What Paying Customers Reveal About Advertising Potential

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JohnChowDotCom/~3/vyCasw2DKkk/

Our collective online experience is funded by advertising. If it were not for its gigantic advertising network, Google would be able to operate. If it were not for the affiliate links, banner ads and sponsored content on many of your favorite websites and blogs, the content you enjoy reading would have never been written or created.

But as much as people might complain about advertising, as much as people may continue to use ad blockers to circumvent much of it, how many people are actually willing to open their wallets in order to avoid all this advertising? How much does it really hurt or irritate people to have to look at ads?

The Pain of Paying

It might surprise you to learn that very few people would be willing to spend any money at all in order to avoid all advertising whatsoever across the entirety of their online experience. This comes from the context of using a smartphone, but one survey revealed that only about 30% of people are willing to spend as little as a dollar a year to bypass all advertising.

creditcard

As you can imagine, a properly monetized website or app should be able to generate more than $3 for every 10 regular users over the course of an entire year. Even if this minority were willing to pay, you’d still make more money through advertising instead.

Big Bucks from a Small Group

Where a further curiosity arises is the fact that about 4.5% of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay a dollar a day to block all ads in all apps. If we take this at face value, it would mean that this very small cohort would effectively be contributing 80% of the total revenue. It’s the Pareto principle all over again.

When thinking about how you can make the most money from your blog, website, app, online service or any other means of making money online, what this all means is that you shouldn’t worry too much about what the average user thinks or is doing. You shouldn’t worry too much about appealing to the masses. What you should worry about is getting the attention (and money) from that top demographic.

This observation or trend becomes even more apparent when you look at the “freemium” model of many mobile apps and games. Through microtransactions of varying value, some 60% of the total revenue generated by mobile games using this model comes from just 0.23% of all players. Yes, that’s one-quarter of one percent. That’s one player out of every 400 bringing in more than half of the total revenue.

Finding just one more player like that is theoretically more valuable than getting another 799 other players. The challenge, of course, is figuring out how you can get that one more extra valuable player. That’s the million dollar question.

Focusing on the Right Numbers

In the context of blogging, this relates back to a lesson that John has put forth on several occasions. Yes, it is certainly wonderful when you can increase your traffic numbers. It sure feels great when you have more people reading your blog and that can help with publicity. But the fact of the matter is that if you want to make more money, it’s far easier to increase your eCPM (how much you earn per thousand visitors/users/pageviews) than it is to increase your raw traffic.

Going from earning $5 with 1000 readers to earning $10 with 1000 readers is remarkably easier than figuring out how to get 2000 readers instead. Most of the money will come from a smaller subset, so focus on what they want and how you can deliver it to them.

And yes, you can still make money if your readers start using ad blockers on you too.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

Day Two: How to Fill in the Details of Your Winning Piece of Content

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ProbloggerHelpingBloggersEarnMoney/~3/EwRQQV5iUUc/

A System for Easily Publishing Consistently Great Content - Pamela Wilson on ProBlogger.net

This is part three in a series on Content Marketing Strategies from Pamela Wilson of Big Brand System.

If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, Day 2 might be a good day to drink an extra cup. You’re going to write a lot today, so do whatever it takes to go into the day with your energy high.

Need to catch up on the rest of the 4 Day Content Creation System? Here are the previous posts: 

The first thing to do on Day 2 is to review the headline and subheads you wrote the day before. You’re seeing them with fresh eyes now — do they still make sense? Do they sound intriguing? Do you feel excited about writing what’s missing? (If so, that’s a good sign.)

If you see weaknesses in your basic structure, take some time to fix them before you start to write. Reinforce your structure so it’s strong enough to support the words you’re about to hang on it.

Once you’re happy with the headlines and subheads, it’s time to fill in the details.

Ready? Set? Write!

Write Your First Draft … Fast

I know this sounds ridiculous, but I want you to think of your Day 2 work like a race. And there’s a good reason for this.

On Day 2, your goal is to write the first draft of your article. This is a stage where you might get stuck: after all, writing a first draft feels like actually writing your content.

And it is, but I want you to keep it in perspective at this stage.

What you’re writing is a messy, junky first draft. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It won’t seem polished.

What it needs to be — by the end of Day 2 — is done.

Done is way more important than perfect at this stage. Remember: no one is going to see this except you.

So write, write, write. Do not go back and edit. Don’t attempt to polish and perfect what you’ve written. Write forward, not backward.

Day 2 Tips

Write your first sentence. My book contains a whole chapter on writing compelling first sentences. I know — overkill, right? But the first sentence is an important transition element that will pull your reader from your headline into your content, so don’t skimp on this handful of words.

Write your introduction section. Your introduction section is equally important. Your reader is making a decision about whether he or she should spend time reading the rest of your article. Your introduction section should sell the benefits they’ll gain from reading your content. Review the Introduction chapter for help with this section.

Fill in under your subheads. You’ve thought through your content structure and written compelling subheads. Now fill in a first-draft version of the text that will go beneath each subhead to explain the point you want to make. See the Main Copy chapter for guidance.

Write your summary. Wrap it all up with a summary that refers to your main points and shows your reader the journey they’ve taken. The Summary chapter will help you write this part.

Add a call to action. Remember, all content includes a call to action, even if all you do is ask for comments. Think through this important interaction and get more information about how to effectively write it in the Call to Action chapter.

