John Chow dot Com http://www.sumpel.com The Miscellaneous Ramblings of a Dot Com Mogul Tue, 22 Sep 2020 14:41:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 Lotus Evija – World’s First British Electric Hypercar http://www.sumpel.com/lotus-evija-worlds-first-british-electric-hypercar/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lotus-evija-worlds-first-british-electric-hypercar http://www.sumpel.com/lotus-evija-worlds-first-british-electric-hypercar/#respond Tue, 22 Sep 2020 14:41:42 +0000 http://www.sumpel.com/?p=35226 Lotus has revealed further details on their new Evija all-electric hypercar in a stunning new film featuring an engineering development vehicle testing on the 2.2-mile track at Hethel. At the wheel is Gavan Kershaw, Director of Vehicle Attributes for Lotus, who provides extensive new commentary on key elements of the Evija project. In the video, Kershaw reveals how from the […]

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Lotus has revealed further details on their new Evija all-electric hypercar in a stunning new film featuring an engineering development vehicle testing on the 2.2-mile track at Hethel. At the wheel is Gavan Kershaw, Director of Vehicle Attributes for Lotus, who provides extensive new commentary on key elements of the Evija project.

In the video, Kershaw reveals how from the earliest discussions about what the Evija should be, the goal was to create a hypercar with genuine everyday usability. He reveals new details on the progressive deployment of power and torque though the car’s five drive modes:

  • Range mode is limited to 1,000PS of power and 800Nm of torque, and intelligently switches the Evija from four-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive to maximise the distance available from the battery and its intelligent power management system.
  • City provides greater power control and decreases the level of regenerative braking for urban environments.
  • Tour provides automatically switchable four-wheel or rear-wheel drive, delivering over 1,400PS of power with torque-vectoring.
  • Sport delivers performance figures of 1,700PS and 1,700Nm linked to stability control systems to increase traction levels.
  • Track mode is the most extreme, boosting power delivery to the maximum 2,000PS. It delivers the highest level of torque-vectoring with the Evija’s Drag Reduction System (DRS) available on request. The chassis setting is automatically switched to Track.

As with all Lotus cars past, present and in the future, agile handling and exceptional steering are embedded into the brand’s DNA. Kershaw explains they were among the top priorities in setting the performance characteristics of the Evija: “Lotus cars are very nimble, inspiring great confidence when being driven, and the Evija is no different to that,” he states.

The Lotus Evija marks the start of an exciting new chapter in the history of an iconic British sports car brand. With class-leading in-gear acceleration and an output of 2,000 PS – making it the most powerful series production road car ever built – it sets new standards in the global hypercar market.

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3 Ways to Increase Site Accessibility for All Visitors and Customers http://www.sumpel.com/increase-site-accessibility/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=increase-site-accessibility http://www.sumpel.com/increase-site-accessibility/#respond Tue, 22 Sep 2020 13:52:22 +0000 http://www.sumpel.com/?p=35220 Few things are worse than visiting a website and having it not properly load or function properly. We’ve all become so accustomed to instant gratification, that even if a website loads just a few seconds too long, we will close out the browser window and likely never return. This happens millions of times per day to businesses and brands throughout […]

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Few things are worse than visiting a website and having it not properly load or function properly. We’ve all become so accustomed to instant gratification, that even if a website loads just a few seconds too long, we will close out the browser window and likely never return.

This happens millions of times per day to businesses and brands throughout the world. And sometimes, it’s not the site owners fault, but the web hosting or internet access provider on the other end.

No matter who’s fault it is, it is the site owner’s job to make sure they have all of the necessary precautions, settings, support and site accessibility in place to provide a useful and enjoyable experience for their audience.

With all of this in mind, today we are going to look at three different ways to improve usability and engagement on sites of all types.

ADA/WCAG Accessibility and Compliance

Of the many different ways to improve site usage and accessibility, one of the most important (yet commonly overlooked), is meeting the requirements and needs of those with disabilities.

For some reason, most site owners and businesses have overlooked the fact that every person needs to have equal access and rights when on a website, yet most don’t have the proper settings and customization features in place.

Two major key components of all of this are the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) — which are both now in full force and being regulated across a wide range of industries and global markets. And not only are these two regulations of great discussion, they are also wreaking havoc amongst the business world for any site and brands that don’t have such compliance in place.

As referenced in a recent article on UXPlanet.org, “What do Netflix, the Sydney Olympics Games, Domino’s Pizza, Nike, and Amazon have in common? All of them have been the subject of web accessibility lawsuits.” — and these were all in reference to not having the right settings and customizations in place for proper site usage by all audiences.

So what’s a site owner or business to do? In short… get compliant!

To see a perfect example of how such accessibility lawsuits could have been avoided, while also catering to the needs of audiences with disabilities and special needs, refer to the screenshot below with the accessiBe “Accessibility Adjustments” application appearing on Hilton.com.

Recently crowned Product Hunt of Week, accessiBe’s algorithm is machine-learning and can scan and remediate any webpage to become 100% ADA compliant in as little as 48 hours.

