How to Sell More on Craigslist: Ghosting Redux & More

How to Sell More on Craigslist:  Part 1

success.jpgIn this article we are going to take a look at selling more STUFF on Craigslist, and regardless of the kind of stuff you sell, I’m pretty confident that some of the ideas in this upcoming series of advanced marketing strategies will help you sell more.  Let me make a quick qualification:  None of these ideas are really “advanced” per se, but rather, I’m hoping, will help you re-frame your approach a bit as you structure your sales process to optimize both the amount of your ads that make it (and STAY) live, as well as maximize the real dollars you are able to squeeze out of each and every post you make. 


Great WordPress Plugins for Better Blogs

creative commons.jpgI came across a few very handy plugins earlier on today while working with someone privately who has a HUGE site with great content in a popular niche with extremely high paying keywords.  As I’ve written on here a few times recently, I’ve seen my own adsense payouts diminsh considerably across a number of smaller niches, as have lots of other people, leading to all kinds of speculations as to  why – ie – is Google simply taking the hard and heavy slice of the proverbial pie, or have some of these sites ( or publishers like myself) simply sinned in the eyes of Google gods…causing our accounts to simply be marked for payout degradation?  I have no idea, but I did want to use the phrase "payout degradation" in a sentence – so either way I feel better.  My sense is probably a combination of the two – I noticed my payouts diminishing after playing the arbitrage game for a while quite successfully, and simply had to stop at a certain point as even with 35% CTR on some sites – the adsense return was getting so small as to become a losing proposition.  So you live by the sword, you die by the same sharp instrument.  I understand and am ok with that.

The truth is, I personally have tried to incorporate lots of differnet monitization models in my own business for a long time, and rarely rely on contextual ads to make or break a site.  ( although Yahoo has been paying out extremely well in many niches – the relevance part of the equation simply sucks – and I’m sick of running "bank of america" ads on my dating and diet sites.)

That said – the aforementioned individual I’m working with has a ton of pages – all are not monetized but for some simple Amazon links, they get pretty good traffic already, and are making almost NO money  whatsoever from what I think is a great site in a fantastic niche.  What we needed, was an easy way to go in to and retroactively place adsense ( or yahoo) ads in all of the posts and pages, all getting lots of daily views, and spanning a few years worth of content.   Denis Debenardy’s Semiologic and Ad Spaces plugin did this phenomenally well, and was one of the primary and sexier options offered on his great WordPress professional blogging platform.   ( which I still love – but don’t use on as many sites as I once did purely from an aesthetics standpoint – plus he has changed ad serving wizards to Whoseesads – also very good, but I haven’t fully wrapped my brain around)

So the quest was for a simple plugin that would do this – and in a time efficient manner – ( as they, nor I was hand posting adsense dating back a few years)

We came across two great plugins that I was wholly unaware of, which are really great for this sort of thing, especially if you are working with ( or are) someone who has spent a lot of time passionately building a site, but havent’ really thought about how much money you may be leaving on the table until now.  And of course, both of them are totally free, again proving that WordPress developers are some of the coolest and most creatively generous people on the planet. 

Adsense Manager is a fantastic plugin that will add a whole wide variety of code into your posts – from simple html, to many of the popular affilaite networks like cj and adbrite et al, and of course will tackle adsense and YPN as well.  I installed it tonight and played with some of the options, and it is very cool – recenly upgraded in the last week or two so it’s piping hot fresh – and does all kinds of neat things that you can’t do easily with other ad management software through WP.  The one drawback to adsense manager, with all of it’s advanced features, is it looks like you DO need to add a template tag into your post to pull the ad code, which on a big site retrospectively – is still going to be a pain in the ass. 

The upside is it supports lots of networks out of box, and was a pure pleasure to set up – literally had it installed and configured in 10 minutes.

