26 October 2012

10 Ways To Monetise Twitter

Twitter amazes me.  Right now it is my favourite means of generating traffic to my blog.  But I have yet to monetize the situation, so I wanted to research the options.

The first thing you need is at least several hundred followers on Twitter, several thousand followers would be best.  I made a lot of mistakes getting my early Twitter followers on board.  If I were to do it again I would following 30 people a day every day.  After the first week I would start unfollowing 10 a day who are not following you back.  This would mean growing your Twitter followers by approximately 600 a month.  Obviously the fuel to make this all happen is content which needs to be tweeted about 5 times a day for the first month.  Retweeting content is always greatly appreciated by others (even the gurus) and is vital to growing followers.  When you are seen to engage your followers other will join in also.  All these things I have learned from experience
So, what are the options to monetising Twitter.
  1. Send tweets promoting Clickbank.  This seems to be the most popular, become an affiliate and promote products online..  Most marketers make the mistake of sending you directly to an affiliate site.  They do this with capturing your email details and without offering any useful content that might be of interest to keep the prospect coming back for more.  This in my opinion is just too untrustworthy.  There's no relationship.
  2. Send tweets promoting Amazon products.  Your tweet can include an Amazon affiliate link. If the item is of interest to your followers you will be paid a commission on the sale.  You also get paid commission on items bought by that customer within a certain time frame.  We all know how good Amazon are at recommending additional items for purchase based on what you have purchased in the past. 
  3. Send tweets promoting eBay products.  Not dissimilar to promoting Amazon products.
  4. Send tweets promoting big events.  If there is a speaking event related to your niche, your followers would want to know about it.  All speaking events will have an affiliate link from the promoters.  These are always big tickets items and worth considering.
  5. Offer to tweet for others.  Many companies outsource their social media.  Ask your colleagues if you can help out or offer your services through www.fiverr.com
  6. Get paid to tweets promotional messages and links.  This can be done through sites like www.twittad.com www.twtmob.com and www.sponsoredtweets.com
  7. Retweet to your account for other.  Yes, this can be done through sites such as www.retweet.it www.retweets.com and many others.
  8. Promote webinars via tweets.  This is something I have to look at more closely. Webinars need a high levels of traffic.  They are also places where people are ready to spend money. 
  9. Tweet links to your blog.  Your blog can then be monetised with Adsense.  A word of warning you need very high levels of traffic to make money from Adsense. 
  10. Use Twitter Search to identify someone with a problem.  Naturally you would be in a position to sell them a solution to their problem.
Want to share your favourite way of making money with Twitter or want to know more, please leave a comment below.  Thanks, Chris.

14 October 2012

Make Your Content Stick

I got a great reaction to my post "Content Creation"  so I was wondering how I could expand the subject matter.  I recently read the book "Made To Stick" by Chip & Dan Heath.  The book explores how to make ideas memorable or "sticky", a vital requirement in the blogoshere. Likewise any new software or eBook needs to be sticky to gain traction in the marketplace.

What Sticks?  Any idea that is understandable, memorable and effective in changing an audience's thoughts or behaviour.  Use the following checklist to ensure that your message sticks.

How To Get Sticky?  Chip and Stan came up with the anagram SUCCESs which consists of:
  • Simple. Focus on your core message and then share it using a concept that the audience already understands.  Don't argue ten points, concentrate on that one game changing point.  Prioritise your message.
  • Unexpected.  Use an unexpected perspective to get attention and hold the interest. Be counterintuitive to increase alertness and grab interest.  Aim for a "huh!" reaction.  Highlight the gap in your audiences knowledge and then fill it.  Offering to solve a major problem so big that people think unsolvable fits into this category.  Consider how you can break the routine or the pattern that your audience is used to.  This is where the idea of a purple cow comes to play.  A purple cow creates surprise and interest all in one.  Avoid common sense as this leads your audience back to their old thought pattern and your message is lost forever.
  • Concrete.  Help people understand and remember your message.  Technical jargon wont help here, but the use of familiar metaphors will.  Metaphors can explain a concept in terms of what we already know by giving a comparison.  Concreteness also ensures that your message means the same thing to everyone.  "World class customer service" only means one thing.  Your message becomes focused.
  • Credible.  Make it believable.  Don't quote statistics that cant be remembered.  Let your audience compare what you are saying against what they already know.  This gives massive weight to your message.  You sweep aside the non-believers and create evangelists who further spread your message. 
  • Emotional.  Make people care by allowing them to connect with their emotions.  Make them care by feeling something.  Again statistics will not cause an emotional response.  Its easier to get an emotional response when your message is targeted at one individual or a very particular group of individuals rather than the masses.  You can think of the critical emotional and work backwards looking at what you need to illustrate in order to invoke that emotion.
  • Stories.  Use stories to illustrate a path of action.  Stories create images in our minds which we can replicate.  People learn from stories and find them easy to remember and pass on, spreading your message.