With more than 60 million Americans having some type of disability, you can only imagine how many users are visiting sites like Hilton and taking advantage of such features that allow for improved site usage while catering to the needs of those who suffer from seizures, visually impairment, cognitive disability, ADHD and blindness.

If there was ever a time to focus your efforts on site improvements and making sure it’s ADA/WCAG compliant, right now would be that time.

Responsive Viewing Across All Devices

With more people accessing the internet through their mobile devices, tablets and even Smart TVs, it’s important to make sure your site is accessible across all platforms and devices.

It’s also not just the end user that wants to make sure they can access your site through all platforms, it’s Google as well. Through the use of Google’s Mobile Site Check Tool, anyone can insert their site URL and see if it’s accessible across different mobile devices.

If the site entered into the tool is compliant and healthy, Google will provide a “Page is mobile friendly” notice. If the site isn’t compliant, Google will let you know where and why… and also provide you with some necessary information on the problems that might exist, and how to fix them.

For any sites running off the WordPress platform, there are also free plugins like WPTouch that can make a website compliant in just a few clicks.

No matter what option you are using, it’s important to have a mobile responsive site that is accessible across all platforms and devices.

Online Chat Support with Telephone and Email Options

Of the many different ways to improve site accessibility and user engagement, the third and final point on our list is to make it easy for all visitors and customers to get in touch with something at your business — whether that be through email, phone, chat support or a knowledge base.

Few things are more annoying than visiting a website or online store and being ready to place an order, but not being able to ask a question before placing your order. The same holds true for a wide range of sites and if the option isn’t there to contact someone and get an answer immediately, it will often lead to another lost sale or lead.

As previously mentioned, there are a few different ways to provide customer support to an audience, but it’s really best to have all of them in place. The best working methods consist of the following:

  • Online Chat Support
  • 24/7 Live Phone Support
  • Email support with 12-24 hour response times
  • KnowledgeBase will frequently asked questions
  • Social media support through top platforms

As referenced in a recent report by Forbes, there is quite the range in how site visitors prefer to contact and engage with customer support:

According to Kayako’s live chat stats report from the same year, 41% of customers prefer live chat. Meanwhile, 32% like to have a conversation on the phone, 23% would rather correspond via email and only 3% prefer a social media interaction.”.

By having each of these in place, it will allow your site visitors to contact you in a way that is most efficient for them. Since not all customer support needs an immediate answer, this allows for different options in how your business can handle support, while also addressing all issues accordingly.

Site Accessibility is All About the End User Experience

Every person that visits your site is unique in their own way. Whether it’s the special needs they might have when trying to access your content and services, where and how they are accessing it, and in what form they want to engage with your business, it’s important to make sure that all of the necessary precautions and customizations are in place. If not, this will likely result in a poor user experience, and the potential lifetime loss of a valuable lead or customer.

With site accessibility always being of the utmost importance, be sure to start implementing these winning methods into your day to day business operations today. After all, there is really no excuse to jeopardize your business because of poor site accessibility, when there are so many different solutions and customized experiences available.

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3 Hot Niche Markets to Focus Your Efforts On http://www.sumpel.com/hot-niche-markets/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hot-niche-markets http://www.sumpel.com/hot-niche-markets/#respond Mon, 21 Sep 2020 14:34:19 +0000 http://www.sumpel.com/?p=35207 Are you a fan of niche marketing? If you’ve done anything in terms of content creation or marketing as a blogger, an affiliate marketer or any type of lead generation or ad copy, then you likely are already a BIG fan of it! The concept of niche marketing is quite simple. Instead of going after a large marketing like “investing”, […]

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Are you a fan of niche marketing? If you’ve done anything in terms of content creation or marketing as a blogger, an affiliate marketer or any type of lead generation or ad copy, then you likely are already a BIG fan of it!

The concept of niche marketing is quite simple. Instead of going after a large marketing like “investing”, you would niche down to maybe “stock market investing”. And then, if you wanted to niche it down even further, you might end up with “penny stock investing”.

The more times you niche down and make it as specific as possible, the easier it will be for you to target a niche audience and best cater to their needs. This also works quite well in the online dating space, and creating targeted landing pages and ad copy for men and women in different states and zip codes, and also based on their personal interest. In fact, the dating industry is one of the hot niche markets out there, as someone is always looking to meet someone else.

With this in mind, today we are going to look at some of the hottest niche markets happening right now. What’s also exciting about this list is that they are niche marketings that could also be considered ‘evergreen’, as they likely won’t be going anywhere any time soon, and people will continue searching, using and buying products and services in these spaces for a while.

Be sure to check out the three hot niche markets below and see if they are currently on your radar.

The Stock Market and Day Trading

The first hot niche market on the list is the stock market and day trading. However, just like we laid out at the beginning of the article, this is way too specific to approach head on. Instead, you need to understand the market and try to niche is down as much as possible.

With so much news and attention about the huge increases in the stock market lately, everyone is trying to figure out ways to start making a quick buck. With Apple and Tesla recently splitting and the stock market hitting all time highs, right now isn’t just a good time to be in the market, it’s also a great time to have an investing online resource or course as well.

