TE Advertising: Real World

Advertising Click ButtonOK.  It’s almost 3 weeks since I launched TrackeryMe and I have some data conclusions to share with you.

I did some (for me) significant advertising, and it was all carefully tracked at trck.me.  I got some surprises.

Make My Splash.

Rhonda Pizor.  There is no way to quantify the high quality work that Rhonda did for TrackeryMe, but the work she did on the site and the splash pages and banners are first rate, or better.  Rhonda has one problem, though.  She doesn’t charge enough for her work, and as such is always busy.  You need to get her started on your stuff right away, before she realizes just how valuable she is.

TimTech

Let’s be real.  I had (have) TimTech’s full support, and they supported my launch like crazy.  TT put more members in my site than every one else put together.  If you are considering a product it would be way worth it to do whatever you need to garner this support.  Even partial is a huge item, I’m telling you.

Advertising that Works

The 4 TimTech sites (Start X, I Love Hits, ThumbVu and Sweeva) did very well for me on the splash page advertising,  View rate is just better than everybody else, and the ‘click ratio’ was top notch.  Not quite the ‘best bang for the buck’, (I’ll get to that), but, compared to everybody else, the best numbers I got.  A startlingly high percentage of my signups came from TT sites.

TERL:  For me, Robert and TERL kicked butt.  I got a terrific sign up ratio in the first week, but it really took off when I had a sponsorship package at TERL.  It only costs $25 for the whole week and the exposure was stupendous for that money.  Unbelievable exposure.

I only had one site that was a complete disappointment:  Hit2Hit.  I’m not sure why, I have had very good results there in the past, and I will continue to advertise there, but TrackeryMe just didn’t go well there.

The rest of my splash page advertising was ‘ordinary’.  I could just about predict the numbers before I started.  Not a bad thing, but TT and TERL were very extraordinary.

Banners

OK.  I’ll admit, I’ve listened to Justin Ledvina talk about the economic viability of banner advertising, and I was skeptical.  No more.  Best bang for the buck in the whole campaign, hands down.  The cost of banner advertising is miniscule and the number of clicks per dollar spent is dumbfounding.  I am no longer a skeptic, I am a big supporter.

There is no doubt, Rhonda’s pro grade banners made a huge difference, but I got real good results all across the board with banners.  Notably TERL, Banner Monkey (what a blanket of banners they threw out for me) and NerdBux.  Yes NerdBux.  1,000,000 views for $17 and a very large number of clicks.

Banners work.  It’s that simple.

ALERT  ALERT

Sunny Suggs has done it again!  Everybody should be Blogging  will not only explain why you should, but what you should do to get going.  Another in a series of successful ‘how to’ sites, it is going to be epic.  It’s brand new (so new that the name might change:)) and promises to be a great resource for us all.

And in the End

Don’t tell me the TE industry is dead or dying or ailing.  The launch of TrackeyMe has proved differently.

I’m just sayin’

 

 

 

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Blog SEO

SEO Seach Engine OptimizationSEO

I thought about just putting up the title and leaving the whole page blank, because nobody knows exactly how to optimize a blog for Google. But, Google wouldn’t count that as usable content so I will soldier on.

History

I came into Internet Marketing on the opposite end of the innerweb from TELand, into the lap and clutches of the Internet Marketers (only 4 easy payments of $97.79) that generate all the DUSAP ad pages that we so love. The theory then (and now, so far as I know) was that great copy could sell anything and even decent copy could make you wealthy. That may have worked at one point in time, but all I got out of the experience was poorer and used up.

In those days there was a thriving market for keywords and Google search rankings. You could actually rank 1st page in a competitive market with nothing but a keyword listing. Pretty discouraging for a wanna be writer. I could write the very best page I have ever written and be outranked by a computer program that generated lists of words.

Then the great and wise Google decided to humanize their search results. Thousands of ‘blogs’ and keyword ranches and gibberish that ranked well went completely away in the algorithm change known as ‘Hummingbird’. Hope springs eternal and I started writing again.

