Monetizing Social Networking Traffic: Think Again?

web20joiningthedots.gifAn interesting article on monetizing those pesky social networking visitors we all are trying so hard to attract these days…Seems like the good old Google guys & girls are having an equally difficult time of it as well – finding that the facebook folks might like finding their friends, but they ain’t too hip on clicking on the ads.  Anyone who has gotten an avalanche of traffic from link bait or just good web 2.0 buzzing strategies can tell you the same effect takes hold once these same visitors arrive at OUR pages – as I’ve posted here numerous times, they simply don’t add much to the proverbial bottom line in any tangible way for most of us.  Applying all of the "bending the web" techniques for SEO purposes on your important keywords works, and works fast – but don’t think that all of that new Stumbleupon traffic is going to make your mortgage payment this month – it isn’t.  Nor is Myspace helping Sergei makes his..:-) Read the full post by clicking on the link below:

 

You may be friending and poking your acquaintances on social networks, but that doesn’t mean you are paying attention to the ads. Or, maybe Google just made a bad deal with MySpace in which it guaranteed to pay a lot of money even if you don’t click on the ads.Google’s fourth-quarter results missed expectations on Thursday, partly due to a rise in traffic acquisition costs that cut into revenue. Executives acknowledged in a conference call with analysts that they made less money serving up ads on social networks than they expected.The news, which prompted a drop in the share price after-hours, is a sign that social networks may not be the easy Holy Grail for advertisers once believed to be."When you have the largest online advertising player with the most advanced monetization tool set out there talking about challenges monetizing certain types of pages, yeah, it would seem to be an indication of a broader industry issue," said Derek Brown, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald.Microsoft, for its part, isn’t seeing the same thing as its chief rival. A Microsoft executive told CNET News.com on Thursday that monetization rates are good and have been steadily rising since the company first began feeding ads to Facebook in mid-2006.Google executives declined to specify exactly what the problem is. Chief Financial Officer George Reyes referred to "a few AdSense partners" to whom Google is required to make guaranteed payments. "We have found that social-networking inventory is not monetizing as well as expected," he said.

Google still waiting for social ad payoff | Tech news blog – CNET News.com

 


Livin’ La Vida Loca: An Open Letter to Ricky Martin

Ricky_Martin.jpgI’ve always been a big believer that you sort of have to pick a solid monetization strategy on a new site before you put in the work – I mean, getting traffic is pretty easy these days with social networking sites, link bait, viral video etc – that you can ( and I often have) get a huge influx of new visitors to a brand, spanking new neophyte niche crammed with adsense ( or other contextual ads) and not make 87 cents for all of the effort.  I personally believe the days of big buck blogging on the back of easy google clicks are well behind us – and for a plethora of pretty disparate reasons.  Which is why I’ve spent a fair amount of time on here discussing alternative ways to monetize your network of sites either by selling ads directly yourself, niching out your sites to match a particularly good converting affiliate offer, or simply – as is my primary driver for this site – simply using your thoughts, ideas and experience as a lead generation tool to aquire new clients in a service related market.  ( in my case – private coaching and consulting)

Which is why I’m not quite sure what Ricky Martin is thinking – as other than livin’ the vida loca, he also apparently is a bit believer in the Google Adsense monetization model.  The man has google ads on his website.  And three unique ad zones too.  Now – while I didn’t spend much time vetting this out, it pretty much looks like this is HIS site and not some nutty nudnick with too much free time and a jones for listening to "she bangs" more often that the once a year William Hung American Idol re-runs.  I’m actually quite stunned.  What international superstar logs in and checks stats everyday and and wonders why his "home page right" channel is getting a better CTR than the 728X90 banner above the fold?  I don’t know.  I’m hoping it’s a desperate webmaster or something.

I don’t get it.  I only recently put an adsense block on this site because I thought it would be cheesy.  And I can’t sing.  So Just in case you are reading this, Rick – you should grab the OIO publisher Plugin and just sell the space yourself.  Or drop me a quick note and I’ll help you come up with some better ideas for making more money with your website in 2008, and beyond – no special treatment of course, but between you and I -my girlfriend is a huge Gloria Estephan fan, if you can work something out , I’m sure I can hook you up with better ways to amp up the income on dem crazy fans.   


OIO Publisher Keeps Getting Better – Upgrade Available!