This is especially true in the world of day trading, as it’s often more fast paced and exciting then just buying stocks and holding onto them for the next 20 years.

The good news is, even if you aren’t an active day trader or successful at making trades on your own, there are plenty of ways to make money with affiliate marketing or creating your own content sites in this space.

A great example of this can be seen through WarriorTrading’s stock market holidays reference guide, which highlight when the market is closed–which is a very common people ask and search for whenever there is a holiday in different parts of the world.

In the case of WarriorTrading, they have an online course and membership which they can promote and funnel site visitors to. For everyone else, a good option is going after this same target audience, but using your content to redirect leads and traffic to different affiliate offers related to investing, online trading accounts or courses on how to get started with day trading.

Print on Demand Anything

Another super hot niche market that is making a ton of money through products, online course and materials is Print on Demand (POD). The world of ecommerce is growing to new levels year over year, and as more people get word on how easy it is to get started in this space, more people continue to flood in.

The concept of POD is quite simple. It’s often done by starting an online store through Shopify, choosing a print on demand drop shipper, and then marketing your site to get new customers and sales. Even Amazon has some print on demand options for book and tshirt designers through their site.

Originally, the t-shirt market was super hot, but now it’s just super competitive. Sure, it’s still making a TON of money, but there is a lot more competition than ever before.

However, the landscape of POD continues to grow and scale in different directions, with ecommerce sites now having the ability to create and sell cups, mousepads, pants, shoes, shower curtains and pretty much anything else you can think of.

To learn more about the ins and outs of using print on demand to create an online business or store, Shopify has plenty of great resource guides and tutorials through their blog.

That’s one side of the business. The other is selling online courses to teach people how to get started in this space, and another is selling the designs and print art that sites can upload to their site. All three of these options are big winners in the print on demand market.

Influencer Marketing and Social Media

When is the last time you saw a commercial or online advertisement where a celebrity was pushing a product or service? It was probably just today–and this was definitely a form of influencer marketing.

With more businesses and brands now focusing their efforts on social media and influencer marketing, this is an industry that just continues to grow month after month. And as reported by Famoid, the influencer marketing industry is likely to surpass $5 to $10 billion in revenue by the end of 2020 alone.

With rumors and story headlines featuring people you’ve never even heard of getting rich off Instagram, and Forbes covering stories about Kylie Jenner and her becoming a billionaire beauty mogal… everyone wants in.

What’s even better, is that you don’t need to have millions of followers to get in on the action.

With nano and micro-influencers leading the way in smaller niche markets, there is more than enough money to go around. In terms of opportunities for revenue generation and starting a business around the concept, there are several.

  • The first and most obvious, is to grow your person brand and following on social media and then becoming an influencer yourself.
  • Another is to study the industry, create a super detailed reference guide or course, and then sell it to anyone wanting to do just that.
  • More indepth methods for making even more money in this space, is creating platforms that allows influencers and brands to connect together.

The truth is, when it comes to influencer marketing, everyone is just looking for more resources and guidance on how to get the best ROI. More often than not, big name brands and businesses are just throwing money out there because it’s the ‘thing to do’ and not really being able to track the ROI.

And if you don’t feel like you have a big enough following on Instagram to become a self-proclaimed “INFLUENCER”, there are plenty of ways to increase your count. Many of which are free and will ultimately help grow your brand following in the long run.

With that being said, creating any type of resource, online course or reference guide that can help individuals make more as influencers, or to help brands better connect and measure ROI… you’re probably going to have a winner!

Taking Advantage of Niche Markets While they are Hot!

The thing about “hot niche markets” is that they usually aren’t that hot for long. However, there will some alternatives and different directions you can pivot should your select market or industry cools down.

As laid out above with the different examples, we know investing, ecommerce and social media are always going to be hot multi-billion dollar industry. Now the hard part is figuring out how to become an influencial and trusted expert within your space!

If you are going after any of these niche markets, be sure to cater to the needs of your audience and have a plan for monetization before you get started.

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The Morning Line Up At South OC Cars and Coffee http://www.sumpel.com/the-morning-line-up-at-south-oc-cars-and-coffee/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-morning-line-up-at-south-oc-cars-and-coffee http://www.sumpel.com/the-morning-line-up-at-south-oc-cars-and-coffee/#respond Sat, 19 Sep 2020 18:37:57 +0000 http://www.sumpel.com/?p=35213 I show up at South OC Cars and Coffee a half hour before it opens to check out the long line up of cars trying to get into the show. I also checked out the cool rear view camera system in the new C8 Corvette. South OC Cars and Coffee happens every Saturday from 9am to 11am at The Outlets […]

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I show up at South OC Cars and Coffee a half hour before it opens to check out the long line up of cars trying to get into the show. I also checked out the cool rear view camera system in the new C8 Corvette.

South OC Cars and Coffee happens every Saturday from 9am to 11am at The Outlets at San Clement in South Orange County. Enjoy the photos and video.

