Here’s an amazing video a friend sent me earlier this evening. Just blows your mind about the world we live in and the reality of Globalization & The Information Age…
“Blogging for bucks” is becoming a very popular option to earn a 2nd income these days, so as part of the upcoming release of my Blogging Traffic Secrets (BTS) DVD, I decided it would make good sense including information on the different ways you can earn money from your blogging efforts in BTS.
It started out to be a short 10-15 min video tutorial or introduction to the subject, but eventually it finished at 66 minutes (!) so the topic was a little more fleshed out than I had originally anticipated.
Anyway, I have decided to pre-release this video tutorial to you, before BTS hits the market, to get some feedback from the buying public. It’s not perfect (for example, the sound is a bit wierd the first 5-6 minutes, but then it clears up – but no worry, it’s still easy to listen to) and has not been through the final editing process, but it’s watchable and informative, so please enjoy and leave your feedback in the comments section of this post.
Free WordPress Video (66 mins)
Well, if you haven’t already heard the news, no doubt you’ll hear it VERY soon…
Amazon.com has just launched a new product of their own – something that is (IMO) set to revolutionise their business…
IF. . .
the market runs with it.
So, what is this new product and how will it revolutionise their business?
It’s called Kindle, and it’s an electronic wireless reading device – it looks like this:
So, in short, it’s essentially an electronic book.
Yeh yeh, I can hear you now, all grumbling and bitchin, saying that’s been done to death before and has NEVER taken off, and certainly never replaced paper books.
Well, I think this could be different, and here’s the reasons why:
- It’s lightweight and compact (not really any bigger than a book – at 10.3 ounces, it’s lighter & thinner than a typical paperback
- It’s battery powered and can last up to a week on 1 charge (if you’ve got the wireless feature turned off)
- The screen image quality is excellent, even outdoors and in non-ideal light
- It can read books, newspapers AND Blogs. There are already over 88,000 available, including 100 of 112 current New York Times Best Sellers.
- It holds over 200 titles (imagine carrying around 200 books or newspapers!). You can add an SD Memory card to expand its capacity, so that could be literally thousands of titles in 1 small portable device!
- It’s ultra-simple to use – no cables, computers or the dreaded syncing (think Windows CE PDAs here!) – even my mum could drive one of these!
- You can email your pictures & MS Word docs to Kindle for viewing at your leisure – handy if you’re on the run
- Perhaps most importantly, it’s made and backed by Amazon.com – a MASSIVELY successful company with core expertise in the sales & distribution of print media (and a pile of other things these days). They have the money, the resources and the expertise to make this work, as well as the market awareness and popularity.
Now, just based on the above list of features & benefits, you’d think that was a fairly good list of goodies on offer right?
Well, here’s the real killer feature. It’s WIRELESS!
And, here’s how that both benefits you (and me) when you get one:
- You can download all your ebooks, blog posts, newspapers & magazines via a wireless connection.
- Unlike WiFi, Kindle utilizes the same high-speed 3G data network (EVDO) as advanced cell phonesâ€”so you never have to locate a hotspot.
- No monthly wireless bills, service plans, or commitments – Amazon.com takes care of the wireless delivery so you can simply click, buy, and read (I’m guessing that’s only available in the USA for now?)
- If you buy a book, it’s delivered by wireless in less than a minute
- You can purchase a subscription to your favorite newspaper/s and have them automatically download every day (no paper waste – good for the environment!)
- More than 250 top blogs can be accessed daily, with updated sent to your kindle via wireless (the examples they give are: BoingBoing, Slashdot, TechCrunch, ESPN’s Bill Simmons, The Onion, Michelle Malkin, and The Huffington Post)
- It offers you free access to Wikipedia! Now, that could be useful when you need some piece of trivia or fact in a hurry and don’t have easy access to a PC connected to the net!
So, all great features as well, but if you look below the surface, here’s where it gets REALLY interesting.
At the moment, Amazon.com’s business model involves warehousing & shipping a HEAP of physical products that are relatively low-margin (books don’t earn much UNLESS they’re big sellers). There’s a huge overhead in staff, warehousing, computing infrastructure, shipping, etc etc etc.
All these items eat into Amazon’s bottom line, and (lets face it) it took them the best part of 5-10 years to get into the black. Now that they are, they want (and need) to move forward, and what better way of doing that than becoming the distribution point for most of the print media in the world.
When everyone (eventually) has their own Kindle (the price will have to come down first, cos they are selling them at $399 for now – too high to achieve high speed market penetration in my opinion, but I guarantee they’ll drop soon enough), and Amazon has control over the wireless network & e-commerce system that supplies Kindle owners with their content, they will be in a HUGE position of power amongst publishers.