Remember at this stage, don’t sweat the details.

Just get your thoughts down, and don’t edit anything. You have a full day reserved for editing, and you’ll do a better job editing if you leave some time between the writing stage and the editing stage anyway.

Whew! That was a lot of work in one day.

It’s time to walk away from your content. Once you’ve written your first draft, you can feel satisfied that you’ve gotten your thoughts down.

Do something else and get a good night’s rest because you’ll need fresh, rested eyes to do the next day’s work!

Pamela Wilson is a 30-year marketing veteran and is the author of Master Content Marketing: A Simple Strategy to Cure the Blank Page Blues and Attract a Profitable Audience. Find more from Pamela at Big Brand System.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

The post Day Two: How to Fill in the Details of Your Winning Piece of Content appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

If You Want To Read Much More Books To Largely Improve Your Life, Learn These 4 Tricks

Posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/rViYgWN9kGM/you-want-read-much-more-books-largely-improve-your-life-learn-these-4-tricks

4 Tricks to Reading More Books

Entertaining, informational, and sometimes even funny, books can be the catalyst that changes your life. You can stack them up by your bedside, carry them around in your backpack, but they won’t part their pertinent information until you actually open them and start reading. Some people spend hours engrossed in the pages of a book, while others dread opening one. Your life will not change until you do, and to get that useful information downloaded into your brain, here are 4 tips suggested by Writer, Patrick Allen at Lifehacker[1] to help ease your way through reading.

4 Tips to Help You Read Better and Read More

Not everyone has the luxury of 5 spare hours to dedicate to reading, but the good news is that there are ways around that problem. However, before you invest in a speed reading course, this is not one of them! There’s no magic pill to swallow or formula to make you read faster- in fact, studies[2] show that increased speed reading decreases comprehension, but there are other proven ways that can help you read more and read better.

1. Read in Intervals

When your book is fun or entertaining, it’s easy to read, but faced with a challenging text on understanding the stock market, the psychology of anything or the science of bees, keeping your focus on your book can prove to be an arduous task and your willpower breaks down fast. The trick is to read in 20-minute intervals and take 5-10 minute breaks between your reading sprints. Don’t sit and rest during these short breaks, but get up and move. It prevents you from falling asleep too if your book isn’t keeping you stimulated enough, and you have to face it, some books are just boring. Set a timer to help you stick to the intervals and be sure to remove all distractions.

Even the slightest distraction will draw you away from the page, so you must eliminate these temptations from the beginning. Turn off the television. Switch your phone to silent. Find a quiet place to read, far from everyone. A little corner of the library, outside under a tree, or a good place with bright lighting. If the noise around you is still too much, wear a pair of noise canceling headphones. But don’t make your little reading nook so comfortable that you are tempted to fall asleep!

2. Use Audio Books

Yes, audio books are not actual reading, but they still get the information from the page to the inside of your head.  Audio books make the perfect alternative for the busy person who is always on the move. You can listen to them when you are jogging, driving your car, doing yard work or cleaning the house. How does it work? You can download an audio book app to your device, or alternately access audio books through iBooks or Kindle app. Plug some earbuds in and fire it up. Not all books are available in audio format, so double check before you commit your book report if your plan is to exercise your way through the book.

3. Use Your Phone

People naturally scoop up their phones these days. Sometimes it’s the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you touch before going to bed at night. Make this habit work for you by downloading your book onto your phone. And instead of scrolling through your Facebook feed or checking your likes on Instagram, open up your book on your phone and read. You were going to have that phone in your hand anyway!

The beauty of reading on your phone is that you can adjust the font size and the brightness to better suit your eyes. Sometimes you can even change the font style to one that is easier to read. You can’t do that with a paperback!  However, some books may be difficult to find on your phone, like text books.

A great place to locate free classics is through Project Gutenberg[3], which offers over 53,000 free public domain books, which they have put into ebook format. Another often overlooked place to obtain ebooks from is through your local public library system. All you need is your library card since it’s free!

4. Don’t Read Word by Word in Your Head

A final note on reading. Now that you’ve gotten the ball rolling, if you find yourself mouthing the words or reading them in your head- stop. Believe it or not, this practice does not benefit you and actually slows down your reading because your brain is concentrating on pronouncing the words, rather than just reading them. How many times have you looked at a word, known exactly what it was, or what it means in context, but when pronouncing it out loud, you get flustered or stumble over the syllables? You can always keep a pen and paper handy and jot down those incomprehensible words to look up later, but save the pronunciation for your next Toastmasters’ speech and concentrate on the gist of the words rather than each word separately.

If you find it too much of a challenge not to mouth the words, give your mouth a job to do. Chew some gum or ice. Eat a snack.

These 4 easy tips to follow will help you tackle your reading list, even if you have to rake the leaves or rush to the store for a gallon of milk. There’s a wealth of information in books just waiting to be discovered. What are you waiting for? Improve your life today.

Featured photo credit: Makunin via pixabay.com

Reference

[1] Lifehacker: How to Read an Entire Book in a Single Day
[2] PsychologicalScience.org: So Much to Read, So Little Time
[3] Project Gutenberg: Free E-Books

function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery(“#footnote_references_container”).show(); jQuery(“#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button”).text(“-“); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery(“#footnote_references_container”).hide(); jQuery(“#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button”).text(“+”); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery(“#footnote_references_container”).is(“:hidden”)) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery(“#” + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery(‘html, body’).animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top – window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

The post If You Want To Read Much More Books To Largely Improve Your Life, Learn These 4 Tricks appeared first on Lifehack.

