It’s ALL Social Now

It has reached the point where it’s all ‘social media’ now. Pretty much anything you can update and annoy your friends with a few clicks of a button is now the new social media. Marketing is following this path and if you aren’t, well then I hope you enjoy standing in line waiting for your shot at wearing that snazzy blue vest with the smiley face on the back. ;)

It became a threat when people started spending their life playing games on Facebook and sending 140 character messages on Twitter for no other reason than they could. I admit, I was one of those. I saw FB as a gaming site where you sat around and killed people all day. I was a Mafia Wars addict but have taken the pledge and haven’t wacked anyone on FB for over 6 months :)

It became real when Facebook became the most visited website in the world unseating Google from the top spot it held for year. We all thought Google was out for world domination. We never saw that geeky Mark kid in the corner  just waiting for his shot. Now it’s approaching a BILLION people sitting in front of the screen looking at FB, Tweeting and shortly, playing with their new Circles. Old standbys like Digg, Stumble Upon and Tumblr appear headed for the nostalgia heap to take their place next to 8 tracks and newspapers.

So as much as I may or not agree that 140 char messages with hash tags have any real meaning in life, I will admit they and all the other new players do have a place, and a very large place, in anyone successful marketing plan.

For us it is NOT just Social Media it is SOCIAL MARKETING.

So with this in mind I added this category and will pop in with some of the latest and greatest social media ‘toys’ I run across.

If you have any doubt how much is happening and how fast, just peruse this infographic. All this happened in less time than it took you to read this far. You can click on it if your aging eyes can’t quite make out the letters and a larger version will appear.

60 Seconds - Things That Happen On Internet Every Sixty Seconds
Infographic by- Shanghai Web Designers

Those are some amazing figures and it will only grow. Younguns will carry their world around in their smartphone. Us ‘older’ relics of a bygone era will carry around our tablet because it has larger fonts :O

This blog is loaded with social media plugins and apps and more will be added.I will opine on the better ones when I find them and will especially be looking for those that make our jobs easier, faster, more efficient and most of all, PROFITABLE.

How to Choose a Niche

If you are looking to enter affiliate marketing and are choosing a niche in which to set your site up in then there are a few things that you should consider before you leap in and get writing.  Whilst eagerness to get going is an admirable trait (too many people spend all their time thinking rather than taking action) t is important that you direct your energies to get the most out of them.

 

A commonly heard piece of advice when choosing a niche is to ‘choose one that you love’ and this is good advice – if you hate the niche you are unlikely to keep going once your initial enthusiasm wears off.  But it is not the be all and end all.

 

So how then should you go about choosing a niche?

 

*  Choose a niche you enjoy.  Love might be a strong word but the niche is going to be something you will be working in day after day, so make sure it is something that you do enjoy.

*  Make sure it is something you know.  Or at the very least are happy to research.  You are (usually) going to be pitching yourself as an expert and if you don’t know what you are talking about you will get found out very quickly.

*  Is it profitable?  No point choosing a niche you love if you won’t make money.  Are there good affiliate marketing opportunities within the niche?  Are your readers also likely to be buyers?

*  Are there readers?  All well and good being an expert in ‘blue widgets that fly’ but if there is no one searching and reading about ‘blue widgets that fly’ you won’t sell any.

* Is there much competition?  Look at the keywords involved, what is the competition like?  If weak then it’s a green light! Go for it. You may be the trailblazer.

 

There are other aspects, but keep these main points considered when choosing a niche and you won’t go too far wrong when you are starting up a site in affiliate marketing.

Another thing to remember is that if you are one of the first in the niche, and you are successful, you will have many copycats in no time at all. Don’t get mad at them. It just means you made the right choice.

Affiliate Marketing Explained

Affiliate marketing gets a fair amount of hype as a way of making money on the Internet, and with good reason.  For many people with websites it can be the perfect way of making cash – very little overheads, and if they have the buyers then some very good money can be made.

 

So what is it?  How does it work as a business model?

 

The Affiliate Marketing Business Model

 

At it’s most simple you are simply saying ‘buy from them’ (and pointing a link at a seller) and, with use of special coding, anyone who does earns you a commission based on the sale.  The amount of the commission can vary, and is usually done as a percentage of the sale.

 

This makes it very different from other business models like Adsense (where you get paid per click), or lead generation – where you get paid for people entering some details.  With affiliate marketing you the need the people to buy the item.

 

The good news is that there is often some very good money to be made – if you are selling high ticket items then 10-15% can be a lot of money!  With electronic items such as ebooks the percentage can often be far greater, even as high as 50%!

 

For many website owners this business model is perfect as it allows them to leverage what they have (readers, often interested in a specific niche), and earn money from those readers without having to lay out the capital on buying stuck.

 

It also avoids associated costs such as mailing the item, storage space etc.  More importantly it avoids risk – with no initial investment into stock there is no worry about not selling it, you are simply making money on what is sold, not losing money on what isn’t sold.

 

While there is more money to be made in selling items directly this lack of investment and lack of risk is perfect for those that run many sites, blogs and forums as it allows the site to push hundreds of different lines if needs be, without ever being concerned about space issues, cash flow or capital expenditure.

 

It allows ‘real’ people to make money online.