Then came ‘Penguin’ and now ‘Panda’. Google has made three changes in three years to make writing and writers count again.

SEO for Blogs Today

Nobody knows exactly how to rank consistently on the first page of Google with the written word. We do know that Google is trying (and mainly succeeding) to make their search function more and more like our brain searches for stuff. They are trying to quantify content and the quality of writing.

What to Do?

Some will say “Don’t worry about SEO. Just write what you write and people will find you”

Some will say “SEO is more important now than it ever has been (they are probably selling an SEO service of some sort).”

I never, ever write to SEO. I don’t preconsider keywords, I don’t structure any of the body of my post with SEO in mind. I do choose my keyword and title very carefully, and do craft my meta description so that the key word appears in all three. I use Yost SEO plugin from WordPress to help me with this.

I put an image with an alt tag on every post. It is thought to improve rankings. Besides, a well chosen picture can certainly add to the post. I do use ‘tags’ on every post. If it is even remotely reasonable, I use outbound links in every post. This one doesn’t seem to qualify.

Google has brought writing back into the ranking game. It really is a pretty exciting time to be a purveyor of the written word.

I just looked over this post for the first time (first edit) I will promise you that the keyword for this post will be SEO. It only makes sense to me.

And in the End

I write for myself and my readers. Not for ANY search engine.

I’m just sayin’

Google is a registered trademark. I use it here specifically as ‘THE example of the world’s largest and arguably best search engine.

 

 

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Cal Ripken Jr. Shortstop Saturday

Cal Ripken Jr.Cal Ripken Jr.

Certainly one of the top 50 ever at shortstop, Ripken set and shattered the record for consecutive games played.  There is a lot to be said for perseverance, in any venue.

Cal Ripken Jr. is the poster boy for ‘show up every single day and do your best’.  The value of that mentality in business simply can’t be overemphasized.

Today’s Spreecast

My scheduled spreecast for today may not happen.  I am going to a huge motorcycle show in Phoenix, and can’t promise that I will be able to spreecast.  My plan is to take my laptop and share lunch at the show with you.  If I can get adequate wi-fi, if, if, if.  I hope it works and will see you at noon MST, 11 am PST and 2:00 pm EST.  See you there!

TE Live

Jon and Patrick have just been on a tear.  It’s at 4:00 pm every weekday at telive.com   A great place to learn and to meet and mingle with others in the business.  It is a must do for me every day.  News, gossip, scandal and very good training.  Come see!

PreLaunch

Is there a ‘master calendar for internet marketers??  Somewhere it says “January 15 is the correct time to start the Massive Pre Launch countdown?  There are at least 3 that have shown up in the last couple of days.  One of them promises to be “The biggest launch in the history of the internet”..I am skeptical.

Be very careful around these things.  For one thing, they are always very vague about what a program actually does (they haven’t finished it yet) except for the part where it is going to make you and me and everybody that signs up stupid rich.  Don’t hold your breath.

PTC Proliferation

I’m pretty sure we need more PTC sites.  We must, they are launching at the rate of better than one per day.  I can’t believe how fast they are coming.

One in three of these will fail in the first 3 months.  Another one in 3 won’t last to the end of the year.  It is pretty tempting to get in early and make some money, but the failure rate is enormous.  At the very least don’t invest much of your hard earned money into any of the ‘come latelys’.  With one or two notable exceptions.

Legacy Clix and DrClix  Both of these are run by teams that I personally know, like and trust.  I am involved in both, and both are making me a little money.  Not only that, their ad rates are good and provide productive views as an advertiser.  Both are winners that will be here for the long term.  My highest recommendation for the both.

And in the End

I could never play ball like Cal Ripken Jr., but I can run my business like him.  Show up every single day and give the very best I can.  Every day.

I’m just sayin’

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Authority Figure

AuthorityCop writing a ticket.  Authority.

Of course I have one in my life, I’m just not sure who it is. My Mommy, maybe. Probably as subject of another post, or more likely, subject of a therapist’s blog.

This is about being one, and why it is important to me and you.