KARMA BUDDHIST SYMBOL.gifOIO Publisher has released an updated version of it’s great ad managment plugin for selling adspace directly from your blog – to the wider world wide community without the proverial middleman (or woman) keeping a cut.  I love this plugin – and use it on a small selection of niche sites, (including this one) and while it’s had a few hiccups from the standpoint of a business model ( first was free – absolute steal – then a charge for secondary adopters of $37 – still a steal – but no longer free – and now looks to have a retroactive free version again sans a few of the premium features the more robust paid version pulls).Rather than sort of enunerate all of the great modifications Simon has made to this most recent release – I simple cut and pasted his newsletter email from this morning below.  If you have a niche blog, or any wordpress install that you simply want to monetize to the general public without having to have a Donny Duetsch understanding of the ad space metric market to get moving – I recommend you take a good hard look at OIO publisher.  I recommended it when it was free months back on here – and several of you have already thanked me for the heads up.  It’s not free now – but that doesn’t negate the value, and the tremendous potential going forward.  Remember – with this simple plugin – if you are blogging about tupperware for example ( I really hope you aren’t though) and Jane Doe from Somewhere Town, USA finds your blog at 3 am after drinking one caffe latte too many for dinner she can buy an ad directly from you while you are snoring and slumbering away – simply by paying for ad – uploading her ad copy  (there aren’t men who sell tupperware, are there?) and the transaction is complete.  Easy, seamless way to profit from your blog, set your own budget baselines and be big buck blogging in a hurry. 

Check out the features by reading the developers email below – and jump if you think it matches YOUR monetization model. 

Dear ian –

Apologies for missing out the December newsletter entirely, but I decided that during the Holiday period, there would be little point in sending it out. Besides, I have some better things to mention to you now: * OIOpublisher Goes Pro * *Hurray, Documentation *  *Affiliates, sell sell sell *  Beginnings of 2 huge new features * The move towards other platforms

(1) OIOpublisher Goes Pro:The latest release, out yesterday, is marked v1.50. It also sees the beginning of the "Pro" edition of the WordPress plugin, due to all the features now packed into it. I have decided to release a lite version for free, that will meet the original design spec (dealing with paid reviews and text links) – keep checking back at the site for details on that.The Pro edition is available to all those who already have download access. There is no extra cost involved!I urge everyone to make the upgrade to the new version (the upgrade process has been made even easier, you won’t even know its taken place!), to take advantage of the new features:* unlimited banner ad zones (any size, number, and placement)* unlimited custom purchase items (sell as many digital downloads as you wish)* more interactive purchase pages (this time, we made proper use of javascript)* the ability to redirect purchases to a custom WP page first

(2) Hurray, DocumentationI also wanted to remind everyone that a full documentation library is currently being built at the url below. The good thing about it is that you can leave your own comments and advice for other users, to build it further over time:http://docs.oiopublisher.com

(3) Affiliates, sell sell sellAnyone interested in selling quality products as affiliates SHOULD be doing so with OIOpublisher. I may be biased, but I also know how good it is (as does anyone currently using it):http://karma2.mystagingwebsite.com/go/oio/

(4) Beginnings of 2 huge new featuresI have 2 features planned for the first half of 2008, both should be a big hit. The first is an ad network, that will help to fill up unsold inventory automatically, with CPC ads (banner ads, and site wide text links). This simply means that anyone using the plugin will be able to start earning money, if not through direct sales, then through the ad network.The 2nd is the arrival of the niche DigiZine. Its a clever new way to monetise your existing content, and it all depends on quality! Editors will be able to put together their own niche publications, using articles from OIOpublisher users (providing they give permission), via RSS, and their own editorials to link it all together.Publications will be monetised via subscriptions, or ad units, which will then be shared between content owners. The more your articles are used, the more you’ll make. Something like this is long overdue within the blogosphere in my view, so it’s apt that one of the most cutting-edge projects out there should fill the gap!More info can be found at the labs: http://labs.oiopublisher.com

(5) The move towards other platformsThis is aimed more at anyone connected to other blogging / CMS platforms (eg. drupal). I’m thinking of expanding into these platforms, by allowing developers from them to port, maintain and develop the plugin specifically for that particular CMS. The port would then be sold (each under a different subdomain of OIOpublisher) for the same price as the WordPress version, with the developer(s) keeping the bulk of the revenue.This way, we can more quickly expand into other platforms, without 1 small team being burdened with all the development and support issues at once. It should also serve to increase development speed, as developers come up with new features, and share them with other platform developers.If interested in this idea, please get in touch! Thanks,Simon PS. apologies if anyone received a duplicate of this email previously

