November 16, 2010

Update - Social Spark; online earnings confirmed & paid out...just as they promised!

Although I've been slacking in the blogging department due to life changes, I've been blogging for awhile now and still love the big picture though, I'm not able to afford a flight to the moon as of yet! But, my end goal of financial freedom with online earnings is still believable and achievable which are two keys to success (in my opinion).

Here's a quick update for those online income earners, like bloggers, webmasters and the like...Social Spark is a great way to earn extra income but most importantly they pay instantly, upon request! Yes, there is a payout thresh hold but in no time, you'll reach that mark and be able to accept your first payout...which in the end is really important, don'tcha think lol?! 
There is no referral link for them or of course I'd put it here to me along with my earnings so consider this advice another freebie from me to you, cheers!! 

September 21, 2010

Would you become a walking Billboard? - Tattoo Advertising

Sporting a tattoo in the 'not so new millenium' isn't really unique anymore but, having a solid, block lettered billboard tattoo across your forehead sure is! ...seems like a huge price to pay for cold, hard cash...doesn't it?

The lady below known as Kari Smith, sold her precious skin space as ad space for $10,000 dollars to the Golden Palace. They achieved strides with a Guerilla Marketing technique that still brings them advertising bang for their buck. While she earns some money to better her sons education, a win win! Although, she's now committed to being a walking, talking, living, breathing advertisment for life!!

Or the guy shown below, who either forgot his spectacles or received some extra dough ;) ...'cause he's now the proud owner of a Hello Kitty tattoo upon his charming, mystical? forehead. I wonder if he thought it was a skull, lol?

Would you tattoo a web address, logo, symbol or brand name on your body? And if so, for how much?

Learn more about Guerrilla Marketing here (a previous post) or view some other tattoo blunders n' wonders over on my What wrinkles? blog.

Give yourself a Boost with Boost Mobile! - Review your Mobility options...

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boost Mobile. All opinions are 100% mine.

So, I'm out on a mid-week drive on isolated back roads between town A and town B and you guessed it, no cell phone reception! When I and my phone finally locate service, it was subject to long distance fees and roaming charges...hmmm, great service? I think not, which is why I'm intrigued by the flexibility of Boost Mobile.

Boost Mobile offers no roaming charges and no local calling area with a fully functional, unlimited, flat rate service plan and no contract! Perfect for chronic 24/7 users, those social media butterflies, that text, email and blurp updates incessantly on Twitter and Facebook...imagine unlimited connectivity... ;)  If I wasn't locked in, I confess, I'd be all over Boost!

Unlimited features seem to be the name of the game with Boost Mobile too, and that even includes their Blackberry Curve Smart Phones and the new Motorola i1 phone with touch screen (powered by Android) that has a national Walkie-Talkie feature and video camera capabilities. Plus you can shop Boost Mobile online or in-store. They offer an array of accessories and customizable options and extras from headsets to chargers, ringtones, games and apps that enable you to travel, get the latest news and even flirt with your latest cutest...

...and you can simply Re-Boost with a worry free, automatic payment plan that enables you to pay securely with a debit or credit card online, on the phone or in person...and activate as easy as 1-2-3!!

Visit my sponsor: Reboost

September 2, 2010

Humour in Advertising - Ally Bank's marketing tactics make me laugh!

Here's another marketing campaign that has me giggling from Ally Bank, formally GMAC. This financial institution uses humour, honesty and children to 'attract' customers to their financial resources. Some say (based on YouTube comments) that it exploits or encourages verbal taunting or teasing but, I don't see it that way. I see them using a humouristic yet realistic twist that actually makes me laugh!?!...Is that wrong?

Check out the three videos posted below and you'll see what I mean (or not ;) These Ally commercials show how we, as consumers, get ripped off by companies because we don't pay attention, we're not asking the right questions and are simply put, arrogant! Ally's ads reassures us with humour that they would never do such a thing to their clients and the kids that Ally Bank's marketing department have chosen (as actors and actresses) are simply priceless. So, while there is humour the morale of the story or ad, is loud and clear without being boring and serious which in my opinion is what makes it a success.      

Note: Always read the fine print ;) ...and, remember that in real life, it's just plain wrong to take advantage of someone's innocence or lack of knowledge, regardless of their age!...and, even though these marketing campaigns depict such happenings it also exposes them which leads you to believe they are an honest establishment, doesn't it?

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment, thanks and have an awesome day!