I hope the above checklist will help you check your message for "stickiness".
If you have any questions or would like to know more please leave a comment below.

7 October 2012

"Make Money Online" - What Does This Mean?

You often see the words "Make Money Online" on various web pages or posts.  You ask yourself is this a con or is there a  push button method to making money online?  The following article intends to demystify the subject.

To make money online (or offline for that matter) you need two things, customers and something to sell. 

Finding potential customers on line is often referred to as "driving traffic".  Social media is an ideal method to drive traffic as it is free.   Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube can all be employed to direct traffic to your website or blog.  These methods have all been discussed in previous blog articles.  Its worth mentioning that these platforms can be used to reinforce one another well and that the mix of platforms you use forms your social media strategy (this is a subject in itself to be covered later).  Also never depend on only one social media platform to drive traffic for you, as the rules constantly change and this one source of traffic could easily be cut off.

Selling online has a number of labels.  It is typically referred to as internet marketing and also known as online marketing or social media marketing if social media is involved.  The only difference between "making money online from home" and  running a business online is the scale at which you do things.  This is basically down to the amount of time you invest and the number of customers you target.   When selling online products there are two options:
Affiliates, here you promote and sell other peoples products.  Commissions are typically in the 50%-70% range.  Naturally it makes sense to sell an affiliate product that you have used yourself and found useful if not invaluable.  The biggest affiliate sites are ClickBank and ClickSure but there are many others.  Affiliate marketing is a good place to start earning money online.  We will cover this in more detail later.
Sell your own products.  If you have expert knowledge of something you can productise it for sale online.  Typically this can be as simple as writing a Word document and converting it into a pdf.  The graphics of your virtual product will be vital to selling online.  Luckily there are many tools to handle this. Crafting your own eBook takes time and isn't for everyone.

Other methods of making money on line include:
Blogging If have an interest or expertise in a particular subject matter, start a blog about it.  You can monetise your blog using Google Adsense.  You can also drive traffic to other peoples products and be paid per customer that buyer or earn a commission.
Selling your articles on line as a copywriter.  This can be done through freelance sites or you could apply directly to larger blog sites that require guest writers.  You can write about the niches that you know or you can research a new topics altogether.  If you are known as an expert in your field, then people will be looking for people like you to write for them.  Writing sales copy is a highly paid branch of copy writing.
Get paid to take surveys.  Numerous companies pay ordinary people money to take surveys that give marketing companies a better overview of their marketplace and its customer.  I dont know anyone making a living from this, but it could supplement your income.  One such site is ecashopinions.com
Freelancing online through sites such as ODesk or eLance.  Here you can sign up as an independent freelancer for anything from data entry, web design or SEO.  Recommendations are key to getting work.
Virtual customer representatives call potential customers and answer customer queries.  Here you work for a call centre.  In today's world this can easily be done remotely, working from home.
Selling physical goods through marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.  This is where the on line world meets the offline world.

In conclusion making money online is a good way to supplement your weekly income.  The success of your online money making abilities will depend on your ability to learn.  So "learn to earn".  Many of the social media skills we cover will help you to do so.   Start part time and see where it takes you.

If you would like to know more or if you would like a particular topic covered, please leave a comment below.
Regards, Chris