Next Time When You Eat An Orange, Check If This Interesting Trick Works

Posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/rH8KNbXPWIQ/next-time-when-you-eat-orange-check-this-interesting-trick-works

Neat little orange trick

Ever wondered if you can predict the number of slices before you cut an orange? Check out this neat little orange trick[1] to see how to do that! No x-ray vision needed.

Hold the orange in your hand and pull the stem out.

Now look at where you just removed the stem. There will be a circle of dots that branch out or protrude from the circle.

Count the number of dots. One dot equals one orange segment.

Count the protruding dots

Are there any dots that are not fully formed? Check to see if they stuck to the stem when you removed it. If so, these are the underdeveloped segments.

neat orange trick

How many dots did you count? Now you have your answer!

Neat little orange trick

Reference

function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery(“#footnote_references_container”).show(); jQuery(“#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button”).text(“-“); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery(“#footnote_references_container”).hide(); jQuery(“#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button”).text(“+”); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery(“#footnote_references_container”).is(“:hidden”)) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery(“#” + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery(‘html, body’).animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top – window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

The post Next Time When You Eat An Orange, Check If This Interesting Trick Works appeared first on Lifehack.

There're 3 Types Of People When It Comes To Making/Keeping Friends. Which One Are You?

Posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/pdW6QSFkbmM/therere-3-types-people-when-comes-makingkeeping-friends-which-one-are-you

Man is by nature, a social animal. We all have a primal need for companionship and want people to understand us as we are, and share things with. Loneliness breeds anxiety and depression and whenever someone we know is going through a break-up or is stuck in a rut, we advise them to ‘meet new people’. Yet most of our problems tend to centre on our relationships and the more we grow older, the fewer friends we seem to have.

If you’re wondering why your social circle has been thinning steadily, then you must realize the problem is with you and with not other people, and it’s completely in your power to turn the situation around for the better. The first thing you need to do is take a cold hard look at your life and figure out your nature, because when it comes to making/keeping friends, there are only[1] 3 types of people.

So Which One Are You?

1. The Independent

They make friends wherever they go, and tend to have more acquaintances than deep friendships. They usually are extroverted, confident and instantly likeable- the “social butterfly” kind- and look like they’re having a good time. People seem to want to spend time with them for they’re very easy to talk to, non-judgemental and have an understanding smile on their faces. But this has its drawbacks too- juggling work and a busy social life leaves no room for genuine heart to heart conversation and such people who have a lot of surface friendships tend to be pretty lonely on the inside. For instance, Jane Doe has thousands of Facebook friends and Instagram followers, and will always have someone to eat with and party with, but when her boyfriend broke up with her, she couldn’t seem to decide who to call.

2. The Discerning

They are very particular about the company they keep. They only have a few best friends they stay close with over the years, and they’ve actually put in a lot of effort to cultivate and maintain such a friendship. When a problem arises, they have people to fall back to. Although they may not look so social on the outside, they have a tight-knit community to turn to for help. But there are disadvantages as well. Life is extremely unpredictable and sometimes the friend may have to physically or mentally move away from you. Also, the deep investment means that the loss of one of those friends would be very very devastating. For example, John Smith has always been the quiet one, not very active on social media and usually seen hanging out with high school buddies Pat and Jesse. But Pat has recently moved away and Jesse died in a car accident and he has no one to turn to for solace.

3. The Acquisitive

These are the people who do their bit to stay in touch with their old friends, but also continue to make new ones as they move through the world. Thus they’re never alone for they have people to hang out with and make small talk and when trouble arises, they have best friends who’ll always be there for them. But being such a person takes time and effort, but once you get there, the rest of your life gets super easy for you. For instance, Rose Carter has always been an amiable person, who balances time spent on social media and real life very well. Her co-workers love her and she makes time for her old friends at least once a month. Her marriage is recently showing some kind of trouble, but she’s getting by pretty well for she has a very supportive community who always has her back.

As per the 2014 American Time Use Survey [2], those in the 20-24 age group spends the most time socializing- a number that steadily decreases with age. Meanwhile surveys[3] repeatedly the importance of having good friends in one’s personal happiness.

So Which Is The Recommended One?

The answer’s easy. Those who belong to the ‘acquisitive’ type, are the most flexible and have a pleasant life. So what can you do to be more acquisitive? Well firstly make three columns.

In the first one, make a list of people who truly matter to you, who agree with you on moral and ethical values and with those you can truly connect to. If no one comes to mind, think back to your school and college days. Once you have made the list, try to connect with them. Send them friend requests on Facebook or ask them out for lunch if they’re still close by. But don’t just stop there after the first meeting. Do follow-ups, surprise phone calls and send them birthday presents to make them realize you genuinely care for them.

In the second one, write down the names of acquaintances you meet everyday and get along with. Be grateful for them, and see if you can turn the surface friendships to something deeper.

And in the last column, write down the names of people you met briefly but would genuinely want to be friends with. Every time you meet someone new and like them, jot their names down. These are people who may become great friends in the future.