August 21, 2010

14 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Terms

Search Engine Optimization

1. Back Link - A back link is a link that points back to the a web page, also known as IBL's (inbound links). They can be placed almost anywhere such as a blog, forum, social media platform like Facebook or Twitter and if placed carefully, as a published comment.

2. Cloaking - Cloaking involves delivering a page to the search engine spider that is different from what the human visitor sees. Cloaking is a violation of the Terms Of Service (TOS).

3. Conversion - The term conversion refers to the ROI with traffic visiting each web pages and judges based on the pages (or websites) individual goals. Traffic that flows to the website and then converts into a customer or client by registering, wants to receive your monthly newsletter or buying a product and/or using your services. Conversion is measured so techniques can be altered, as necessary, if the ROI is low.

4. Gateway Page - A gateway (doorway) page has one purpose, to drive traffic to another page. They aren't designed for humans more so for search engines to achieve higher rankings. One key phrase is generally optimized and a violation of TOS. Varies from a Splash Page because it has very little text and is used as eye candy to entice visitors further...

5. Keywords & phrases - Both keywords and keyword phrases are the words a user uses to search for what they are looking for. As a webmaster, the end goal is to know and use these same search terms or queries within their web pages to increase page ranking with search engines.

6. Keyword Stuffing - When you are adding unnecessary keywords and keyword phrases that are of no use the the human visitor, you are keyword stuffing. They may not even be visible to the naked eye, only to 'search spiders' and is considered SPAM and against TOS! (Even when the stuffed keywords and phrases do pertain to the content, it takes away from the end users experience and is a pain in the ars to read ;)

7. Link Farm - A link farm is a group of separate yet highly interlinked websites created for the purposes of inflating link popularity (otherwise known as Page Rank). Engaging in link farms is a violation of the Terms Of Service with most search engines and could be grounds for banning.

8. Mirror Site - A mirror site is considered a duplicate site that implements the use of similar, yet different, keywords and phrases in an attempt to attract all types of search engine queries. It is usually considered a violation of TOS.

9. Non-Organic Search - The term non-organic search refers to websites and their content. These sites are brought up by search engines as a result of a search by the end user. Most of these types of web pages retrieved in this manner have rrelatively little content, could consist of a link farm feeling and are stuffed with overused keywords and phrases. These pages are popular but, in the end seem to lose out to websites with true, organic content. 
10. Organic search - Organic search results are those web pages retrieved by search engines, due again to particular keywords and/or keyword phrases but, they are relevant content usable to the end user! Unique, well written and informative content = A+ organic search results! When I surf for information it's more than frustrating to come across page after page of irrelevant crap before I find what I need.

11. Page Rank - Page rank (PR) is used to describe where your web page link appears on the long list of pages brought up by the search engines after a pertinent term is queried. Ideally, you want your page to be #1 or as close to it as possible and yes, over the long run counts too!

12. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Search engine optimization is the process of making your web page, website, blog etc. a 'sprider' friendly zone. From what I gather is done best by creating pages with usable, relevant content and keywords (once again ;)

13. Search Engine Results Page/Positioning (SERP)  - The term SERP refers to organic search results and where they appear in results after a query. SERP's do not include paid listings.

14. Spider - A Spider is also known as Bot or Robot and is a software program that scans the web for various purposes of both good and evil. They can index web page for search engines or they can harvest e-mail addresses for spammers!

...for more SEO cartoons, see seoz87

August 13, 2010

Travel Industry - Marketing online; are you out of the loop if you don't?

Marketing comes in many forms with the purpose being increased recognition and thus money. It works like that of an 'it takes money to make money' concept that certainly works but, what about the small businesses who have little or no advertising budget to play with? Are they going to be so out of the loop they'll become unnecessary and forgotten?...swallowed up by companies who've taken the initiative to at least create an online presence, if even with only a simple, basic website?

I'd say that even though you may have a good reputation and/or be in a great location, it's always best to cover all the bases especially the free ones! Promoting your business online is highly favourable and it's economical if, you don't mind doing some leg work first.
For example...

Since getting my laptop I do research and then book my flights online. My two fav's are and/or, depending on what I'm looking for. Both of these companies have created advertising campaigns in a manner that appeals to me, my funny bone and my pocketbook which is a great combination.

Travelocity's gnome who mumble hums...'I wanna get outta here' makes me smile and while no specific WestJet ads come to mind, the word of mouth chatter regarding their cheap flights sang in my ear.

