Twitter

Blog promotion through twitter is very easy. All you need to follow is some basic steps.

You would see me writing a lot on promotional tools and methods. If you have started your blogging journey, then I am sure you would not be surprised to see me doing this. But if you one of them who is yet to start a blog, then I would have a single sentence to answer you. “Watch the television”.

Promotional activities is what gets your product, business. You are here to learn blogging and not just to blog for the heck of doing it, but to earn money. So if you wish to earn money, you need traffic to your blog – good amount of traffic. And this traffic in turn will only come from promotional activities.

I have seen quite a few people following almost everything that they could to promote their blog. It is good especially if your have all the time in the world to do that. If you are like me, with very less free time, then it is wiser to decide on a few good ways of promoting your blog and then consistently following them.

Twitter – It is unlikely that you are not familiar with it. If you are not then take a walk in the park at http://www.twitter.com. In the meantime, do not also forget to register there.

Twitter is a micro blogging website. After you had registered yourselves you would have seen that you are given a small textbox with a 140 word limit asking you, “What are you doing?”. This is the very essence of micro-blogging and Twitter. This 140 word text box is your world to traffic.

Wondering what to write in a 140 word text box. Start off by writing a one liner on the niche topic on which you are planning to start your blog. Did you feel that the 140 word limit was too little? If you felt so, do a bit of editing. After you have done this a couple of times, you would start to feel that 140 words is quite a good amount.

Twitter has a phenomenon called as “following”. This is where you actual traffic will come from. At twitter, you can follow the “tweets” (the twitter terminology for a post at twitter) of like minded people like you by following them. In turn, they will follow you. The more valuable your tweets are the more the followers you get.

How to use the tweet box?

The margin of error between success and failure in very thin and is only 140 words long. Yes, you got it right. Your success with Twitter lies in how meaningful your tweets are.  If your tweet sounds valuable to a follower or, reader they go ahead and re-tweet it thus increasing the reach of the original tweet. These readers and visitors might come to your blog following the link in your tweet. These readers would account for traffic to your blog and as more and more readers keep coming you would start to see the power of Twitter.

So what is the thumb rule to write a good tweet? If you are using an automated Twitter submitter like Twitterfeed, then part of your work is done. All that you need to do is write a catchy and meaningful title for your blog post. Twitterfeed picks up this title as the first few words in the feed. Then you can follow it up with a few words from the inital part of your post. This would in turn mean that the starting few lines of your blog post should also be catchy and meaningful. That’s it. You are done for Twitter.

If you are not using an automated submitter, which I would never recommend you do, you will have to practise writing statements that are punchy like – “The secrets to…”, “I learnt how to..”, “A knowledgebase to learn…”, “Easiest way to learn…” etc. etc. Though some of the above might seem to be a bit boring and repetitive, these can be refined to be used in your tweets. The best way to learn how to tweet is to assume you are one of the readers and think of a few lines that would have caught your attention.

Keep tweeting for some time and gradually you would learn how to tweet.

Don’t forget to follow me at Twitter.

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Affiliate Theme

Affiliate marketing is the single biggest way of making money on the internet today. But have you ever tried to find out the number of people, I would rather call them “Affiliate marketing enthusiasts”, who fizzle out as soon as they start-off on their affiliate marketing business. It would go into hundreds of thousands. I might not have the exact numbers, but I know one thing for sure. About 9 out of 11 people, I know who started off on their affiliate marketing business weren’t there after about a months time.

Do you know the single biggest reason for this? It is the tiresome work of putting your affiliate website in place. If you are to gather email subscriptions, you ought to have a website. And a website specifically for your affiliate marketing business meant loads of codes and html. The only choice you have was to get it designed from an external agency, but that involved huge costs. For somebody who was just starting out on their affiliate marketing business, that was a tough ask.

The story was not different for me either. I too would have fizzled out, if I was not a bit html-literate. This is what made this topic one of interest to me and I thought I should write a post on this.