Finally, don’t forget to be a nice and friendly person. Be polite, empathetic and kind to all those you meet. Help people however and wherever you can and soon you’ll be living a life where you’re genuinely happy and have more genuine friends than you can count.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

Reference

function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery(“#footnote_references_container”).show(); jQuery(“#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button”).text(“-“); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery(“#footnote_references_container”).hide(); jQuery(“#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button”).text(“+”); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery(“#footnote_references_container”).is(“:hidden”)) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery(“#” + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery(‘html, body’).animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top – window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

The post There’re 3 Types Of People When It Comes To Making/Keeping Friends. Which One Are You? appeared first on Lifehack.

50 Quotes That Will Make You Much Wiser And Happier

Posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/qhG1ZTlvPo8/50-quotes-that-will-make-you-much-wiser-and-happier

The post 50 Quotes That Will Make You Much Wiser And Happier appeared first on Lifehack.

A Breakdown of the Links You Should Disavow

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JohnChowDotCom/~3/ICuNqV0LsHU/

Lately, Google has been making some serious changes to their algorithm and guidelines. With these changes comes the potential of losing rankings within the SERP’s if you’ve been caught off guard and haven’t been following the do’s and don’ts. To overcome the search changes, I’ve been writing content about Google Panda, Google Places, and the Disavow Tool. However, recently, I received an email from one of my readers, asking me for a detailed breakdown of the type of links he should focus on when using the disavow tool. When I sent him a link to the content I wrote on bad links and what to look for, he replied asking me for some more details. I decided to write this content to add to my series on Google algorithm. Next,

It makes complete sense why, for some people, it’s hard to find EXACTLY what types of links are bad for your profile. For example, some can be natural links, some unnatural, and others that have been suspected of spamming from the last update. The problem is, if you’re getting links from any of these types of websites, then you can see a sudden drop in your rankings. Let’s jump into the fundamentals of link classification and what to look for when going through your “links” in Google Webmaster Tools. I’ll breakdown the content into the following…

  • Natural links
  • Unnatural links
  • A spam domain

Let’s get started…

Natural links

Sometimes you’ll be put in a position where you’ll have to disavow a natural link because the website is NOT following the Google guidelines. These types of links are very tough to sort out because you have to know the Google guidelines to recognize a website NOT following the rules. For example, if you visit the Google Guidelines, they have a clear indication on what type of content is appropriate. For example, look under Design and Content Guidelines to get a better idea of what is acceptable by Google. It’s your job to go through the list of external links pointing to your website and visit each to distinguish which one of them are a valuable link. Here’s what I recommend,

Because this has to be done every several months, I would hire an auditor to go through the links for you. Depending on where you search, you’ll be able to find one from $50-$350/per session. The price will depend on how many links you’ll like them to go over, etc.

So, what are natural links…

  • Sites that are credible and been around for years.
  • High domain age, domain authority, and page authority
  • Unique high quality content
  • Frequently updated
  • Images that have been used after receiving permission. They have a resource links and it’s clear they give credit where deserved.
  • Sites with a large social media profile

You have to remember many of these websites provide users with natural links, but sometimes fall victim to NOT following Google’s general guidelines. I suggest knowing the rules and to go through your link profile roughly 2-3 per week.

Unnatural links

The difference between “natural” and “unnatural” is very clear cut, starting with the fact that unnatural links are built from websites with spun content or low quality content. Google has further outlined unnatural links to be from website hosting enormous duplicate or republished content. When skimming through your link-portfolio, it’s important to know how to identify unnatural links. First, you can start by visiting the website and scanning the content to check if it’s smooth and makes sense. Next, perform a quick site audit that can be done from advanced tools or simply copy & pasting content in Google and checking to see if it pops up anywhere else. Basically, unnatural links are from sites hosting content other than natural linking sites above. Unnatural linking websites are already not following the Google guidelines by duplicating content. Next,

Tiered link building and link wheels are all considered unnatural links because they come from blogs created from a single person to boost their own rankings within the SERP’s.

Spam Domain

After Google issues a manual penalty, there is a chance the blog may be suspended for NOT making the required changes. If the blog continues to not follow the guidelines and refuses to make changes, they’ll be banned. This means any link on the domain is NOT valuable and can hurt your rankings. It’s important to skim through the list and visit each website. If the site doesn’t appear and shows the following message: “This Account Has Been Suspended”, then you know they’ve been removed from the SERP’s. Next,

It’s recommended that a website showing a “suspended” message be removed completely from your profile. Instead of submitting individual pages to be disavowed, I’d recommend to submit the entire URL or root domain. Once Google updates the disavow status on under Webmaster Tools, they’ll remove the whole URL, which will eliminate the spam links pointing to your website.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

PB178: How to Get Products to Review on Your Blog

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ProbloggerHelpingBloggersEarnMoney/~3/GNBOYL-fUgY/problogger

Strategies to Get Products to Review on Your Blog

In today’s lesson, I want to share 7 strategies that I used to get products to review on my first ever commercial blog – a camera review blog.

It’s not always easy to get products to review in the early days of a blog when you perhaps don’t have a big profile so in this episode I rewind the clock to when I was just starting out and share how I did it.

So if you’d like to create more product reviews on your blog – this one is for you.