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5 Promotional Strategies For Your New Blog http://www.sumpel.com/5-promotional-strategies-for-your-new-blog/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-promotional-strategies-for-your-new-blog http://www.sumpel.com/5-promotional-strategies-for-your-new-blog/#respond Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:42:27 +0000 http://www.sumpel.com/?p=35210 When you put so much effort and hard work into your blog content, you want to make sure it gets to the right audience. You may have put a lot of thought into blog topics and headlines, but have you done the same for your promotional strategy? On average, 81 percent of marketing leaders put content at the core of […]

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When you put so much effort and hard work into your blog content, you want to make sure it gets to the right audience. You may have put a lot of thought into blog topics and headlines, but have you done the same for your promotional strategy?

On average, 81 percent of marketing leaders put content at the core of their marketing strategies. Without it, it’s much harder to build brand awareness, share expertise, generate leads, and much more. Content marketing organically drives traffic to your website and helps your brand build a relationship with its audience.

But if you don’t promote it properly, even the best content will go unnoticed. There’s no point in creating a blog that doesn’t receive engagement, so it’s crucial to use promotional techniques to meet your goals. 

Let’s dive into five easy ways you can promote your blog content this year.

Choose A Relevant Name 

A blog name should quickly tell new visitors what its content is about so they know if it’s relevant to their needs. It’s important to choose the right blog name because it represents your business and is what people will know it by.

When choosing a blog name, consider the following:

  • Your niche: Writing for a niche means you write for a specific audience so they’re easier to access. 
  • Target audience: Who are your readers? Think about what they want to read from your blog and what excites them about your brand.
  • Tone and voice: What tone will your blog take on? Is it educational and professional or casual and friendly?
  • How popular it is: If the blog name you choose is overused, it might get overlooked by your target market. Make sure it’s unique but still relevant to your niche.

To choose the right name for your blog, using a domain name generator like Nameboy helps develop one that’s relevant and creative. 

 

nameboy

Send an Email Blast

If your blog is brand new, you may not have a healthy email list yet. An email list is a collection of email addresses from site visitors who opt into future emails from your brand. It’s a great way to continue communications with your audience, gain feedback, and, of course, promote your blog posts.

People lead busy lives and may not manually check your website for the latest blog updates. But if you have their email address, you can send an email blast letting them know there’s a new post published. If they enjoy your content, they’re more than likely to visit your website. 

You can improve your email deliverability by using the proper software and plugins for your site. Before sending an email blast, be sure to perform a test run to ensure they’re getting to users’ inboxes safely. That way, you know your message is ready for reception.

Guest Post on Well-Known Blogs 

Did you know that 95 percent of people only look at the first page of search results? If only five percent of users make it to the second page, that means your content needs to be first to get the engagement it deserves.

But how do you get to the first page of SERPs? One way is by guest posting on popular blogs. Guest posting is writing for another website so you can receive recognition from their audience and boost your visibility. It’s much easier for brand new blogs to get attention if well-known websites vouch for them by publishing their content.

Additionally, guest posting gives you the opportunity to organically build links that lead back to your website. One popular guest post is enough to boost your web traffic, increase your engagement rate, and build your email list.

Link to Your Blog Posts on Forums

When people have questions, they turn to Google and online forums to receive answers. They want quick, efficient solutions to their problems. Forums are an excellent way for emerging brands and blogs to share their expertise and drive traffic to their website. It’s also easier to market your products and services when you have the expertise to back it up.

Forums like Quora and Reddit are great places to find relevant questions and provide answers. As a new blogger, it’s an easy way to start conversations with your target audience and find topics they’re interested in.

When answering questions, link back to specific blog posts on your site that relate to the answer. If someone asks what essential baking tools they need as a beginner, you can link them to your post that lists the best products. They want to know more, so they’re likely to click through and possibly become an email subscriber. 

Engage and Post Updates on Social Media

If you want blog engagement, then you need to regularly engage with your audience, especially on social platforms. There are more than three billion social media users worldwide, which includes your target audience. 

Posting blog updates on your social media can easily boost your readership and brand awareness. But for that to happen, you need to cultivate a social following first. Using relevant hashtags in your posts attracts your target market and introduces them to your brand through your content. You can also start conversations with people asking relevant questions and respond to comments you receive.

Consider creating a social media calendar to keep track of your social accounts and blog updates. It’s important to have a mix of promotional and fun content so your followers don’t feel like you’re constantly selling to them. 

Over to You

With these promotional tips, you should be on your way to driving traffic, building an email list, growing your readership, and more. How will you promote your blog this year?

Syed Balkhi is an award-winning entrepreneur and online marketing expert. He is the co-founder of OptinMonster, WPBeginner, MonsterInsights, and WPForms.

