The other day I decided my travel guide blog, Mad About Madrid, would have to generate more revenue to justify the time and effort I spend finding and then writing information to it. Google AdWords is one revenue channel I have but this generates very little income, the same applies to Amazon. Therefore, I started thinking about paid adverts.
Having identified a list of organisations that would benefit from advertising on Mad About Madrid, I tested the water by sending a couple of eMails to their marketing departments enquiring if they would be interested in placing ads on the site. One company responded very quickly and said that it wasn’t their policy to pay for ‘banner adverts’ but they would pay me a percentage commission for every lead that resulted in a ‘sale.’
This got me thinking: The advertiser gets their brand flagged up on a number of Web sites, which can potentially generate thousands upon thousands of page impressions and they only pay a commission when someone purchases a product. In effect, the Web site is offering advertisers FREE advertising. Can you imagine these same companies asking newspapers and magazines to do the same?
That said, I will probably keep my Amazon adverts on this page as I believe that they do add value to the visitor experience and, you never know, some day someone may buy 50 Tom Peters books through this page!!
The rapid rise of web logs (blogs) over the past year has not gone unnoticed by companies, and especially by people involved in Marketing and PR. These people are now involved in developing their own blogs to talk up/add value to their own products and services and also using other people's blogs to promote or discuss them. However, not all companies have actually worked out how to use blogs effectively yet. Here are some articles that offer good advice and guidance for would-be business/PR bloggers:
Gadget blogs gain in popularity and corporate PR begins to take notice
In Post(er) Boy, Robert Scoble a blogger who works at Microsoft offers companies some tips on blogging that can help them succeed online.
James Horton has written a good paper - Marketing And Blogs: What Works - which contains this useful tip:
Successful marketing through blogs creates or enters a community of interest where readers are involved in the use and lifestyle of a product or service. Blogging sparks interactive communications using low-cost self-publishing and syndication of content. It is not a way to make money or shill products. Blogwriters who believe they can sell musings by subscription have been disappointed, and companies that have used blogs to sell overtly have so-far failed and generated protest.
Google's new Gmail
e-mail system looks like it has started to raise a few eyebrows and speculation about what the future may hold. The new system is currently being beta tested, though this is what the service is likely to offer:
Gmail is a free, search-based webmail service that includes 1,000 megabytes (1 gigabyte) of storage. The backbone of Gmail is a powerful Google search engine that quickly recalls any message an account owner has ever sent or received. That means there's no need to file messages in order to find them again.
Pamela Parker in her article Google Gets E-Mail in Clickz believes that Microsoft could soon have something else to worry about, apart from search engine rankings. She says:
The move pits Google even more strongly against Yahoo! and Microsoft, both of which offer extremely popular free e-mail services. It also more firmly establishes Google as a portal, rather than simply a search destination.
One issue that Pamela says creates privacy problems for the new service, is the ability to generate AdWords, like the main search engine, which are relevant to each message. In short, Google's technology will be able to read the content of a message and provide an ad based on this.
For another take on Gmail, have a look at Google's big opportunity on Seth Godin's blog. It raises some interesting thoughts, too.
As a way of celebrating 25 years of publishing, Inc.com will publish a brief profile of 25 of their favourite entrepreneurs every day during the month of April. The first article looks at Sergey Brin & Larry Page of Google.
Wow! Looking at Lori Richardson's weblog, Salesprocessdiva, I came across this link to the Marketing Sherpa website where you can download Marketing Wisdom 2004 - "99 best real-life stories and tips from marketing, advertising, and PR pros who reveal what they learned in 2003." Its a 49-page pdf document and is packed with great tips from real businesses with real marketing issues. A great read and what's more, it's free!
I have added some new details to my 'Tom Peters on the cheap' article regarding a FREE live seminar.
Tom Peters is the highest profile management ‘guru’ in the world. He commands huge appearance fees and watching him speak doesn’t come cheap, either – you may have to pay up to 500-600 smackeroonies. There is a cheaper way, though..
Tom on the cheap
1. Go to Tom’s Web site and download his presentation slides for FREE.
2. Carry out searches on the web for free Web seminars/webcasts or live presentations
3. Get someone else to pay for your ticket!
4. Tom Peters newsletters and observations
5. Download a free chapter from his book Re-Imagine
6. Participate in the Tom Peters discussion forum
7. Tom Peters seminar in Minneapolis on November 17th - prices $24. How much?????
8. Tom Peters Seminar in Toronto on November 19th - prices CAD $59
October 27th update: FREE online seminar for November 10th
Saturday morning and, like very morning, I get a number of letters asking me if I'd be interested in a new mortgage, a loan, health insurance and a multitude of other unnecessary offers. Up until a few months ago I used to stick them directly in the bin, that was until I heard the story of someone who got so fed up of receiving offers from companies, that they decided to use the prepaid envelope to send a brick back to the company, hoping that the offending company would pay the postage.
Now, I put all their marketing literature back into their pre-paid envelopes, letter and all, and make sure I strike out my name saying "Not Interested". It seems to do the trick and puts a smile on my face every time I do it!! I never asked them to send me this information, and waste natural resources doing so, but I can certainly help them pay for it.