Listen to this episode in the player above or here on iTunes.

Further Resources on Writing Reviews



Full Transcript
Expand to view full transcript
Compress to smaller transcript view

Hey there! Welcome to episode 178 of the ProBlogger podcast!

My name’s Darren Rowse, and I’m the blogger behind ProBlogger.com, which is a blog, podcast, event, job board, and a series of eBooks all designed to help you as a blogger to start a blog, to create amazing content, and to grow your audience and hopefully make some money from your blog, too.

You can learn more about ProBlogger over at ProBlogger.com.

In today’s episode, I wanna share with you seven strategies that I used in the early days of my blogging to get products to review on my first commercial blog, which was a camera review blog. I know a lot of you as listeners do reviews on your blog from time to time. Some of you have blogs that are purely about reviewing products, but it’s not always easy to get those products to review.

In the early days of a blog, when you don’t have many readers perhaps and not have a big profile, it can be particularly hard to get those products. This is exactly the problem that I faced in my early days, and so today, I wanna give you seven strategies to get some products to review. Some of them are a little bit obvious, and some of them are quite creative and I hope will be helpful to you.

If you wanna create product reviews for your blog, this episode is for you. You can find the show notes, transcript, and some further reading over at ProBlogger.com/podcast/178.

Just before I start though, I also wanna make one other note. I have in the last couple of days changed our Facebook group’s name. It was previously a group that I’d called “The ProBlogger Challenge Group.” It was purely for sharing challenges for you as listeners, and I decided in the new year to broaden the group a little bit. Now it is called “The ProBlogger Podcast Listeners Group.”

If you do a search on Facebook for “ProBlogger Podcast Listeners,” you’ll find it, and we will be still doing some challenges. But I also wanted to open it up a little bit more to discussing each episode and maybe even making a challenge for each episode. If you’ve got any questions or tips that you wanna share with the group, you can do that there. Again, do a search for “ProBlogger Podcast Listeners” or click on the link in today’s show notes. That’s enough of the logistics. Let’s get into today’s show where we are going to talk about reviews.

The topic for today’s episode comes from Paul [Sutcliffe 0:02:40], who in a recent Facebook Live that I was doing asked me a question, which I answered in the Facebook Live, but then afterwards thought of a whole heap more that I could say on the topic. This is the question that he asked. He said, “How do people go about doing a good review of a product before you’re in a position to be having them sent to you by the product sellers? Do you spend your own money on them to start with or get info from other reviews and sources on the internet?”

This is a great topic. Actually as I was answering it on the Live, it made me think back to my own early days of blogging because I started out, as many of you know, with my first commercial blog being a review blog. It kinda started by accident one day, when I posted a little 300-word review of a camera that I was using. I didn’t really expect much from that particular post, but I learnt very quickly that reviews are fantastic.

People search for reviews on Google. One of the things that I learnt is that a lot of people are searching Google for advice on purchases that they’re making. We’ve all done it, and we perhaps don’t just do it on Google anymore. We perhaps do it on YouTube and other places as well, but people are searching for that type of information so it can be a great source of traffic. I know many bloggers, who have blogs on all kinds of topics, who occasionally write reviews and find that their reviews are their most popular posts.

People search for them. People find them useful. They’re grateful for them. I used to get emails from all kinds of people saying, “Thank you for the review that you wrote on this particular camera and that particular camera,” and they became readers – long term kind of readers because I gave them good advice. People remember where they get that type of advice, so it can be great for building credibility with your readers.

Reviews can be monetized as well, particularly through affiliate marketing if you are recommending a particular product and linking to where people could buy that product with an affiliate link. Those links do tend to convert quite well.

The other thing I love about reviews is they get conversations going as well. When you put your opinion of a product out there, you will find that other people will respond to that as well, either those who agree with your opinion or perhaps have a different opinion to you.

Reviews are great, but how do you get the products to review? It can be a challenge when you’re just starting out, particularly when you wanna do a lot of reviews. Now my first review came because I had a digital camera of my own. I bought it, and that’s probably the best place to start. I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a moment, but what happens when you run out of products that you own that you want to review. This is the challenge that I had in those early days. After I did that first review, how was I going to get another camera to review?

I guess, one source of review products can be the manufacturers themselves, but what if you don’t have a big profile? What I wanna share with you today is seven places that I would get cameras to review – seven different tips to getting cameras to review or products to review on your particular blog. This is how I did it.

Number one. The first place to start is with what you already have. The most obvious tip, so I’m not gonna spend a lot of time on this one. That first review I did was on my own camera, but that dried up very quick because I only had one digital camera.

That’s the first place to start. What do you already have or what are you about to buy that you could be reviewing? Every time I bought a new photography related piece of gear, I would review that, whether it be a lens or a flash or an SD card, a memory card, or something else. You’ve gotta get in the habit of really turning anything you have that’s related to your topic into a review. Number one: review what you already have.

Number two: borrow what you can from your friends or any other contacts that you have. I remember in those early days. Any time a friend would buy a new camera, I would say, “Hey! Could I use it for the weekend?” or “Could I use it for a day?” Write a review on that. It was amazing how many people, not only allowed me to do that, but they began to come to me with their new piece of photography gear because word got out that I was reviewing. A lot of my friends wanted to put the piece of equipment that they bought into my hands so that I could review it because they were interested in my opinion on it.