In the same way as Google has almost taken over the online advertising world with their AdWords program, so too could Amazon.com take over the publishing (and distribution) world for books, newspapers, magazines, blog readers and so forth.
The best part, from Amazon’s point of view is that distribution of electronic content is DIRT CHEAP compared to warehousing, packing & shipping books, magazines and anything else in print that they currently sell.
The Internet Marketing world already totally understands that model – that’s why ebooks are so darn popular in the IM market place. Low-cost to product, low-low-low cost to store & distribute.
There’s not too many companies in this world today who are in a better position to make this work than Amazon.com – they’re already the acknowledged world leaders in online sales of books, plus they have made a huge dent in the online sales of many physical products (electronics, software, toys, clothes, jewellry, etc etc etc), so this was a logical first step for them to take in the new economy that is changing the world as we know it.
Imagine a world where every major newspaper in your country was sold & delivered electronically by Amazon?
Imagine where every major book publisher now sold most of their title electronically via Amazon (boy, this adds a whole new dimension to Chris Anderson’s Long Tail theory…)?
Imagine a world where most bloggers are now read (like the newspaper & magazine of old) on a portable reading device (yes, I know we can do that now, but I’m talking MAIN STREAM – where just about everybody can easily do this)?
And, behind the scenes, Amazon earns a sizable portion of the profits because THEY sell the content and THEY distribute content.
It’s a brilliant move for them…IF they can pull it off.
At the moment, I see a few potential roadblocks.
1) Price of the reader, and
2) Availability of their wireless network to many worldwide population centres.
I think, so far as the reader goes, it will quickly & steadily drop in price, until it’s one day either free with a subscription to a service (kind of like the mobile phone plans that we’re all used to. $x/month for 12/18/24 months, and we’ll throw in a free phone AND free calls/Text, etc) OR it will be dirt cheap (under $20-$30) BECAUSE it’s totally in Amazon’s best interests to get one of these little guys into the hands of as MANY people as possible!
The more people who own a Kindle, the more potential market they can reach with their products, and (obviously) the more profits they make from individual item sales & subscription sales. Plus, I predict that one day soon, you will be able to buy ANYTHING off Amazon’s site via a Kindle (or a future model). Makes total business sense to me. Heck, if I was Jeff Bezos, I’d damn well do it!
As for the wireless network issue…well, it’s really just a matter of time until Amazon comes up with deals with wireless carriers in each country they want to get into, and then it won’t be an issue. For now, it will likely be a problem if you live outside the USA (I sure wouldn’t buy one, living in isolated lil ol Australia ), but eventually they’ll reach market penetration such that they will go crazy.
Remember how slow the mobile phone was to take off, but once it hit critical mass, it went crazy. Heck, even school kids have their own mobile now – when I was a kid, they hadn’t even been invented!
I think that perhaps there is one other (lesser) issue that MIGHT cause a problem or two, and that’s the school of thought that paper is best. I know my little brother would NEVER consider using something like this – he LOVES his books, but at the end of the day, most people can & will see the obvious benefits of having such a tool, and eventually we ALL will have this, or something like this. It’s only a matter of time!
Ok, so now for some predictions:
You’ll be able to buy one of these guys on a payment plan, like a mobile phone (yes, mentioned above)
Bigger print content publishers will start bundling them with their products if the profit margin allows it (think of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal as a yearly subscription – get a Kindle for free! Get sales gimmick).
In light of the above prediction, Amazon will be pushing hard to get content producers and publishers to offer bundle deals to get the Kindle out there.
I can see where the Kindle could be potentially turned into a portable text device (ala SMS texting) – it has a keyboard and wireless access, so it’s not a big leap to imagine people writing messages and sending them to other Kindle users AND to email via the net.
I can also see the potential for downloading audio & video content onto a device like this. There’s a whole other market for Amazon to push into. Want to watch an episode of your favourite tv show? Just purchase it from Amazon for a low cost, download it to your kindle, and you’re off & running with it. Mind you, the screen will need to go to colour first, but it’s still a viable option.
I’m sure we’ll see a future model with a webcam built in, which means all sorts of other interesting options & functionality for the users (that might be when Amazon starts charging for access to their wireless network – when you want to pump significant data out of your device and onto their network!)
This device also has the very real potential to drive down the prices of paid content (books, newspapers, etc) due to it all becoming electronic & being distributed electronically. Of course, there’s no guarantee authors will earn more royalties, and publishers will have to change their business model fast or be swept away by the upcoming publishing revolution (a topic for another day), but at all times, Amazon will be getting their cut of the action! Pretty smart really. Can you spell M O N O P O L Y???
