is about $.20 to $.25 You are looking at a couple 100 visitors for free.

The offer is available for US and CAN residents. All you have to do is click the banner above and fill out the form. Then in about 2 business days you should get emailed your code.

Remember it’s available to NEW customers only, so I believe you will have to pay the $5 activation fee, but it’s still a great offer.

Check out It’s All Free Online for more freebies and deals.

Jan 30 2010

Why You Should Create an Info Product

There is no doubt that info products are hot right now.  All around the blogosphere, bloggers are using info products to expand their reach and build their brands.

Whats an Info Product

Common examples of info products include:

  • ebooks
  • reports
  • video series
  • manifestos

They are distributed digitally (usually), which makes them cheap to produce.

It takes just one person to create and distribute an info product – so the opportunity is available to anyone.

Do I Need to Be an Expert?

No – you don’t need to be the best in your field or niche.  You simply need to be ahead of the curve.   Use your experiences that might be of value to others to form the basis of your product.  For example, I spent the last 5 years flipping websites and building one of the largest flipping teams on DigitalPoint.  This knowledge became the basis of my book.

Of course, you can’t be a fraud.  If you have nothing unique or of value to say, don’t say it.

Is It Difficult?

Yes. To create a hot selling info product, you need to spend lots of time dedicated towards the project.  Ebooks created by ghost-writers in India will only damage your brand because as soon as someone reads it, they won’t be happy.  Spend the time creating your own product.  I spent a year on mine and all the review were positive.   Spend the time now and reap the rewards later.

Free or Paid?

Should you release a free ebook to promote your blog, or sell a paid product for an income.  I recommend starting out by creating a free product.  Giving away something free will help persuade people in the future to purchase something from you later down the track.

Of  course if you’ve got a killer ebook, there should be nothing stopping you from selling it.

I love info products.  I have found some really quality ones which have helped me (99% of them are junk but there are amazing gems in amongst the clutter).  If you’ve ever thought about releasing your own product now is the time.  Things are really hot.  I’m experiencing record sales and so can you.   Stay tuned for my next post on BAYB on launching your info product

I blog about Lifestyle Design and cashing in on your passions at Feint.me

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Jan 2 2010

MySavings Media Affiliate Network Review

MySavings Media Super Affiliate Program

Regardless of the affiliate network, I like to be a member of as many as I can. This can be beneficial for finding new programs, as well as participating in the ones that are worth the most money.

For example, I joined Panthera Network to promote an exclusive Vista Print certain offer that only lasted so long. After making $32, I haven’t found an offer to make money with again, however I’m sure something else will come up.

As much as I like Logical Media, I found a great competitor with similar offers.

MySavings Media

Programs offering something free is by far one of the easiest things to convert in my opinion. A lot of times you can find something that relates to your niche, or find a way to incorporate it.

For example I wrote an article that Website Magazine featured. They ranked the top 50 affiliate networks. At the end of that post I included a link I earn money for every time someone subscribes to a free subscription. While each lead isn’t a lot, stuff like that can add up.

MySavings Media offers free offers just like that. Whether it’s free magazines, samples, newsletters or promotions you can find something to earn money with.

They also have their own widget that you can throw in your sidebar, or dedicate an entire blog page to. I did that here, and was able to make about $10-$15 last month with little promotion.

Referral Program

Another component I often value is the affiliate program. A standard rate for an affiliate program seems to be about 5% give or take.

MySavings Media offers a 10% commission on all approved affiliates! The only downside is they only offer that fee for the first 10 months after they sign up. Any commissions generated after that aren’t credited to you anymore.

Overall MySavings Media is definitely worth checking out.

MySavings Media Super Affiliate Program

Dec 9 2009

Hydra Network Account Termination

I very rarely have any trouble with affiliate programs. Every month I make at least $100 on several different networks. It’s a great competition between the different programs, when you participate in multiple networks. I often ask if one network can match another networks commissions, which means more money for me.

Last month I was terminated by the first affiliate network since ShoppingAds became a “closed network” (but that’s a whole different situation). This wasn’t due to a program change, it was due to traffic. I don’t like to curse, but this was bullshit.

Hydra Network Termination

Hydra Network Account Termination

I’ve never heard of traffic levels being unfit for an affiliate network after already getting approved, sometimes I don’t run any offers on a network for months at a time. With some offers I can generate $500 in a month, then $0 the next, it just depends on what I am working on.

I hadn’t worked with HydraNetwork in a while since several lucrative months over the summer. I was able to piggy back my offers on some newsletters through a few online friends who weren’t into affiliate marketing. Throughout my experience with Hydra (1-2 years) I broke $1,000 in earnings, so it wasn’t like I never used them.

Recently, I started inquiring about different programs like Vista Print to get active again with Hydra. Several days later,  I received an email about how I promoted a Bidz offer I was running and had been off and on for months. I responded with my website url and then the next day I received a termination letter.

Bullshit MOVE

What I HATE about this whole thing that if there was some sort of problem, I would have been fine discussing and working it out. Other than that poor excuse of an email by Kollene McGinley (affiliate manager) I was terminated without a “warning” or any REAL information as to why I was terminated.

Let me stress again, I’ve never been singled out and terminated from ANY affiliate program and I’ve been doing this since 2005.

Compliance Letter

They have some “fine print” on the email I received so I am not going to publish it word for word.

However after “reviewing my account” including my monthly uniques, experience and “other criteria”… my “traffic” is not a good fit for Hydra.

The ONLY thing they did right in this situation was that they paid me my pending commissions of $15.50 in about two weeks.

Have you ever experience something like this before?

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