Borrow. Use your networks, whatever it might be. I actually was part of a camera club, a photography club, and that opened up all kinds of possibilities for camera and gear to review. Find any kind of club or group that might open up the possibilities there.

Number three – this is as my site began to grow, new opportunities for getting review units began to open up. One of the things that I did was to start to ask myself, “Where are the cameras that I wanna review?” The manufacturers at the time weren’t sending cameras out to online reviewers. This is back 2004 and 2005. They were sending them out to journalists. They were sending them out to other places, but not online, particularly bloggers.

I began asking, “Who does have the cameras that I wanna review?” One of the obvious places was camera stores. What I found is that when I would go into a camera store and introduce myself and say, “Hey, I’ve got this site that reviews cameras. Is there any way that I could borrow one of your cameras to review, if I could give you some profile?” What I found is that a lot of the camera stores were actually really interested in building their online profile. This is back in 2005, 2006. I suspect it’s even more so today.

I was amazed how many camera stores allowed me to take cameras away and review them. Sometimes they would give them to me for an afternoon or a couple of hours to run around the city and take photos with their cameras. They would keep my driver’s license or some other form of ID. As the relationships grew, they sometimes let me take them home overnight or for a weekend. In return for them giving me the camera to review, I would link to them in the review and say something like, “This camera was provided by Michael’s Camera Store, which is a Melbourne camera store.” I was able to give them some profile in return for them lending me a camera to review.

Who has the thing that you want to review? The answer may be a store. It may be a rental place. One of things I found is that there was actually a camera rental company in the US, who was willing to send review units to one of our writers a little bit later on. In return for us, again, linking to them and giving them some profile on our blog. We would always acknowledge that the review unit was provided to us by this particular lens rental company.

Who has the type of thing that you want to review? It may be that there’s a local library in your area that has that type of thing. I know here in Australia, a lot of local libraries don’t just have books; they also have DVDs. They sometimes even have toys, so if you’re reviewing toys, maybe there’s a library that has toys that you could borrow as well. There may be other organizations, particularly retailers.

Number four tip is to pitch the manufacturer or a distributer of the product that you’re reviewing. Whilst you might not think you’ve got a big profile, you’d be surprised how many manufacturers do actually have review units that you can review. Most of them probably aren’t gonna send you free stuff that you can keep forever, particularly if that product is high value. If you got low value products that you wanna review, you’ll find that they will give them to you at times, but many of them will lend them to you. This is what I found gradually over time. Manufacturers began to have review units available to bloggers and to online influencers. You’ll be amazed how many companies really are quite open to that, even if you don’t have a massive audience. If you’ve got the right audience for them, they will be open to that type of relationship.

I would be networking as much as you can with manufacturers. The way I did it in the early days was to go to trade shows – our local shows here in Australia for the photographic industry. At those shows, I was able to meet the manufacturers or their representatives. A lot of the time here in Australia was distributors who I was meeting. As I was able to share the story of my site and begin to get to know them, they began to become interested once they heard how much traffic we had and who was reading our site. They became interested in lending us cameras to review.

They never gave us them outright. I wanna make that really clear upfront. We never, ever were given a camera to review that we could keep. We always had them for a couple of weeks, but this certainly was one thing that began to happen more and more. We, even after a while, began to have manufacturers email us and say, “Could you review our products? We’ve got some review units.”

Pitch the manufacturers. The key is to not just talk about how many readers you’ve got, but talk about the type of readers you’ve got and show them that whilst you might not have a massive amount of readers that you’ve got the type of reader that they want to get their product in front of. A targeted audience can go a lot further than a big one. That’s number four.

There’s a few more. If that one doesn’t work for you, it may take a little bit of time to build those relationships.

Number five is consider buying the product that you want to review. I only did this a few times, and I only did it when it was either a really popular item that I knew there’d be a lot of demand for, people wanting information on. If there was a really hot, new camera coming out that I knew everyone wanted to know about, I would consider buying that product, and particularly when I thought I could make enough from the review, through affiliate links, to pay for it anyway. If I knew there was a hot, new camera coming out and I was pretty sure it was a really good camera, I would consider buying that and hope that I can make enough off the affiliate links or on a camera that I wanted anyway. That might be one option for you.

The other thing that I did do on a couple of occasions was to rent a camera. I already mentioned that there was a company who rented cameras out. Well, here in Australia, you can also rent cameras. This is significantly cheaper than buying it, but it meant that I could give it a go for a week. I was able to rent that camera for a week and then send it back again. There was some cost involved, but I was able to make that money back from the affiliate links.

Tip number five was to buy or rent the product that you want to review.

Number six. This is where you get a little bit more creative. What about asking someone else to write a review for you? I published many reviews from other people on my blog in the early days. There’s a variety of different types of people, who might be able to write a review for you. The most obvious one is other bloggers. The idea of a guest post didn’t really exist back in 2005, but people were doing it anyway.

One of the things I did was if I saw another blogger who did own a camera, whether they were a photography blogger or some other type of blogger, I would always email them and say, “Hey! I notice you’re using this particular camera. Would you mind writing 500 words on what you think about that particular camera?” It’s amazing how many other bloggers were more than willing to do that, particularly if you were to give them some exposure.