OK, well it’s 2.25 am here and I SHOULD have been in bed 2 hours ago, but I wanted to get this done. Now it’s over to you folks. Please post your comments below – let me know what other things I may have missed, whether you agree (or god forbid – disagree ) with my predictions, and where you see this product going. And, please (if you enjoyed reading this) vote for this article on sites like StumbleUpon, Sphinn, Digg, etc.
Well, on Saturday & Sunday just gone, the Red Bull Air Race spectacular rolled into my lil ol hometown of Perth, Western Australia for the 2nd time (I missed it last year, due to being out of town).
This time I made sure I went, and it was an awesome experience to see those “magnificent men in their flying machines!”
My plan was to actual go down to Langley Park on Saturday and see the planes & meet the pilots – they had an open hour (and a half) where you could get up & close with it all, and then on Sunday I planned to attend the actual race.
However, that’s not quite how it worked out, because my friend Michelle and I decided to take a drive over to South Perth and see what the parking would be like, in anticipation of a Sunday trip. I figured it wouldn’t be as crowded on the day of the trials as on the day of the final…
We found a spot to park, and walked for about 15-20 mins to get to the foreshore, where the whole darn shootin match was up and running.
Lots of people (although less than I expected), LOTS of portaloos (hi Kenny!), and the grandstands set up, as well as the outdoor giant screen TV.
Not long after we arrived, they started, so there I was with my video camera in hand, standing right near the shore, eagerly watching and filming it all.
To say it was exciting was an understatement!
While I have attended 3-4 air shows at the RAAF base in Pearce and seen F111′s, F-18s and all sorts of other aircraft in flight and on the tarmac, there was something extra-exciting about watching these guys throw their little planes around the Perth sky, just metres above the Swan River.
It sent goose bumps up and down my spine at times (and reminded me of my lost dream of being an airforce pilot as a boy) as they would shallow dive for the start line, and then whip around the 3 chicane pylons (called the “slalom gates”), and as for the half cuban eightÂ at the edge of the race course (I was closest to this point), it was very cool to watch, yet also frustrating when some of the pilots obviously went too high & wide, and lost time on the track heading to the next gate.
These guys are TOUGH! They have to withstand ultra high G forces (10G+ in some cases) and still stay conscious AND fly the course fast and accurately. Yes, the run is over in less than 1.5 minutes, but not many people out there (me included) could handle a 5 – 10 G turn in a plane flying at 300-400 kph! Kinda makes a lot of sports guys look like wimps!
As for the pilots themselves, I was barracking for Peter Besenyei – the grey ghost of the crew – the man Red Bull went to originally when they wanted help designing the air race concept and putting it all together. Unfortunately, on the final day, Pete bombed out and didn’t even make it into the final races on Sunday.
Really, the race was all about Bonhomme vs Mangold.
Paul Bonhomme went into this last race of the series on top of the ladder, with 2Â points clear of his rival, Mike Mangold. It was going to come down to which of these 2 guys performed best on the day, but Mangold was certainly in a difficult position, having to come from behind.
At the end of trials on Saturday, both men had made it through to the next day’s events, although neither were fastest on the day.
As for Sunday…
Well, Michelle & I got really BADLY sunburnt on Saturday, so neither of us was feeling up to going back out in the sun to watch the race, so we settled down on the sofa to watch the full race on the TV.
However, the best laid plans of mice and men, and all…
We had to leave soon after it started, to rush Michelle to the hospital for what we thought might have been a broken shoulder bone. Turns out she was lucky and it was “just” a badly sprained muscle, but the poor gal suffered for the rest of the day. I had to drug her up and put her to bed when we got back, cos she was in a lot of pain.
I ended up watching the rest of the day’s events on video (I recorded it when we left for the hospital), so I got to see the whole sad and sorry affair of Bonhomme vs Mangold play out to its disappointing conclusion.
In the end, Mike won the event, but not so much due to his great flying efforts, but more to do with Paul’s poor flying! BTW, no offence intended to Mike – I just wanted Paul to win. Mike has already won one RBAR series, so I thought it would be nice if someone else got a shot at it this year.
On the plus side, it was great to see Nicolas Ivanoff win the race, and Michael Goulian come 2nd. We met both guys on the Saturday and they were both nice guys – I was happy for them both. In addition, Nicolas was flying a Extra 300SR, so it was great to see aÂ different plane give the Edge 540s that almost all the rest of the pilots were flying a good kickin’.
It promises to open the whole affair up next season, when more pilots look like they’ll be looking outside the Edge for their new mount.