You (and I) need to become an authority on something.

It’s NOT Just About Writing

Writing, of and by itself, is near worthless as a blogging medium. There are people that like nothing better than perfect prose and carefully crafted posts that flow like quicksilver from one point to the next. But that audience is very small and rarely buys anything.

Nope, we are looking for an audience, you and I. We want people to know, like and trust us so that they will not only read our witty and wonderful prose, but support us. And by extension, the products that we represent.

We want to be an authority on something.

Choose Your Spot

Let us suppose that you want to be an authority on flightless birds. You darned well better be one, or someone will chew you up in the comment section with the old Emu v Penguin argument, removing whatever authority you might have acquired.

But you could be an authority on the rescue of homeless, flightless birds. The audience reach would be very nearly the same, and your voice could be the voice of reason and authority in the rescue and sheltering of homeless, flightless birds.

In the Real World

The position of authority in the homeless, flightless bird category is already occupied by Patrick Griffin, the wonderful writer and blogger recently on the TimTech staff. No, you will want to cultivate and curate your authority in a product or service that is familiar and sellable.

Find a product that you are entirely comfortable with and learn everything there is to know about it. Find out new stuff about it (do your research). Then you can write about it, and answer questions about it, and “Lookit me Mom. I’m an authority”.

The Pitfalls

Bad product. You do not want your name and reputation and authority attached to a bad product. Because when people find that it is a bad product, your reputation and authority will be attached to it. Don’t be that guy.

BS. If you don’t know the answer, say so. Don’t make something up. Your honesty and reputation and authority will be questioned. Better to not know than to speculate, really.

Conclusion

Authority is necessary and fickle. It is firmly attached to your reputation and you need to protect both like your 12 year old daughter. Authority is only acquired over time, and you can completely destroy it in an instant. It needs to be fed and cared for every day.

And in the End

Authority. Don’t leave home without it!

I’m just sayin’

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Blogging and Writing

Writers and Bloggers

I Love BloggingJust recently there has been quite a lot of discussion in our corner of the world wide web about what constitutes good writing and what constitutes good blogging.

I maintain that they aren’t necessarily connected. They can be, but in the main are not.

Good Writing

You know one when you read just a little. Thier prose is tight and smooth, their grammar is perfect, as are punctuation and spelling. These are people that really know how to write, masters of their craft. Their sentences and phrases resonate around the inside of your skull. These are the truly gifted writers, the ones that can make the words mean say precisely what they wish.

Good Blogging

A good blogger makes you think. That is the primary focus of most blogs, to get the reader to focus on the idea and the solution offered by the blogger. At it’s very best, a blog is a touchstone for whatever community it serves. Like the general store of old, it’s a place for people to meet and converse for a time.

Improve your Writing

Lots of choices, from formal classes to blogs dedicated to the project. Steven King says that a poor writer can become competent or a good writer great by study and work. I maintain that reading always improves your writing.

Improve your Blogging

Get to know your community better, engage with as many people as you can. Think about what it is that affects your community.

Read all the blogs that you can, and remember which one(s) gave you pause. How did she do it? Why did she make you pause about that particular subject?

Note the difference between specialized and generalized blog posts. Both have their place, but not in the same post.

Let people know that you are there. You could write the best blog ever, until somebody finds it and reads it, you are just bleating at the wind.

And then What?

Publish. More often is typically better than less.

Stick to it. Do what ever you have to do to publish with regularity. Commit to it, persevere with it, and it will grow.

Have some fun with blogging. Otherwise, you’ll never last at it.

I’m just sayin’

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Shortstops II

Short Stops-Luis AparicioLuis Aparicio, shortstop

Yes, I’m doing it again.  I have several topics that need to be discussed, none of them seem to be able to support a whole post on their own.  So I’m going to call this action short stops for the foreseeable future. Each one will have a name with it, Luis Aparicio is today’s honoree.  Google him if you like. I hope my post is near as good.

For those of us not familiar with American Big League Baseball, shortstop (between 2nd and 3rd base) is arguably the premier position on any given team.