I remember there were a couple of friends who were hesitant to lend me their camera, as I talked about earlier, but on those occasions, a couple of them actually said they’d write something from their own perspective. They were decent writers, so I would do that.

Another one that worked really well for me was to approach a journalist. I saw in a Melbourne newspaper that there was a journalist, who was writing short reviews on cameras in a weekly supplement in one of our newspapers. I emailed him, and I said, “Hey, is there any way that we could use those reviews that were appearing in the newspaper on our blog?” He wasn’t allowed to do that, but he was able to rewrite them. What he did was when he was reviewing a camera for the newspaper, he would actually write two versions of it and send us one. We were able to do that in return for giving him some profile and giving the newspaper some profile as well. That went on for a couple of years. Couple of times a month, he would send us these reviews.

Maybe there’s someone else out there, who’s got the product in their hands that you want to review, that would review it for you.

Another option that you might want to think about is to interview someone about that product. You might find that they don’t want to write a blogpost for you, but they’re more than willing to talk to you about that product.

I came across one car blogger. He had a blog on exotic cars. It was very hard for him to get a car manufacturer to lend him a car to review, so he would go out and he would find people who owned these cars. He would take his camera out and interview them in person. In essence, what he was doing there was creating content that was that person’s opinion of the car that they bought. They were usually very positive opinions because people had invested significantly to get these cars, but it was really interesting content.

Maybe there’s a way that you could get that type of information from people who own it in some other way. There might be a variety of places. Some of the camera stores that I got to know actually started to write reviews for us as well, again, in return for us promoting the stores, the lens. A rental company that would sometimes lend us review units to review ended up writing their own reviews for us in return for it. Maybe there’s someone else out there who has the product that you want to appear on your site that will create that content for you – either you’re paying them or giving them something else in return. Who has that product in their hands that could lend you that product but could also create that content for you?

The last thing that I used to do – Paul kind of alluded to this in his question. I used to look at what other people were doing online and the reviews that they were creating online. I began to aggregate some of those reviews as well. If there was a camera that I could not get my hands on, but other people were writing about it, I would try and find a quote from those articles and link to those articles from my site.

This is what I would do in aggregating the review. I would write a post that was called “The Canon Powershot A60 (or whatever it might have been) Reviews.” That’s what I would title it, “reviews.” Then I would write a post that listed the camera features that had a picture of the camera – usually a picture from the camera manufacturer, and then I would write some of my own thoughts on the features: on how it looked, on who I thought that camera might suit, on features that might have been missing from it. There’s a lot that you can get from just looking at the features of a product.

Then underneath that, I would quote other reviews. I would only take ever one or two sentences from someone else’s review. It might have been another blogger or another site that I saw or even a newspaper article on a particular product. I would take a sentence or two, and I would make it very clear that it was a quote. I would always link, after that quote, to the source of the quote. It might have been something like DP Review, a digital camera review site. They often had the cameras in their hands the day a new camera was announced, because the camera manufacturers would send this site their cameras. It was very well known, so the day after they’d do their review, I would write this post that would list the features and then would take a quote from the review. Then I’d link to the source of that review.

What I ideally try and do is find two or three reviews on the camera. If it was the A60, I would go on a bit of a search on the web, and I might link to DP Review. I might link to another photography blogger. I might link to a newspaper that had also reviewed it as well. I would take quotes from all those reviews, linking to all of them, and then I would sum up the post with some of my own thoughts and would pick up some of the themes in those reviews.

I think it’s really important, when you are using other people’s content, to not use too much of that content. I did talk about this in episode 173, but it’s okay to use some of it. It’s okay to use snippets of it, as long as you’re very clearly identifying when you’re not writing that content yourself and always attributing to the source of that.

The other thing that you could do today – and this wasn’t really available to me to do back in 2005 – is to use embeddable reviews from YouTube particularly. There’s a lot of reviews of all kinds of products. Pretty much any product that you could think of – there’s a review of it on YouTube. Most of those YouTube creators are more than willing for you to embed their video on your site because it gives them more views, and it gives them more profile. Again, you wanna be really clear in doing that, that it’s not you, and give credit to who is giving that review.

Where possible, add your own thoughts to it. I think it’s really important to make the post your own in some way. Give it an introduction. Talk about your thoughts on the product and who it might be useful for, and then sum it up at the end.

Other people reviewing the products that you can’t get your hands on – can you aggregate that in some way for your audience?

I used to get emails from other bloggers, who I was taking the quotes from, and they would say, “Thank you so much for quoting my review. Thank you so much for the links.” They actually began to pitch us. Every time they would write a review, they would send us a link to it and say, “Hey! Could you do another one of your posts?”

Occasionally, you get someone who go, “Please don’t do that anymore,” but I would say that was probably once or twice in several years of doing it. Most people are more than willing for you to quote them, to link to them in that particular way. The key is to be really transparent about your source of the information, and create something that’s useful for your readers. They will really value that.

There’s seven tips that you might wanna use. If you can’t get those products that you want to review, firstly review your own stuff. Review stuff that you can borrow from your friends or from your network. Look for places that will let you borrow the products that you want to review – number three – particularly retailers or places that might rent out that particular product. Number four: pitch the manufacturers and distributors for review units. You might find, particularly if you show them your audience and who your audience is, that they’ll be willing to do that. Number five: buy the product. Consider doing that, particularly if you make enough money from the review to make it worthwhile. Number six: ask other people to review, write reviews, or create content for you, or interview them. Number seven: aggregate what other people are doing.