Post vacation: So, I've just returned from the Okanagan valley with Penticton, BC being the farthest point travelled. The only thing planned was my flight in and out all else was winged as each day came or the night before (see Babblicious blog for more details and pics)...then poof back in TO!

Kalamalka Lake, Vernon BC
But, I don't book hotel rooms that way, not unless necessary. That's because I've learnt that cheap, clean hotel/motel type inns etc. aren't necessarily advertised online. How did I learn this? Well, while searching and pre-booking rooms (itinerary was required) to travel through Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick we'd aimed for Halifax first. Unknown to us though, mid August in Halifax is also the annual Busker's Festival so, most hotel rooms were already booked. Which left us with somewhat clean yet overpriced, off the beaten path in seedy location types of lodging (pssst, that weren't in the brochure ;) ...and for a room we pretty much just sleep and shower in, we felt a little rooked. Thus, I stopped booking and instead researched towns and cities separately to discover where the majority of hotels were located. One thing to remember though is that festivals, tournaments and conventions book up rooms quickly within smaller areas!

So no, not everyone is in the loop of advertising online. Too bad though because in today's world, with technology at our fingertips I don't understand why everyone wouldn't have at least one free basic yet informative website?!

p.s. I'd recommend not to leave 'getting a room' until too late into the evening because once night falls it's a lot trickier finding your way around an unknown city.

Driving through the Rockies in BC, Canada

July 11, 2010

Digital Marketing = Website promotion & increased Traffic are utilizing it, right?!

An essential goal for online marketers is to tackle website marketing and increase traffic to their website. A popular method in 2010 is to utilize various digital marketing mediums for advertising that also enhance website design all while upping your social status on the web.

Today's marketing techniques require entrepreneurs to move out of their comfort zone and go after their desired audience rather than waiting for the audience to find them!! So, before the competition chases up our figurative skirts we need to step into the next decade embracing both technology and change.

What is Digital Marketing...

Digital marketing is the advertising process used to promote brands, products and services using extremely influential platforms we literally 'plug in' such as the internet, television, radio and mobile communication devices. Digital marketing uses various distribution channels to market to the masses like today's youth for example; they are plugged into their hi-tech toys as though they were umbilical cords and adults of all ages, even seniors, are following suit making them all potential end users.

Digital marketing is interactive, to-the-minute and social (therefore personal) like Twitter and Facebook. Whether you've chosen to create a blog for your website, add a how to video or created a new social profile the content is long lasting. Once published on the world wide web the content is either left alone to be discovered organically, pushed directly onto a specific audience with demographics or a bit of both.

However, due to freedom of choice, we as consumers ourselves control most forms of digital marketing by way of choosing what we watch, listen to, ignore, read or toss and turn on or's an opt-in or opt-out society. Therefore, one must create useful, functional, informative, enjoyable, entertaining visuals and text that grab and retain viewers before the moment and the user are gone.

In the days of old, advertising was printed and went via word of mouth by a newsboy ...'newspaper, get your newspaper, read all about it, newspaper...'. Nowadays, it's 'visit me on Facebook', 'follow me on Twitter', 'embed my video' , 'check out my live podcast', 'text me', 'subscribe to newsletter', 'opt in for updates' or 'have you seen my YouTube video'! ...a myriad of cost effective mixed media resources at our fingertips!!

Digital marketing tips...

- Self created visual designs ought to begin with basics, using the KISS method (keep it simple stupid) then work up to excellence as you learn. Focus on quality not quantity.

- Become 'sticky' by creating unique content and a pleasant, useful user experience that stands out and above the others in your field. Aim for dynamic functionality, even if you're at the barely tolerable but still slightly interesting stage.

- Create your marketing pitch, page, ad, video, ad, microblog into an easy to understand format that navigates with ease. Pictures are worth a thousand words yet too many become filler fluff. Finding an engaging balance that grabs attention on all levels, is a great goal. 

- Know and understand the ideas and concepts you're conjuring up with your chosen text and images. Does it make sense, is it necessary and is it cohesive to all other related material?

Expanding into social media for the first time? Consider it an adventure and take baby steps if necessary ;) What is Network Marketing? & What is Twitter? There was a time when I thought I'd never be on Twitter and yet now I find myself tweeting daily, funny eh, how things change? I'm a follow me, follow you type of girl @ tmcmarketing!