Unique Blog Designs have released an “Affiliate Theme” for WordPress. My brother owns a web-designing company which is into designing themes for WordPress and we have quite a few themes out there on the internet. A few weeks back we were discussing something on these lines and bang…. There it is on the internet. I have no regrets though, because Unique Blog Designs is miles ahead of where I am and it will take some time for my brother’s company to reach where they are. So obviously, the design had to be amazing.

I would not want to get into a review of the design and the functionality of the theme because there are quite a few reviews out there. I would just want to sum it up in one word – “FUN-TASTIC”.

You would now not have to spend hours of your time designing your affiliate marketing website, nor will you have to spend thousands on getting one designed. Instead spend that time on researching some keywords and products and spend that money on some thought-through advertisements for your products.

Check out the Affiliate theme here.

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Book on Shelves

Blogging is an art. So is choosing the content to write on. The competition is so fierce these days that you would find about a hundred thousand blogs on a specific niche, howsoever specific you are. So when the competition is fierce, what is the mantra to stay successful?

Blogging is a factor of the number of visitors to your blogs. The more the visitors, the more popular your blog. The popularity of your blog will determine the amount of money you make from it. So all of this means that you have to maintain a steady flow of visitors to you blog is you have to be successful in your niche.

When there is so much available on the internet and most of them being common, what is it that would help you maintain a steady flow of visitors? To understand this we will first need to understand the kind of visitors to your blog.

Your blog would have two types of visitors – Returning visitors and new visitors. The returning visitors are the ones who would subscribe to you blog and would keep coming back because they like your content and want more. The new ones would be the ones that come from your links on other blogs, social networks and more importantly from suggestions and advices from your subscribers.

This means that the steady flow of traffic to your blog would be influenced by the ones who subscribe to your blog or, in other words, your returning visitors. So if you are to stay successful you need to cater to their demand and keep them engrossed.

“Continuing content” is something that can help you achieve this. Let me explain what continuing content is. Caroline Middlebrook in her blog has quite a few posts on getting traffic from Stumble Upon and also has an e-course on the same topic. She has actually broken down the tips on getting traffic into numerous small blog posts and keep adding to what she had written in her earlier posts. A reader to her blog, like me would read one of her post on the said topic and would want to come back to check the next post because this topic is of interest to me. This is what “Continuing Content” is.

Continuing content, necessarily does not mean that the content has to be on the same topic. You can build continuity to various other topics, if you are smart enough to do that. A post on StumbleUpon traffic generation can continue to a google analytics post if you know how the two can be linked. A little bit of effort and research can make you a pro in this and can do a lot to making your blog a successful one.

Photograph by timtom.ch (Under Creative Common License)

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Traffic

Driving Traffic to your blog is a very difficult and tedious thing to do. I have seen quite often that most of the people stop blogging at this point because they are frustrated at the number of things that they have done after following advices from multiple quarters, yet they end up getting zero traffic to their blogs.

What is the one way to get traffic to your blogs?

If I am to answer frankly, then there is no one way. You have to follow multiple ways in order to generate traffic. But that does not mean that you do everything in the world. Pick about 4-5 strategies and follow them religiously and you would start to see results. What would be the best strategy, is something that you need to decide and would depend upon the time you are willing to spend and your patience.

When you have just started blogging, seldom does it happen that you get direct traffic to your blogs. Instead the visitors that come to your blog comes from “Diverted traffic”.

What is “Diverted Traffic”?

I call the first visitors to my blog as “diverted traffic” because they did not end up on my blog because they were searching for my blog. Rather they were sent to my blog from somewhere else. What this “somewhere else” is something that the blog owner needs to decide. These visitors were searching for something and reached some websites in this course. There they found a link to my blog and clicked on it to be taken to my blog. This meant that these visitors were diverted from some other website, webpage or, blog, to myblog. This is why I call them “Diverted Traffic”.

Squidoo – A Monster for Diverted Traffic:-

It is highly unlikely that you are not aware of what “Squidoo” is. Because there are multiple sites out there that would have a mention of Squidoo and you would have stumbled upon a few of them by the time your reached this post, if you have been searching around for ways of making money online.