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Proven Email Subject Lines Your Subscribers Can’t Resist http://www.sumpel.com/proven-email-subject-lines-your-subscribers-cant-resist-part-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=proven-email-subject-lines-your-subscribers-cant-resist-part-2 http://www.sumpel.com/proven-email-subject-lines-your-subscribers-cant-resist-part-2/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2020 18:00:12 +0000 http://www.sumpel.com/?p=26003 We are looking at the most effective lines which attract the subscriber to open your follow-up. With an increase in open rates you have potentially increased the chances of someone clicking through increasing your over ROI. However, email marketing can be very tricky because you have to find what works which can be done through extensive testing and tweaking along […]

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We are looking at the most effective lines which attract the subscriber to open your follow-up. With an increase in open rates you have potentially increased the chances of someone clicking through increasing your over ROI. However, email marketing can be very tricky because you have to find what works which can be done through extensive testing and tweaking along the way. The good news with extensive resources available online your able to find case studies done by ESP’s which will provide you with an outline of the best subject lines. For example, in part 1 of this series we looked at some of the statistics gathered by MailChimp.com and by Digital Marketer.

Today we’ll be finishing off some of the stats provided by Digital Marketer and jump into Alchemy Worx reviewing stats they’ve put together for us. For those of you NOT aware, Alchemy Worx is a email marketing agency who is in charge of consulting for 70+ clients.

Here are two more attractive high open rate subject lines:

Is this the hottest career in marketing?

A great way to attract the subscriber to open email and this will depend on the niche. However, it has been shown very effective in almost every niche because of the word marketing?. If you have an online blog or websites then your always looking for creative ways to market your product or brand. By saying this is the HOTTEST career in marketing you are shedding light on a trend which is developing. In essence you should utilize this marketing strategy if your an online company so would definitely want to open and read through the email.

Your 7-figure plan goes bye-bye at midnight

No one wants to hear they’ll be losing money and one of the best ways to get people to open their follow-ups is the scare tactic or put a time limit for which they can act. Many people often disagree with using such a tactic, but profit is the bottom line so if this strategy increases ROI then it’s a winning technique. However, if my clients are using the following in their follow-ups I encourage them to provide value to their subscribers.

Here’s something else that’s pretty cool and I’ve seen it work when bloggers are sending me follow-up messages. I’m living proof that using specific words within your email subject line will increase your open rate and potentially your ROI. You have to remember open rate and click through are two different elements. For example, it’s one thing for the subscriber to open your follow-up and a completely different action for them to click on a link within your message. I believe the best email follow-up message is one which NOT only get’s opened, but pushes the subscriber to click-through on a link within the message. This is why it’s important to have a well-structured message which is easy to read and with a clear call-to-action.

For now we’ll look at some words you should implement into your subject line because they have a high open rate.

The Words People Are Attracted To…

Upgrade – People are always looking for something new and want to keep up with the changing trends. This is why the word UPGRADE will attract an open from your subscribers.

Content – Content is what’s fuels the internet and if someone signed up for your newsletter because they enjoyed the content you wrote than you’ll have no problem getting subscribers to open your email using the word CONTENT

Free Delivery – Another awesome and high impact word which will produce enormous opens when sending out follow-ups. It’s not the word delivery, but the word FREE? which is what attracts people to open. Times are tough for people so they’re always looking for a break or FREE stuff which will save them money and provide value at the same time.

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You Don’t Need #Ad in Sponsored Content http://www.sumpel.com/you-dont-need-ad-in-sponsored-content/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=you-dont-need-ad-in-sponsored-content http://www.sumpel.com/you-dont-need-ad-in-sponsored-content/#respond Wed, 16 Sep 2020 17:57:20 +0000 http://www.sumpel.com/?p=34307 Traditional advertising just isn’t as effective as it once was, nor can it offer the same level of granular analytics and optimization that newer forms of digital advertising can provide. It should as little surprise that influencer marketing has completely changed the game, and we’ve got the numbers to back it up. And while it may have once been the […]

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Traditional advertising just isn’t as effective as it once was, nor can it offer the same level of granular analytics and optimization that newer forms of digital advertising can provide. It should as little surprise that influencer marketing has completely changed the game, and we’ve got the numbers to back it up.

And while it may have once been the case that you needed a massive following to make any money as an influencer, that’s no longer the case either.

Extending Your Influence

Don’t go wasting thousands of dollars to build up your Instagram profile just yet. Indeed, as this market continues to evolve and mature, more and more brands are recognizing the value in partnering with so-called micro influencers and even nano influencers.

That’s because they’re seeing that far more important than reach or clicks is engagement. And, as a percentage, influencers with less than 25,000 followers have higher engagement rates that their “bigger” counterparts.

This means that almost anyone — and that includes you — can “cash in” on this influencer trend. Maybe you’ve already done a sponsored post with a brand. Perhaps you’re thinking of partnering with a company for a longer time brand ambassadorship. Or maybe you’ve just received some “free stuff” to try in exchange for sharing it on social media.

In all these cases, the FTC says you must clearly disclose whether you’ve received any compensation at all in relation to your post. That’s not just straight cash payments. It involves those “review samples” and “gifts” and “special invitations” to “VIP preview events” too.

Disclosure and Misconceptions

Some bigger influencers, including celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, have already been slammed by the FTC for violating these guidelines. The FTC sent them a letter saying that they must provide “clear and conspicuous disclosure” in these types of posts. For many influencers, large and small alike, the assumption was that:

  • You had to include #ad in your Instagram caption.
  • It couldn’t be buried among a long list of other hashtags.
  • The #ad had to appear in the first line or two of the caption, so that users wouldn’t have to tap on “more” to see it.