TrackeryMe

After 10 days, it’s time for an update.  Over 300 amazing members, it’s cooking right along.  We now have the CTP badges available (I screwed that up at the start) if you haven’t gotten yours, just log in to do so.  My impressions so far?  No matter what they say, it isn’t ‘set it and forget it’.  Not that I intend to forget the site, but it always seems there is something to do…

PTC Advertisements

Having your Santa Claus still up on your current advertisement does nothing to make me think that you are an involved, concerned owner.  At least it does say that you were here as far back as December and aren’t one of the 100 that have launched since then.

PTC Advertisements II

Hey!  I have an idea.  Let’s see if we can put 1000 banners on a single page!  We got 150 on our last page, I’m sure 1000 would be better!  If 100 people per day would click 1000 banners we would be driving a Mercedes tomorrow!  Let’s do it!!

TE Advertisements

Is Free Cash the biggest oxymoron ever?  Does it eclipse Military Intelligence?  Really? Free Cash?  Golly, I never knew there was a cost to cash.  Why would they go and make something so nice as cash cost money??  Jeeze.

DDoS Attacks

Oh, you are so wonderful.  You are just like the great and powerful Oz.  You are in command of the known Universe!

Not so much.  You are a dickhead of epic proportions.  No, not even that.  Your proportions are actually quite small, not visible to the naked eye.  DDoS (Dedicated Denial of Service) is simply cowardly bullshit.  COWARDLY.

Anniversary

I posted my first blog post on this website January 17, 2013.  Since then I have posted 119 here, 35 for Bill’s badge hunt, 17 for Spooktacular, 4 for Justin Ledvina and one for Scott Wright, the Sports Nerd.  176 blog posts in one year.  I’ll take that.  Thanks for sticking with me!

TE Live

Jon Olson and Patrick Griffith and company have been rocking it this week.  It’s every weekday at 4:00 pm EST.  This link is working again, or you can find it through Spreecast.  I suggest that you subscribe so that you get an email reminder (with link) when it starts!

Anyway, there has been mention of motivational quotes, and the posting of them in your environment.  I thought I’d end this with my favorite motivational quote, I hear it, in my own voice every single morning.

“Get up!  GET UP YOU LAZY BUM!  Somebody else is already up and working!”

I’m just sayin’

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Crush the Peak, Survive the Valley

The Peak is GreatUpward Trend Line

Ok.  So it’s pretty well known that I am riding a huge peak in my career right now.  Since the first of the year, I’ve been Emperor of TimTech and launched TrackeryMe.  All I have to do is keep it going, right??

Thrive on Top

I want to do everything.  Right now.  Everything I touch is good right now.  It’s a wonderful thing, and I am really enjoying it.  But guess what?  It won’t last.

Nobody has a nice smooth graph line in their business.  There are always peaks and valleys, the secret is to keep the trend line rising..

I will do everything in my power to extend the peak that I am on.  I’ll do the things I do every day plus I will make sure that all the little things are done also.  I will try to flatten the top of this peak, and knock the rubble down in front of me to make a plateau.  I’ll answer every email, every skype every tweet.

Survive the Lows

I know it’s going to change, I know this run will get less rosy.  I have real hopes that I can keep this valley above the trend line, changing the line to a little more up…

But the secret, the deep secret of this or any other business is to survive and even to thrive in the low spots.  How do you do that?  Hard work.

It takes grinding hard work to thrive when the tide is against you.  Everyday, every day. Grind it out, do what needs doing, and at least one more thing.  Take the extra couple of minutes to help somebody, offer a hand to a person just getting started.  Grind.  Survive, Thrive.

The Result

By grinding out the lows, the result is longer peaks.  The preparation you do in the valley means more time at the top.  It really does work that way.

I’d love to have a nice smooth graph line for my business.  I’ll settle for survive and thrive in the valleys so that I can kick it real hard on the peaks.

And in the End

I know, I KNOW that the peak I’m standing on right now is a direct result of the grinding I did in the last valley.