Let me still take a minute to tell you all about what Squidoo is. Squidoo is a storehouse of thousands of millions of one-pager websites where you can create your own one-pager website at the click of a few buttons. Unlike designing and creating a normal website, at Squidoo you do not need any knowledge about HTML or, any of those complicated programming languages. If you know how to use you mouse and your keyboard you can have a webpage of your up and running in a matter of a few minutes.

This is just the beginning. The best part about Squidoo is that it can help you divert huge amount of traffic to your blogs and websites. Wondering how? Let me explain.

You head over to Squidoo and create a one pager website about your niche (the topic you are blogging on). Put all your creativity to use when your design the one-pager at Squidoo. Add content that is relevant and keyword rich (assuming you have done a bit of keyword research) to this webpage. Pick a few of these keywords and ad a link to your blog to them. You can also use modules (Squidoo’s term for a section in the webpage) like “Talk-Bubble” to highlight your blog by using a catchy punchline and add a link to it, pointing to your blog. Keep making small changes to this webpage everyday and in about 10-12 days you would see traffic coming to your blog from Squidoo. Surprised?

I am sure you might be thinking that I have gone crazy. It is indeed crazy. Google lover Squidoo very much and Google’s spiders spends quite some time crawling Squidoo for good content. So regularly updated, fresh Squidoo pages (called as Lenses) with rich content and keywords, get ranked in Google very quickly. Internet users searching for specific terms related to your niche are sure to see your lens when it starts featuring on the first page of Google. They click on this link and reach Squidoo, read your content there. They then click on one of the link you have put out there to further read on the topic and come to your blog. Isn’t that crazy?

You would surprised to see the amout of traffic coming to your websites and blogs from Squidoo, if you do it correctly and judiciously.

For all those who are still wondering how all this works, I would be posting a video on “How to create a lens at Squidoo and get traffic?” in another weeks time. Till then head on straight to Squidoo and create and account and start fiddling with the tools available there.

Squidoo is available at http://www.squidoo.com.

A few of my lenses are available at:-

  1. http://www.squidoo.com/keyword-elite-exposed
  2. http://www.squidoo.com/GhostRecon-AdvancedWarfighter2
  3. http://www.squidoo.com/hidden_objects_games_online
  4. http://www.squidoo.com/earth4energyfacts
Photograph courtesy rbrwr, used on a Creative Commons License

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SurveysOnline surveys are increasingly becoming a way of assessing consumer preferences and choices. With the market becoming more and more competitive and consumer driven, companies have to listen to what the consumer has to say if they are to stay in business. Physical surveying is time consuming and involves huge costs attached to it. This is where the internet has come in handy for these businesses. They can now survey a consumer, online and can get the same or, better results that what they would have got from a physical survey.

This is where an opportunity opened up for people like me who were on the lookout for ways of working from home and earning some extra cash.

Online surveys can show instant results unlike many other online businesses. When I started blogging, I found it difficult to supplement my income. My earning from my blog was next to nil and I had to find ways of supplementing it. I had huge credit card bills to pay off and this entire “make money on the internet” thing was becoming a myth for me. It is at this point that one of my readers referred me to an online survey site. The first month itself showed results and I earned my first $600 cheque.

The most important thing to know before starting an online survey job:-

The entire thing looks to be very lucrative and because it is very easy to start, there are a lot of people out there who fall prey to the scams on the internet. Normally any website offering and online survey job asks you to pay a set-up fee. Hence it becomes imperative for you to evaluate any such site offering such services.

It is not easy for you to know which of these sites are genuine and which are not. The easiest way to check this is by browsing through a few good directories. You may also want to register at some good forums and ask the members out there. The suggestions that you get at these forums would genuine because of many reasons -

  1. It involves opinions from multiple users.
  2. Forum members are consumers like you.
  3. Dissatisfied users of websites vent out their anger at these forums thus giving you a genuine feedback.

You may also want to check out some affiliate marketing companies that promote companies offering such online surveys. This is one the best ways of checking the genuinity because such affiliate marketing offers come with a money back guarantee and you can dispute anytime you feel that the company providing the online survey plan is not genuine.

In case you are interested in online surveys, the following are genuine and good companies offering such surveys -

Photograph courtesy Scoro at Flickr used under Creative Common license.

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