Hopefully somewhere in the midst of that, there’s some good advice for you, Paul, and for the others of you, who do want to do more reviews on your site. I’ve got some further reading for you on the topic of writing reviews and how to write amazing product reviews and product reviews that will serve your readers. Those I’m linking to in today’s show notes at ProBlogger.com/podcast/178, particularly on how to format those posts and how to make them extra useful – the type of review that people will really find useful but also will share with other people. You can find that over on the show notes.

Lastly, on the show notes, you can also add your own thoughts. How do you do reviews? How do you get those products that you review on your blog? I know a lot of bloggers almost get too many offers these days from PR agencies, who are trying to get reviews on your blog, but many times, those offers are un-particularly relevant and they sometimes can be low quality in terms of the products. You do need to be a bit careful about the type of reviews that you do accept for your blog, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this whole topic over again at ProBlogger.com/podcast/178.

Thanks for listening. I’ll chat with you in episode 179 next week!

Remember if you are interested in joining the ProBlogger Podcast Listeners Group, we do have a group over on Facebook. You might wanna turn this particular episode into a challenge. I do challenge you to do it.

Write a review on your blog this week, and go over to the Facebook group and share that review with us. I’ll set up a thread where you can do that, and I’d love to see what you come up with. Look forward to seeing your reviews over in the ProBlogger Facebook group.

How did you go with today’s episode?

Enjoy this podcast? Sign up to our ProBloggerPLUS newsletter to get notified of all new tutorials and podcasts below.

The post PB178: How to Get Products to Review on Your Blog appeared first on ProBlogger Podcast.

The Only 5 Tips You Need to Live a Better & Struggle-Free Life in 2017

Posted from http://addicted2success.com/life/the-only-5-tips-you-need-to-live-a-better-struggle-free-life-in-2017/

We all hope for a life free of struggles and challenges. And, even though we know our “ideal” life won’t actualize overnight, we stay strong and determined to make sure our life gets better as each new day unfolds. Sadly, we followed this path in 2016 but didn’t get the life we wished for.

Now, we’ve stepped into a new year. And to kick-start the year, we’ve thought of a few New Year’s resolutions and goals we would love to achieve. But, are resolutions just all we need to secure a better life this year? No, they aren’t.

Your life can be far better than how it was in 2016. However, you need a few tips to keep you on the right track.

Are you ready to live a better life this year? If yes, here are five essential tips to make this a reality:

1. Strengthen Your Relationships

Our life will be far from “complete” without those we care about around us. And there are no two ways about it, to live a better life in 2017, you’ll need the help of those you love–your friends and family. So, to start the year, make sure you strengthen your relationships.

Were you offended by some close friends last year? Then now is the best time to put your anger away and follow the path of love. Get close to your friends, spouse, children, parents, siblings, and other people you’re certain will make your life fun. Nothing greatly brings about an emotional peace other than seeing those you care about around you at all time.

“If you would be loved, love, and be loveable.” — Benjamin Franklin

2. Write It

You only know you are making a few improvements when you look into your diary and find a habit (or something else) you once lived with, but have dropped. Don’t keep it all in your brain. Get a notebook and write it.

Write out your mistakes, little achievements, and things you seem to struggle with. With this information on a book, it’d be much easier to track your progress, discover your mistakes and count your achievements.

Didn’t take journal writing seriously in 2016? Well, you must not fail to make it a priority this year. Your life can be way better than it was in previous years but, it won’t take a different shape if you fail to add importance to a few relevant practices–like journaling.

3. Be Thankful (Show Gratitude)

First, you need to be thankful for who you are and the life you’re living. You know why? Because you are far better than over a million people out there. Although you may not have secured the million-dollar deal you’ve long pursued, yet you still have enough money to pay the bills. That’s enough reason to be thankful!

Second, you have to show gratitude to those who deserves it. Got a favor from someone you least expected? Then show gratitude! Although you may not have received something “huge,” yet the fact here is you received something. So, be thankful.

4. Take a Goal at a Time

Most times, we make life difficult for ourselves. It’s impossible to break a habit, learn five new languages, travel around the world, and learn a few new dance steps in a week! Want to achieve your goals for the year? Then try to:

  • List out your goals
  • Craft an actionable plan (a plan you intend to follow to achieve each goal)
  • Pick the most relevant goal on your list
  • Challenge yourself to achieve that goal before a specific time

When you set realistic goals and focus on one at a time, it becomes possible to achieve them all.

“One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.” — Jack Penn

5. Make Reading a Habit

Hate reading books, magazines, and blog posts? Well, you aren’t aware of how much information you could be missing. Information is vital. And when you read, you discover a lot of new things and get exposed to several lesser-known facts about life.

Reading has made me make several right choices in the past. I vividly remember going through a useful resource for writers. Although I’ve been writing for a while, I never knew all laptops weren’t just “okay” for writers. But after going through the in-depth piece, I learned something new (and useful). And, because the information was timely, it helped me make a perfect choice.

Reading can help you make the right choices too. It can also help improve your life and make you a better person. So, to live your “dream” life this year, you’ve got to fall in love with reading.

Were you unable to live a fulfilled life in 2016? What are you going to do differently this year? Leave your thoughts below!