All in one adsense & ypn does not support the other affiliate networks straight away.  What it does, very simply is what I needed to do for the above site.  You install the plugin, enter your YPN or Adsense publisher id – and it will stick ads in your brand new site – or the site you put up when you and Al Gore were discovering the internets.  25,000 pages of good piping hot content with no ads?  Simply set up this great plugin, and no template tokens, no playing with the code, it will put the defined ads you selected ( size, positioning, etc) in ALL your posts and pages ( or exclude ones you specify in advance – or through a per post exclusion) and you can take pages that were completely non-monetized at 5.00 PM – at 5:05 all those pages are running beautiful ad spots of your choosing.  I love it. 

( it also has a great randomizer to defeat ad blindness – i.e. – rather than simply sitcking all of the ads in one  pretty place – top left of the post for example, it will mix them up – so that you, me, nor your visitors "see" them before they read the post – they are random and much more likely to appear part and parcel of the post.

of course I don’t even want to start thinking about feedwordpress for auto generated blogs on the fly in combination with the above – because that would just simply be wrong.  And the Vatican did come out with a whole new list of sins todaysplogs and spamming Craigslist were both high on the list. 

Thank God I’m Jewish.

Good luck, and have fun! 

(photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/m68000/)


Love Them Anyway: A Radical Approach To Managing Crazy Clients

punks in love.jpg(photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/lordkhan/) 

I had a really transformational, life changing epiphany a few short days ago, and I’m not so proud to admit it happened while watching a "TED" conference re-run on You Tube featuring their most motivational, inspiring and illumiating speakers over the last few years. 

And I was only paying half attention to what was happening on the screen – my ADHD in heavenly high gear ( I’m Probably One Amazing A short and a Double D’s heavy on the acronym if anyone ever was) and blissfully paying attention to everything, and nothing at all at the very same time. 


How often are the Search Engines Crawling Your Blog?

line blog.jpgVery promising new WordPress plugin for tracking search engine  activity while crawling your internal pages, seems to have some fun bells and whistles you won’t get from analytics alone – will give you all kinds of data that "might" give you a bit more of a window into which pages/links/and external sites are giving you more bang for your "buck" than might be visible in how most people interact with Google analytics.  Times, rates, frequencies, etc – all from your WP admin panel…check it out, it’s free and you can find it at the link below:  ( I did)

With the advent of Google Analytics and other JavaScript based solutions a lot of webmasters have lost the ability to easily analyse log files to see how search engines are interacting with their site. Google Webmaster Central offers a nice graphing feature so you can see the crawl trends but there is no way to access meaningful data. Studying crawl rate is hugely important because it helps you find out which pages are trusted most by the search engines (especially Google). The more Google trusts a page the greater the frequency it will re-visit that page. If you build a few deep links and see your crawl rate for the target page suddenly increase you can be confident that the links are highly trusted and that you should try to get some more.Today we are releasing a plugin for WordPress that allows you to track crawl activity for MSN, Yahoo & Google from your dashboard.

WordPress Crawl Rate Tracker Plugin

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Barak Obama Hit With Duplicate Content Penalty:

Barack2.jpgThink you are the only one worrying about duplicate content in your marketing message?  Think again.  Barak Obama apparently was caught scraping Deval Patricks 2006 stump speech while running for Gov of Massachusetts in 2006.  Apparently the two are good buddies and share content…;-)  I still got your back, Barak….but Hillary might have lost a wrinkle ( or two) with this pretty big gaffe!  Read the story ( and watch the video) at the link below!

Barack Obama has been lauded over the course of this campaign for his beautiful speeches. On Saturday, in Wisconsin, Obama made a speech with uncanny similarities to a speech given by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick when he was running for governor in October 2006. Both speeches also appear to be reactions against criticism that the candidate’s platform is all rhetoric and no substance.Here’s are excerpts from the speeches in question:

Obama ‘Steals’ from King and Jefferson » Outside The Beltway | OTB

 


The Death of Arbitrage is Upon Us…..Yahoo Closes the Door on Iffy Traffic

A final death knell to the once big buck game of "playing the spread" on ad buys across the PPC channels.   Was a popular and very easy way to make money a few years ago, although for the past year or so felt like heavy lifting and no longer very worthwhile ( although I’m sure people have still done phenomenally well).  It appears as if Yahoo –


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