Some influencers thought that the #ad hashtag would turn off some of their followers or otherwise leave a bad impression. That’s what paved the way to alternatives like #spon, #freebie, and #thanks… which aren’t as immediately obvious, clear and conspicuous. But, as it turns out, you don’t have to use #ad in all your sponsored content either. You just have to make sure that your relationship with the brand or company is “clear and conspicuous.”

To this end, you’ve likely seen a lot of posts that use #giftedproduct or #giftedexperience. As far as I can tell, those are reasonably acceptable. But something like #freeproduct or #freetrip might not be, because maybe you won that product in a contest or it was a freebie handed out to almost anyone. Again, it’s about making your relationsship clear and obvious.

It’s Clear and Conspicuous

While you can certainly put #ad in your Instagram caption (or anywhere else you may published sponsored content), it’s not an absolute requirement. You should, however, follow some key guidelines and best practices to stay on the better side of the FTC.

  1. Always disclose any relationship or agreement you have with a brand.
  2. This disclosure should be as close to the top as possible. It should be EASY for followers, readers, and viewers to find. This includes Instagram stories and YouTube videos. In the case of the latter, you should include the disclosure in the video itself, as well as in the video description.
  3. Use language that’s easy to understand. Even if you don’t use one of the recommended hashtags, you can use plain language. “Thank you to XYZ Widgets for providing me with this Widget 11 Plus to review” is perfectly acceptable.
  4. Putting “ad” or “advertisement” or “sponsored” without the # to make it a hashtag is just fine.
  5. Another set of acceptable terms include [Name of Brand] Partner or [Name of Brand] Ambassador.
  6. Use the platform’s disclosure, but it’s not enough on its own. You can use the Facebook branded content tool, for example, but you should still include proper disclosure in the body of the post.

The long and the short of it? Make sure it’s clear and obvious to your followers if you have any sort of business relationship with the brand. Even if you worked on a sponsored post with them months ago, but you mention or tag them in a later post, you still need to disclose. And while the FTC is based in the US, this will guide how the influencer marketing industry as a whole will operate moving forward.

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Is Creating Online Tools Better Than Writing Content? http://www.sumpel.com/is-creating-online-tools-better-than-writing-content/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=is-creating-online-tools-better-than-writing-content http://www.sumpel.com/is-creating-online-tools-better-than-writing-content/#comments Tue, 15 Sep 2020 19:39:15 +0000 http://www.sumpel.com/?p=27862 There are so many ways to make money online, however, you have to figure out what you’re passionate about first. Personally, I love blogging so I have set up 4-5 personal blogs to help people with blogging, mental awareness, and more. The funny thing is, I know people in my niche who have done the same thing, but continued to […]

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There are so many ways to make money online, however, you have to figure out what you’re passionate about first. Personally, I love blogging so I have set up 4-5 personal blogs to help people with blogging, mental awareness, and more. The funny thing is, I know people in my niche who have done the same thing, but continued to make a better living through selling SEO tools. I must admit that this is really a lucrative business if you implement the strategies the right way. In recent years, this business has grown bigger, and much of this has to do with the expansion of the Internet. For example,

People are able to set up blogs quickly, and with very little investment. This means they require tools to help them build their online profiles through social media, keyword research, and writing content. There are even tools to help you find HOT trending topics online so you can create something better. It’s amazing how I’ve seen things changed within the last 10 years. Look at the evolution of search engines, and you’ll know how they have transformed over the last several yearsa€|right?

With that said, I’ll like to explore this question: Is Creating Tools Better than Writing Content?

You’ll be surprised by why creating tools might be the direction to take if you want to explode online. Let’s get started.

Audience

With the right tools, you are NOT limited to the audience you have. When you focus on a niche, you’ll have to attract people and other bloggers who are in the same niche. You’ll have to write content catered to them, and even focus on attracting the same type of people going forward. However, with the right marketing tools, you’ll be able to attract people from all different types of niches. For example,

If I create an online keyword research tool, then I have every blogger at my disposal simply because everyone needs to research keywords. This doesn’t matter if you are in the health niche, online marketing, money, relationship, MLM, etc. You’ll need to research your competition to find out how you can get an edge on your competitiona€|right?

The same applies to tools that have been developed for a€?website backup and speeda€?. No matter what niche you’re in, you’ll need these tools to ensure your website is running optimally, and that all your data is backed up. It is estimated that the Internet is available to over 75% of the world, and this means you have more people going online to search or even start a business. This is probably why search engines like Google blew up quickly because everyone is getting Internet access, with all of them having to search for information.

When you look at things more broadly, you’ll understand how the right Internet tools can make a huge difference online. They’re even massive for the bottom-line.

Retention

One thing I’ve noticed is that when you develop a tool, the retention rate is very high. Hosting companies probably have the highest retention rates because once you start a website, you’ll probably have it for the rest of your life. This means you’ll have to host online, and have a domain namea€|right? Even if you are NOT starting a website for business reasons, you’ll have a personal blog or host your resume online. The thing to remember is whatever reason you have to go online, you’re MOST likely going to stay online for a long time. Hosting companies are very smart because they understand how important customer retention is for their business.