 

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How To Write Better Online Copy:

Copywriting-orange.gif I wrote this article earlier today for one of the online article directories…and while I dont usually do this ( post these sorts of articles on my blog) I re-read this a few times and decided I liked it enough and might be useful to enough of you that it was worth sharing here.  I do get a lot of questions about copywriting courses, recommendations, etc – and I really recommend nothing other than striving for continous self improvement.   While I’ve never been much of a joiner (probably to my own detriment) and am trying to play well with others these days – I will tell you this.  Most of the copywriting courses, ebooks and other stuff that is being sold around the willowly web is absolute shit.  There are a couple things that I have seen hyped in the last week or so as the next big "must have" course, or video, etc – and the truth is you will be FAR better off ignoring it all and simply staying focused on your own learning process then being distracted by the hype.  If you really want to swim in the slimy sea of the VERY best direct response copywriters in the world – and want to save yourself $97 – $497 – $997 – or whatever the pompous price points many of these pointless putzes are charging for their stuff – go out and buy a NATIONAL ENQUIRER and read the whole thing top to bottom, cover to cover – week in and week out.  The folks who write – and sponsors who shell out the big bucks for this copy is a much angrier animal than the relative ce la vie world of low cost internet marketing mania.  For an 8 buck domain and a few days of time – I can fail plenty without too much worry online.  But if you are shitting out 50 large for a full page ad – well, lets just say your margin of error just shrunk a wee bit in case you put up a major league whiff. 


Blog Building Bonanza: A Boatload of Ways to Build a Better Blog

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(photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/anniemole/)

This is a great post on building a better blog – or at least, helping to monetize and expand the reach of the one that you currently have.  I am a HUGE believer in using blogs to drive traffic, engage readers and for me, provides a natural companion to my personal philosophy and style for monetizing my niches.  I write best in this format – enjoy it the most and find that I rarely spend any time whatsoever on static sites without some form of dynamic elements – ie – comments, polls, interactivity and so forth.  And obviously – as we head into the evolving future of social networking, web 2.0 technologies and more transparent online commerce models...surely this is the wave you want to bring your boogie board afloat.  Check this out below for a few solid and creative ideas to turn YOUR blog into a creative cash cow this year – it can be done, it ain’t tough, and the opportunities are endless.  You can read the whole post at the link below.  Enjoy!

It’s 2008 and you’re looking forward to growing your blog even more this year. You are eager to build a large readership and maybe even make a full-time income from blogging. You want greater influence and a stronger reputation. What you need is an expansion plan.Yesterday, I spent some time planning growth strategies for my blogs and noticed that all of these tactics had something in common.They all involved the idea of expanding the blog from a basic content publishing/opinion sharing platform to a full fledged media business.This includes the development of different publication mediums, interactive on-site communities and social media integration in order to transform the blog from a simple diary-like content stream to something more multi-faceted. With this in mind, I did some research on popular blogs and found that some shared certain similarities.While content remains the main draw for each of these blogs, they were doing much more than just providing articles for visitors to read. The value of each blog is increased through the inclusion of user-contributions, alternative content types as well as other factors like increased visitor interactivity/resources.

16 Effective Strategies to Expand Your Blog’s Reach in 2008

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Adventures in Article Marketing: Easy Ways to Amp Up Your OutPut!

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

Article Marketing Mania:  More Adventures in Free Traffic 

It kills me how many people I talk to overlook articles as a useful and skillful means by which to generate buzz, backlinks and big bucks from their online marketing efforts.  And I say this with no intended disrespect…but I have done a few free consultations with people over the last few weeks ( all of which I hope are/will be reading this) – via email and telephone – every one of these very nice folks acknowledged they weren’t making one prickly penny with any of their marketing machinations…yet every time I would recommend, urge, prod and just a slender shred short of PUSH them to simply write a few articles to pump up their promotional process – they would balk quicker than Roger Clemmens does at showing off that spot on his ass where he liked his decadurbolin shots on game day.  For you non baseball fans – it means they just said no ( not to the ‘roids – to the articles..:-)


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