Regardless of who you are or where you stand on privacy, if you’re visiting web sites (even this one) there are complicated scripts and programs tracking what you look at, what links you click on and what your overall online tendencies are.
The majority of this monitoring is not malicious in nature (by most people’s opinions). The monitoring is done by advertisers so that they can best see how to wisely spend their online advertising budgets. They want the most bang for their bucks, just as most individuals do.
And there is great benefit to individuals and end users in this monitoring. Basically, the more profitable advertisers can make their investments online, the more revenue that pours into developers and publishers of online content.
Given that the monitoring doesn’t personally identify people online, but rather creates a pool of data for advertisers to review and use for spotting trends or tendencies in behaviors, is this a privacy issue that needs to be watched and federally regulated?
Governments and businesses do the same sort of monitoring every day in neighborhoods across the country. They build elaborate models from statistical data on vehicle and pedestrian traffic for every street and road in your community; and they do it without asking your permission or informing you of their monitoring. Is this an invasion of privacy?
Whether you’re new to marketing or just new to online marketing you’ve probably heard about Google AdWords. It’s the only sure pipe-line for targeted traffic on the web, and those who learn to maximize it are making serious returns on their investments.
Using Google AdWords can seem easy on first glance. Pick a few keywords and phrases related to your site or product and bid for clicks on them. How hard could it be?
Well, it’s not hard, but it can be extremely costly and fruitless if that’s as far as you go. You see, there are others out there bidding on your same keywords and phrases, that drives the price up. In addition, without knowing how to narrow and target your keywords to their best potential you’ll be paying to drive useless traffic to your site.
Here’s an example: lets say you sell widgets. You could bid on the word ‘widgets’ and get traffic, but there are a hundred other widget sellers out there bidding too, driving the price per click up. And what sort of traffic do you think a general term will bring you? You’ll be paying to get visitors who might only be looking for information or pictures of widgets for their school report. There’s no chance they’ll be buying from you, that’s wasted money.
What would be better is if you narrowed your keyword more and specifically targeted people looking for a certain kind of widget to buy. For instance, instead of bidding on ‘widget’, you bid on ‘cedar widgets for sale’. Sure, a narrow phrase like that will produce less traffic for you than the general term, but the traffic it does produce will be highly targeted and looking to spend their money.
So, who can make money with adwords?
Anyone can. In fact, even a child can stumble upon a great product and pick a few winning keywords to market it with. I know this is true because my 14 year old nephew showed interest in my work one Saturday while I was watching him, so to explain how I make a little extra money each month with online marketing I walked him through the process of picking an affiliate product to market and searching out keywords to bid on–letting him make all the choices. I ran the AdWords campaign (with a minimal daily spending limit) for 2 weeks and ultimately earned $66.31 in profits from it after deducting the costs.
Of course I gave my nephew the $66.31 and he was thrilled. Afterwards I revisited that same product and the keywords we had used and made some adjustments but left the same spending limit in place. Now that same product brings in a lot more money each month for me. My point is, anyone can get lucky and earn a profit with Google AdWords, but having the right knowledge not only helps ensure you’ll earn a positive return, but that your profit margins will be significantly higher too.
Another truth about trying to make money with AdWords is that it’s easier to lose money than it is to make any. This is especially true for the beginner. It’s a competitive field and the people who do well at it not only know how to make the most from their efforts, but also how to create disadvantages for their competitors too that will drive up their costs while driving down their profits. It’s dog eat dog.
Better targeted keywords, like in my earlier example are just one way to increase the quality of traffic from AdWords and maximize your efforts and dollars. Whole novels have been written on other ways as well. In my opinion, and I’ve spent years reading, researching and learning, there are a ton of good resources available for anyone who wants to get into AdWords, but there are only a handful of great resources.