So, an exciting event all up. One I will DEFINITELY go to again, when they come back to Perth in 2008. Thanks HEAPS to Red bull for starting this – even though I absolutely loath and despise their drink,Â I totally appreciate them investing in this fun sport AND (even better) giving Perth an opportunity to host it.
To finish things off, here areÂ someÂ video clips to watch. I’ll post some of my videos later. Enjoy!
I just finished responding to a post on the Warrior Forum about Adsense, so I thought I would post it here as well, in case one of my readers gets some benefit from it.
The question asked was:
Is there a downside to having just one domain for a bunch of different niche sites for adsense revenue?I am building adsense niche sites, each with several content pages, and then submitting articles to directories for traffic. Sort of like Captain Tim Gorman does.
But I think he has a unique domain for each site he builds. Why not just have one domain for everything, with subdomains for each site?
Since traffic is going to be coming probably exclusively from article directories, it seems like one domain is all you’d need.
So for example, I’d have one domain: www.superdomain.com
And then for each niche I’d just add a subdomain like so:
Is there anything wrong with this?
Here’s my answer, especially after reading about 10-15 other replies, many of whom were complaining about how tough Google makes it for Adsense publishers, cancelling their accounts and so forth.
You can read the full post on the forum here: Google Adsense Question
So, here’s my response:
Interesting question… My opinion is that if you are only going to build sites with “several content pages” on a variety of different topics, that you would be better off going with individual domain names for each site.
That way, you can have the primary keyword of the site in the url itself. From an SEO point of view, that is definitely a benefit.
HOWEVER, I would encourage you to NOT build sites with just a few pages… That is a very short term thinking process when it comes to Adsense. In google’s eyes (more about them in a minute) its just a cheap’n'nasty site built just to earn income from Adsense (typically called MFA – Made For Adsense sites) and they don’t tend to like them.
You would achieve FARRRRR better results by building 1-2 bigger sites with as much unique content on them as possible, so that you target a broad range of keywords and ultimately draw in higher amounts of SE traffic.
I have 2 clients that have done this very thing, and when I added Adsense to their websites, their earnings went nuts in a very short period of time. One rose to over US$1000/month in her first month, and the other took several months longer, but has peaked at nearly $2000/month, with stable earnings over $1400/month.
I can guarantee you that if you build 20 sites with a few articles on each, you will NEVER earn that sort of money from them UNLESS you find some way to get HEAPS of dirt cheap or free traffic to them, and that will be tough unless you are willing to pay for it (PPC).
Now, to discuss the google issue…
I constantly see people complaining about their actions or living in fear of Google and their “supposed” arbitrary attitude to adsense site owners…
Folks, lets get one thing straight!
Google’s #1 PRIORITY (with adsense) is to protect the integrity of their advertising system & ensure that their advertisers (those people using the adwords system to put their ads out into the market place) do NOT get ripped off or scammed.
In Google’s eyes, a MFA site is nothing more than an annoyance to themselves AND their advertisers, especially if its a crappy quality site that truly offers NO value to visitors, except for the ad links there to be clicked on.
If google’s advertisers find that their ROI from using the content network to advertise (that’s what google calls the adsense network) is decreasing, or nose diving, then they will stop advertising using Adsense, which means google stops earning $$$ AND the adwords program gets a bad name with advertisers.
Think about it for 10 seconds, and forget about what YOU want (traffic, clicks & money) and you’ll immediately see that google MUST act to protect the integrity of their advertising system (after all, it’s their cash cow) AND they must protect their advertisers from people whose motives are less than pure, or their entire business model will stumble and fall rapidly, and they will fade into insignificance…
So, google is not being arbitrary about their rules to do with adsense sites, and nor are they out to “get you” … UNLESS you build crappy sites that offer no value to visitors and put their ads on them.
My two previously mentioned clients have large sites (well in excess of 100 unique pages), get lots of traffic (because they have lots of quality unique content) AND offer genuine value to the visitor WITHOUT adsense. They are google’s ideal sort of “client” when it comes to adsense, and hence they reward them for giving them (google) what they want, AND for offering an excellent site for their clients to advertise on.
Stop trying to nickel & dime your way to adsense riches. You won’t be the first to try, and certainly not the last, but all you will ultimately get for your troubles is grief & aggravation, and not much money at all…
Success with adsense comes from working WITHIN google’s rules & requirements, rather than trying to fight them. You could easily spend as much time building 1-2 larger, more helpful & high-value (to the visitor) sites as you could building 20 crappy sites, so why waste your time on the nickel & dime path, when it’s destined to never give you the results you want.