When I first started to host with GoDaddy 7-8 years ago, I never knew I would still be their client. I’ve found way better deals, but it’s the work involved to switch that threw me completely off. For me to switch over, I would have to move my domains, databases, website files, email accounts, etc. This was way too much work for the difference of a few dollars. Here’s my point,

I consider hosting companies an online tool because you won’t be able to do anything withinout the right hosting plan. With so many reseller hosting accounts available, it’s NO wonder anyone can jump into the hosting business. Writing content doesn’t retain customers as much as online marketing tools.

This is NOT limited to just hosting, but even auditing tools, backups, link trackers, etc. The value they provide is so high that once you’ve started using them, it’s hard to move away.

Huge Options

When writing content, the only options you have is how to write the title, body, and conclusion. You have to make sure you’ve targeted your niche so your audience will find your content engaginga€|right? When they find your content engaging, then you’ll start to grow as a business, but this is NOT the case when creating online marketing tools.

You have such a huge market because there are so many niches online that I can’t keep track of them all. For example, here are just a few from the top of my head:

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Relationships
  • SEO
  • Blogging
  • Online marketing
  • Airplanes
  • Yoga

All of the ones I’ve mentioned above can be narrowed even further. However, you understand the point I’m making as it applies to niches. If you are creating a SEO tool, you’ll have the option to target any of those niches. I can create an online app to count weight loss calories, or even create a keyword research tool, which targeted all of them. I’ve noticed there are so many tools that target all the niches at once, and this goes back to my first point of a€?Audiencea€?. You truly have no limitation when businesses decide to go online. Here’s another example,

If you create a link building tool, you can pretty much target every single nichea€|right?

Depending on your passion, you can shift your efforts to focus on creating the right tool for your niche. You’ll notice that most tools are online because they are easier to access compared to conventional tools.

Huge Profits

You’d be surprised what the profit margins are when creating your own online tool. Some products are anywhere between $20/month to $199/month, and this is even more when they upgrade their plans. I know this might not seem like a lot at first glance, but remember that once the tool is created, it’s all about maintenance. For example,

The highest investment for anyone is to actually develop the product because after that, you don’t have to upgrade on a daily basis. You are NOT shipping anything, and you don’t have to make cold-calls unless you have time to burn. This is why once the product has been developed, you’re able to cash in almost immediately once it hits the market.

Imagine selling a product for $199.00/month on a recurring subscription, and having more than 1,000 customers. Let’s do the matha€|

This works out to $199,000 per month every month as long as the customer stays a subscriber. However, again, keep in mind this is NOT including the upsells with each product. If you’re a smart business, then you’ll know how to get the MOST out of your customers. With that said, here are a few things you should consider:

First, make sure you create a product high in demand because this will help you gain access to a bigger market. No point in creating a market that won’t appeal to the masses because you’re cutting into your market share. Secondly, you should always tap into a growing niche like health, wealth, and love. If you take a close look at these a€?3a€? niches, then you’ll know these categories have been growing almost every year, and access to the Internet has only helped them expand. Third,

Make sure you create a product that is significantly better than your competition. You’re only going to be able to excel when you know you can destroy your competition. ??In content marketing the first lesson we learn is to research our competition so we find ways to make our product better than everyone else. We need to add elements that others are missing, which will allow us to get a competitive edge over our competition. When this happens, we know we’ll be able to succeed where others have failed.

Wrapping it up

In the end, you have to think about the two options you have in front of you. I’ve often been asked ??about writing content or developing a product, and I always answer this way. What are you more passionate about? Next, even though you’re passionate, do you have enough resources to set up a product that will transform your niche? I’ll admit, starting your own product will take enormous time, and it will require loads of money, which many people don’t have right now. With that said,

Let’s look at the following things:

Niche a€“ Is your niche big enough that your product will translate into enormous profits down the line? I know many niches that are too small so whether if you have a product or not, you’ll still have a hard time making money. The way you can answer this question is by researching your niche, and finding what other types of products are available.

What will work? a€“ This is another common question you should ask before getting started. There are so any products on the market, and you have to create something unique or better. Before you can, it’s important to find out if your product is needed within your niche or if it will just sit there without anyone seeing its importance. The more of a sensitive area it touches with customers, the better chances you’ll have of selling your product.

Profit margins a€“ It’s all about the bottom line so I always think: How much can I make from this product? For example, what should I sell my product for so it’s attractive in price? Too expensive, and people won’t be able to afford it but too low, and you won’t be making a profit going forwarda€|right?

I would research different products, and see how they have priced their products, and then see where you fall in between. It might even take some trial and error to find what price range gets the most conversions.

It’s time to go back through this content, and make a list of the important elements discussed. Go back through, and answer some of the questions I’ve asked so you can see how they apply to your niche. As you start to research your niche, you’ll get good idea of what you want to do going forward. Either you want to stick to writing content for your readers, and convert them by selling someone else’s product, or, you know you have a huge enough audience to start developing your own product, which is a completely different ball game.