My two personal favorites, for both their resource value and ease of use to learn from would be:
Beating Adwords – Kyle and Carson layout all the specifics you need to create highly targeted and profitable AdWords campaigns fast. They don’t promise the moon and then under deliver like many people do, they candidly tell you that it will require real work to get setup, but then provide you with everything you need to know in order to start getting clicks and turning those clicks into sales right away. Beating Adwords is a deal at ten times the price, and a must-have for anyone serious about making money with AdWords.
Check out Beating AdWords for yourself.
Adwords180 – This one was interesting to me because it claimed to approach AdWords from a new angle. The majority of resources out there hold the same information and techniques to some extent, what sets the better resources apart is their depth of information and examples, as well as their clarity. So, when I heard about AdWords180 I was curious about this “new angle” being discussed. The fact that it came with a 2 month money back guarantee sold me, I figured if it was nonsense I had nothing to lose but my time reading it. I was amazed with what I found though.
AdWords180 does hold some creative new ideas for refreshing older techniques that have either become useless due to saturation, or out dated by changes in Google’s AdWords program and rules–and they do work. I haven’t been able to get the steady CTR (click through rate) of 25% that some others claim to from it, but I have raised some campaign CTR’s from 7 to 8% up over 15%, and anything that doubles the clicks on highly targeted campaigns for me is a winner in my book.
Check out Adwords180 for yourself.
One additional resource I’d recommend is a software program called Keyword Elite. While the above two resources are more informational, this software lets you take what you learn from them and actually apply it to find the best targeted keywords and phrases to bid on. It’s a sort of all-in-one research assistant that will not only help you find those targeted keywords that have less competition (so lower costs per click), but it will also help you to project how much traffic they’ll generate as well. That’s vital to any campaign’s success.
The ability to find targeted keywords and phrases that have lower costs and also generate high traffic is priceless. This software saves you from the trial and error early on in a campaign and takes the guesswork out of it to help you begin seeing traffic and sales right away with each new campaign you create.
Give Keyword Elite a try.
The Internet is full of ‘get rich quick’ schemes and promises, and most of them have a tiny basis in reality but little chance of benefiting those who pay for the ’secrets’ and ’success plans’ to try them. While there is always some exception to the rule, the fact is most people who work from home or run online businesses have to invest time and hard work to earn their livings. The good news is that there are honest and real work from home opportunities out there for anyone willing to put in a little time and effort. One way that many people have found to add to their monthly income is by participating in focus groups for product and service testing. They’re basically making money for taking surveys.
Ever heard of an advanced screening for a Hollywood film? That’s where the movie studio lets a couple hundred people see the film before it gets released, and then they answer a few questions about the movie. The studio uses the audiance reactions during the viewing of the film along with their survey answers to make additional last-minute editing decisions for the final release version.
Hollywood isn’t the only place that this type of focus group, product testing takes place. Nearly every industry has it in some form, and many of them pay the people who test their products or services. Think about that, there are companies out there that will give you their products, or let you use their services absolutely free, and then pay you to give them your opinions afterwards.
Now, before you get too excited, keep in mind that most people who do this don’t earn a full-time living from it. It appears to work well though as a suplamental income stream for them, where they can earn from a few hundred to a couple thousand extra dollars monthly. That’s not too bad at all.
The bad news is that finding these real work from home opportunities isn’t easy. If you know someone who is already doing it then you have a way in. If not, it can be very time consuming and frustrating trying to find the honest companies out there who will pay for your time and opinions. They do exist, but they rarely advertise openly to avoid the tidal wave of applications from people wanting their products and services free of charge, not to mention any negative publicity on the chance that their products aren’t received well.
You have to take the time and look hard to find them, or join one of the many programs available that provide opportunity leads. In either case, once you begin making money for taking surveys and product testing you’ll find what I’ve tried to make clear here. Even online, nothing worth having comes easy, but honest pay for honest work is available.
by Heather Moore
Heather operates a VoIP informational and comparison site. Learn more about VoIP at http://voip.save-mor.com