BTW: I know that tim gorman promotes this kind of method, but there’s lots going on in the background with Tim’s sites that you might not know about, and he’s not likely to divulge ALL of his secrets. PLUS, Tim builds his sites to be of genuine value to visitors, not just to fill electronic space so he can add adsense to them.
I just finished reading Jim Edwards new Article “Make Big Bucks With Real Surveys“, and in it, he tells the story of how he used to make lots of dumb mistakes!
“In a former life I believed in doing things the hard way and learning (or maybe not learning) from mistakes.”
In this article, Jim discusses surveys, and how powerful they are when it comes to giving your customers what they REALLY want, rather than letting your ego dictate what you “think” they want (but often find out you are wrong!).
Jim’s a fascinating guy in many respects (plus his mother & father are just lovely folks), but I think one thing I got really strongly from Jim was that he’s a no-nonsense “tell it like it is” kind of guy.
Down under, we’d say he’s a “no bullshit bloke”, but that would be rude, so I won’t say it!
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is simply that Jim’s advice is pretty damn solid. He’s got PLENTY of runs on the board, so far as creating financial success goes, so I’m inclined to follow his advice when it comes to Surveys.
One thing I have learned in my last 2 years of working at Australia’s top SEO firm is that too many people venturing into online businesses make the mistake of NOT surveying their customer base (or their future potential customer base) for what it is that they want.
They just get it in their mind that the market wants “x”, and then they invest lots of time & money into producing “x” and building a website to promote it, and so on & so forth, and then when it comes to them actually selling any of their product/s, they bomb BIG time!
I have seen clients spend 10s of THOUSANDS of dollars on this fools game, only to end up at the other end of the journey broke & devastated that it didn’t work. In all cases, they blamed the website or Google or something else, but in all cases I know for sure that it was because THEY failed to provide what the market really wanted.
I always encourage new clients to run a small Google AdWords campaign, just to test the market place & see what happens. After all, why not spend a few hundred dollars in testing BEFORE you waste $10,000 & 6-12 months of time, just to find out if you are wasting your time or not.
On the other hand, a small adwords test can sometimes show up where the holes in their idea are, and you can then move to fill the gaps and create a success after all.
It all depends on your mindset & willingness to be wrong AND whether your ego is getting in the road!
So, after you’ve read Jim’s article, why not set up your own customer survey. Find out where they’re at and what they do & don’t want, and then take things from there. You can use a survey tool such as this to achieve this, and drive some traffic with adwords.
If you want some help with setting up a basic adwords survey and using the survey tool I recommended, check my Adwords Management offering out and send me an email to discuss the details. I can put together something for as little as $220 + your adwords costs.
Well folks, 2 things to mention today:
1) Happy Birthday to my twin sister & myself! 42 today.
2) James Brausch answered my question about Interns as follows:
How do you actually get the RIGHT people to put their hands up to become an intern?
I donâ€™t.Â I have no pre-qualification for level 1 interns.Â The more the merrier.
Fair call. And, his answer makes more sense if you go and actually read the rest of the post with his answers to the other questions about Intern programs. You can find the post here:
And, he’s released a CD called “Intern Orientation“, which you can check out on his blog.
Lastly, congratulations to Jon Symons of the Art of Money blog, who won James $10,000 prize for his question about Intern Programs. I had a quick browse over his blog (it IS 10 mins to 1 am, so I think a quick browse is pretty good for this time of night! ) and he has some good stuff on it. I will check it out some more when I get a bit more time.
One of the few blogs I read regularly is that of James Brausch (of jamesbrausch.com). He’s totally blunt, with no tolerance for fools, but the man has got some gold nuggets of wisdom to share, not just about business but life in general.
On Fri, he posted a Question time question about Intern Programs, where you can ask anyÂ 1 question you like on the subject of running an Intern Program, and he’ll answer it, so it got me thinking, because that’s exactly what I have been thinking of doing for sometime now (starting an intern program )…
So, my question to James is this:
How do you actually get the RIGHT people to put their hands up to become an intern?
I’m sure you’ll get applicants if you offer something of value to anyone interested in what you teach, but at the end of the day, you want to attract quality applicants who will be worth your time AND who’ll get some genuine benefit from being in your program – hence the question about attracting the good folks…
I’ll let you know what his answer is when I have it.
ciao folks – hope you had a great weekend.
I was reading through a forum just earlier tonight, when a poster asked the question:
“If my website’s main goal is to get their name and email, then how should I use a sequenced email campaign to bring them on as customers?”
After spending quite some time preparing an answer, I decided it might be worthwhile posting that answer on here for anyone seeking some tips on setting up a successful email autoresponder sequence. Enjoy.