I’m just sayin’

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Blog On, Garth

blog and reasons to blogBlog

I get it.  It’s January.  New Year’s resolutions are in full force.  Millions of people are losing weight, drinking less, have stopped smoking, are writing a blog.

Why?  It’s easy.  Because we should.  Lose weight (for the record, I started AGAIN in November), drink less, stop smoking (ah, but the cigars are nowhere near as tasty unlit) write a blog.

Why Blog

For those of us new to the industry, it is the absolutely premium way to get our names and faces out to the public.  Good content, written on a regular basis, and published in a clean and legible package will get people to notice you, get them interested in you.  It is an absolutely proven method to being noticed and trusted.  And anybody can do it.

It’s not the overnight means to success.  In order to succeed in the ‘blogoshpere’ you need to be ready to persevere.  You will write great posts that don’t get a single comment.  Your subscriber list will grow at an agonizingly slow pace.  It is the way of the world.  Seth Godin didn’t start out with 5,000,000 subscribers, he started out with one.  You will too.

Maximize your Return

There are some things the new blogger can do to accelerate her presence on the net.

Advertise.  I use my whole blog as an advertising page, casual readers can simply click on the ‘ad’ to read my blog without going to my webpage.  I also have an incredibly clever series of splash pages which say simply “Tom Wacker’s Blog Rocks”  with a subscription form.  Both work.  The point is, self promotion is needed in this business.

Let people know that you have published a new post.  THIS is the right way to promote using Twitter, Facebook, Google +, etc.  Simple, short messages to your friends, followers and associates are incredibly effective.  Those (free) tools are laying there for the taking, just use them wisely and judiciously.

Be visible.

Post good appropriate comments on other blogs.  Nothing, I mean nothing will get the attention of a fellow blogger like a thoughtful comment on his blog.

Hang out.  I love TELive, the 1 hour show that comes from TimTech at 4:00 pm EST every weekday.  Comment in chat, participate, and when Jon Olson asks, be ready with the link to your blog.  It doesn’t happen every day, not even every week, but those are some people to expose yourself to.  There are other shows.  Legacy holds forth every day.  Heck, my weekly spreecast welcomes blog links.  Bring them!

Volunteer.  If you hear ‘somebody ought to write about this’ or ‘somebody ought to do this’ or ‘somebody needs to __________’  pay attention.  Then do it.  I simply can not overestimate the effect of saying ‘yes, I will blog every day about the badge hunt’.  That exposure was absolutely priceless to me.

Stay with It

I like to publish on a set schedule (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday).  I do publish more than 3 per week, some ‘guest posts’, some specials.  But I always publish 3 times.

I have some friends, successful people all, that are talented writers.  They publish irregularly, when they have something special to say.  I really, really wish they would write more.  But they are successful at it doing it their way, so I just wait eagerly for the next installment.  I don’t recommend that path, but I respect it.

READ

Read every blog you can, every day.  It is a great source of material and ‘I like the way she did that’.  Plus it will make you a better writer.  The more you read, the better you write. Simple fact.

There are a whole bunch of exciting new blogs and bloggers in the industry right now.  It is a very good time for blogging in TELand.

Here is a list of new blogs that I am excited about.  I’m sure I have missed some, please, please put your ‘new favorites’ or your blog in the comments section.

Kris Rogers

Carl Davis

Richard Arblaster

Scott Rohn

Paul Vassell 

And in the End

Longest post ever published for me, and it could have gone on.  I’d guess you could say I am passionate about blogging!

I’m just sayin’

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Predict 2014

I PredictIsaac Asimov's Crystal Ball

The idea of ‘what is coming for the year’ actually came from an editorial written by Isaac Asimov in 1964 for the occasion of the New York World’s Fair, and what the condition of the world would be in 50 years, 2014.  Brian Clark of Copyblogger posted it yesterday, you can read it here.

I’m not going to try anything on the scope and scale of Asimov’s column.  I am going to make some predictions, and hope I am as close for one year as he was for 50.

Traffic Exchanges

I predict there will be at least 200 new Traffic Exchanges launched in 2014.  That’s the easy part.