I would start by doing a quick search on Google so you can find resources on effectively start your own online product. Freelancer.com is a great place to find people to get started with because people can be found from all over the world with different levels of experience.

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Blog Revenue Is Not Income http://www.sumpel.com/blog-revenue-is-not-income/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=blog-revenue-is-not-income http://www.sumpel.com/blog-revenue-is-not-income/#respond Mon, 14 Sep 2020 14:30:00 +0000 http://www.sumpel.com/?p=34302 When you move away from a more conventional kind of working arrangement at a more traditional kind of company and move toward running your own online business, you’ll need to shift your mindset and perspective on a lot of aspects in your life. One of the biggest and most important shifts is moving away from the “trading hours for dollars” […]

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When you move away from a more conventional kind of working arrangement at a more traditional kind of company and move toward running your own online business, you’ll need to shift your mindset and perspective on a lot of aspects in your life. One of the biggest and most important shifts is moving away from the “trading hours for dollars” mindset, for example. Just putting in the hours isn’t enough; you need to actually turn a profit. And working more hours doesn’t always result in more dollars either.

And while many of you may be nodding your heads in agreement at this point (or shaking your heads because you’ve heard this before), you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget or to overlook such necessary changes in how you think about work and business. A prime example of this is how much money you make, because revenue from your business is not the same as the income you earn from a job. And I’m not just talking about income tax implications either.

Cashing Your Paycheck

Let’s say you earn a fairly typical $50,000 salary from a fairly typical middle class kind of job. Maybe you earn more, maybe you earn less, but let’s use $50,000 as our hypothetical example. Now, let’s say that you decide to start a blog as a side hustle, which expands into social media, online video, email marketing, affiliate marketing, brand deals, and all the rest of it.

With some hard work in the evenings and weekends, coupled with a little luck on your side, you manage to bring in an impressive $50,000 in blog revenue in your first year. That puts you well ahead of the curve of the average blogger — as so many of them give up before even reaching their first AdSense payout threshold — and you’re pumped. As you should be. But is that $50,000 in blog revenue the same as the $50,000 salary you earned at your job.

No. Not at all. The relationship is far more nuanced and complicated than that.

It Takes Money to Make Money

To put it as simply as possible, broadly speaking, it doesn’t cost you any money to have a job. Yes, you might have commuting costs and such, but it doesn’t cost you a dime to have the opportunity to earn a paycheck. Not directly, anyway. Aside from the usual deductions (like income tax), that paycheck is wholly yours. It’s literally money in the bank.

Running an online business is different. It’s true that the basic costs of starting your own blog are fairly minimal. It’s also true that your costs can quickly increase as you start to look at the bigger picture. You’ve got additional bills to pay, like your own health insurance and contingency fund.

It costs money to run a business. You’ve got to pay for web hosting. Maybe you pay to maintain an email newsletter list or to use a premium social media management tool. Perhaps you invest in social media promotions and other marketing or advertising efforts, plus any work that you might outsource. Indeed, living on arbitrage might be one of the best business decisions you ever make.

But these costs and expenses all come out of that $50,000 in blog revenue. On the flip side, you can save a lot of money working from home too.

The Issue of Time

Here’s another big factor to consider when it comes to blog (or other online) revenue compared to regular income. When you work a more traditional kind of job, you can usually expect to receive the same paycheck every two weeks. Like clockwork. It’s reliable and consistent, with very little in terms of variability. Blog revenue isn’t like that.

Even if you get to a point where the actual numbers each month are relatively consistent, the payouts might not be. If you work with brands on sponsored content and influencer marketing campaigns, you might not see that money for 30, 60 or even 90 days in some cases. Even under the best of scenarios, many ad networks only pay once a month and your ad revenue can fluctuate wildly sometimes.

That’s why you need to save that contingency fund from the good times to ride out the low or laggy times. The simple fact is that not all money is made alike. Going into business for yourself has a lot of upside, but you also have to recognize that the money you earn from your blog should not be treated the same way as the paycheck you earn from an employer.

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C8 Corvettes at South OC Cars and Coffee http://www.sumpel.com/c8-corvettes-at-south-oc-cars-and-coffee/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=c8-corvettes-at-south-oc-cars-and-coffee http://www.sumpel.com/c8-corvettes-at-south-oc-cars-and-coffee/#respond Sat, 12 Sep 2020 20:16:18 +0000 http://www.sumpel.com/?p=35196 In this video, I head over to The Outlets at San Clemente to check out South OC Cars and Coffee. This weekly show brings hundreds of cars and thousands of spectators to The Outlets parking lot for a morning of petrol head action (and an occasional EV). The show offered a great opportunity for me the check out the new […]

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In this video, I head over to The Outlets at San Clemente to check out South OC Cars and Coffee. This weekly show brings hundreds of cars and thousands of spectators to The Outlets parking lot for a morning of petrol head action (and an occasional EV).

The show offered a great opportunity for me the check out the new C8 Corvette. There were nearly a half dozen samples to film. In addition to the C8, a couple of super rare Ferrari were there, plus all the other supercars. Enjoy the video.

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