I predict that roughly 300 will fade out or fade into insignificance in 2014.  That would be many from 2013 and a few hangers on from 2012 and before.  I predict that one or two that are launched in 2014 will have a real impact in 2015.  Yes, I predict that 1% will actually succeed at some level.

It’s a tough, competitive market, and most people don’t plan through, they just plan the launch and the money rolling in.  It really doesn’t work that way.  It takes grinding hard work and long term commitment combined with a sound business plan to even have a chance.

Safelist/Mailers

I simply can not imagine that there will be as many mailers launched in 2014 as there were in 2013, but I predict that there will be.  Even more than the TE market, it really does take something unique to succeed with a mailer, and most haven’t a clue.  I do not see the business model succeeding at most any level.  The end is that the same people are mailing the same ads to the same people over and over and over again.  How does the industry not have a contraction?

That said, there were at least 4 mailers launched in 2013 that did succeed, that are succeeding, that will succeed.  A staggering large number of maybe 2%.

TimTech is at least partly responsible for the proliferation.  Their ListNerds, launched in April, is wildly successful under any standards, and in many ways sets the bar for the modern mailer.  They made it look so easy that many have tried to duplicate the process….

PTCs

I see no slowdown in the launches in this market, either.  I predict that they will continue at the current pace for at least the first quarter of 2014.  I also predict an explosive correction in this market during 2014.  I think the market is saturated, or even worse, artificially high. I’m guessing that a few will fail (that were doomed from the start) and people will lose some money earned.  That could (I think will) cause a massive pull out of earned funds all over the market, and I think that even some large players will not survive.  Harsh words, and a harsh prediction, but I’ll stand by it.  Time will tell.

The Outlook

I realize that this whole post has a negative tone to it.  Am I discouraged about the prospects for 2014?  Not at all.  In fact, I think the industry is robust and growing, what I see is growing pains caused by too much expansion with too little thought and planning expended.  I am very much optimistic about the market and the chances for you and me to make some money from it this year.

The Key

I think the key for 2014 and beyond is to excel.  Make your product better than everybody elses, work harder, stay longer and you and I will succeed.  It simply takes work, commitment and planning.

And in the End

I’m really looking forward to 2014 with eager anticipation.  Bring it on!

I’m just sayin’

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Emperor Chronicles VI

The Emperor Chronicles

or   My Private Journey to the Pinnacle of the Business World.

Well, for better or worse, it happened.  I won the contest to be the CEO of TimTech.

For the next week, I will write my impressions and thoughts about the process right here.  My regular blog will resume Saturday, January 11th.

Farewell Cruel World

Well, it has happened.  Your beloved Emperor has been tossed like a sack of garbage into the great dumpster of TE Land.  The king is dead, long live the king.

At least in my case, the distance and time between the peak and the valley is not very long.  I was the emperor until midnight last night.

It was a glorious three days, wasn’t it?  Two big credit deals, and a fixed ad special at NB for the common folk.  I never did get around to the raises and vacations for the TimTech staff, maybe next time…

I really was allowed startling access to the day to day internal workings of TimTech.  It’s remarkable, really how that whole group meshes together.  Everybody knows their job and goes at it tooth and nail.

Big projects and small come and go with suddenness. I was in on part of the discussion of three major projects that might or might not happen, they are in ‘exploratory’ stage.  And no I’m not telling…But the creative process and ability is remarkable..  I’ll do this, you do that and we’ll go from there.  And do.

Having been on the inside, I now know why TT is the 800# gorilla in the TE industry, and I’m going to spill the secret so that all of us can do the same.

  • They work.  Hard.
  • They take action.  Each and every one of them.
  • They persevere.  Do they ever.
  • They don’t fear failure.  They embrace it.

 So there you go.  The well kept TimTech secret formula is now out in the open.  Feel free to use it to your best advantage.

I learned a lot in my tenure as Emperor.  I had a lot of fun.  I kept the one promise I made to Jon before we started.  “I don’t hate TimTech”.

I’m just sayin’

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