Touch Your Keyboard Goodbye.

8 04 2010

Remember when you learned in technology class that everything you know now will be outdated in 3 years? What if I told you that all the hardware you’re using will be gone in 5?

Scary to think, but the iPad is leading a revolution on more than just tablet computers. As reported by Mashable, and as demonstrated by Microsoft’s Technology Center view of the future, the touch screen computer will eventually (and fairly soon) be a way of life, replacing the familiar keyboard and mouse. According to IT research company Gartner, more than 50% of PCs purchased for users under 15 will have touchscreens by 2015.

Kids will be paving the way as Gartner sees huge potential for touchscreen devices in educational institutes. “Consensus among the U.S. school districts is that over half, and possibly as many as 75 percent, will be specifying touch and/or pen input within the next five years.” Creating an entire generation of touchscreen users.

What does this mean to you?

Wireless and flatscreen will be the way of life. Get on board before now you’re outdated.

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How Profitable is Domain Flipping?

31 03 2010

After hearing in class that Microsoft, one of the biggest internet giants in the world just happened to forgot to reregister one of their domain names and some nice civilian told them out of the goodness of his heart.. it got me thinking.

We can’t all be that lucky. Most of us are on the internet to make some Benjamin’s. And if you view the internet and webpages as real estate like most people do (buy, sell, trade and build-up), I want to know just how profitable can domain flipping be?

Apparently very. If you put some time and thought into it.

There are a few different strategies here:

1. Just straight up buy as many general, high level domain names as you can. Names you think may be worth something some day. This is part a numbers game and part pure luck, but can be somewhat strategically enhanced by using google’s keyword tool to identify common search phrases and keywords and then determining what domain names are available that are similar.

2. Build a site or landing page on the domain name using SEO techniques and then sell the domain with the content. Obviously a much bigger time commitment, but “when you put a house on your land, the value goes-up. So, as you would expect, when you put a website on your domain, the value goes up.” The more traffic you drive to your site through PPC, social media (getting a matching Twitter account is a great way to enhance natural listings through backlinks) or content creation, the more your site will be worth.

So what’s the  bottom line?

Recently, a domain name that was purchased for $40, was professionally appraised for $2,800 after the flip. Domain Flipping deals with profits in the 1000%-10,000% percent range. But in the famous words of the New Radicals, “You only get what you give.” As with anything, the more time and care you put into development, the bigger return you will see.


Source:

http://www.helium.com/items/686275-introduction-to-domain-flipping





To becoming this generation’s Heidi Fleiss…

19 01 2010

So check it, some of ya’ll may have heard my crazy idea to start a date auction website. Today was the first day I actually made some progress on that- by fully jumping in feet first. After meeting with my lawyer’s team (aka lovely cousins who have graciously offered to help me as they find this amusing and specialize in this type of venture), well not the Heidi Fleiss part, but the marketing of a startup site.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering where this idea came from. That would be the great Keep on Keeping on Foundation who I volunteer with and participate in their real live date auction event every December. I told them they’d make a ton more money by doing the pre-auction online, and that if a chick could sell her virginity on ebay, whose to say we can’t sell dates online. They said go for it. And thus the idea was born. Continuing the convo with my group of friends, they were all about it. My social circle all define ourselves as triple threats- smart, funny and with looks to kill (cocky, maybe, but more like healthy confidence haha). We deserve to be wowed, so this is a way for guys to get our attention aside from the usual lame lines.

A little overview of the market research, 1 in 8 couples met online in 2009. But for some reason, online dating still has a stigma. People are embarrassed to admit they’ve dabbled. Or even peeked. Or maybe even made a fake profile so you could check out the landscape anonymously.

I’d be willing to bet all those sites have extremely low conversion rates. People may do the free trials, but won’t pull the trigger and sign up. Why? Because they don’t want to be “one of those people.“

But this would be the exactly the opposite of that. It’s cool to be the center of our online “bar.” You want attention. You want people to know you’re a rockstar. It’s like Hot or Not, the more “hits on you” the better.

Anyway, back to my lawyer meeting. I went in with questions like what kind of language do I need in the terms and conditions to release liability, does a web company need to be incorporated in multiple states, and most importantly, is this prostitution (apparently it is if you let the people keep part of the earnings haha). I left with more questions than I started with as apparently there’s all kinds of legality involved with NFP co-beneficial relationships and a bunch of other issues raised. It’s cool, it’s my own thing and it’s a fun project.

But as much as I like to do everything on my own I know things always turn out better when you have a little help from your friends…in the words of the Beatles. Besides, all you need is love. (But in this case not free love).

If anyone has any advice on said ventures, gone through the process of starting a startup themselves, skills to donate or know anyone who can do these things (programming/developers, etc.), or any creative direction- I would love your input/help/ideas. The first project is to come up with a name. I am completely stuck. Below are a few domains that are available, but I’m not in love with any of them.. anyone have any suggestions?

Datechi.com

Singleinchi.com

Meetinchi.com *twitter

Bestbuychi.com*twitter

Datebidbuy.com*twitter

Datebidbuychi.com

Datebuychi.com*twitter

Datebychi.com*twitter

Datedashchi.com*twitter datedash

Chicagodatedash.com*twitter

Cspotonline.com

Mychicagoloop.com





A Decade of Social Media Milestones

2 01 2010

Isn’t it crazy to think we’re at the forefront of a field that didn’t exist a decade ago? I try to explain what I do to my grandparents and they give me an odd look and say “you can make money by connecting with people online? Why couldn’t you be a lawyer or doctor?”

Here are some key social media milestones that got us where we are today..feel free to add your own!

2001- Wikipedia launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger and becomes the largest and most popular general reference site on the Internet.

2002- Friendster founded by computer programmer Jonathan Abrams in 2002 in Mountain View, California before the creation, launch and adoption of MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn

2002- LinkedIn founded by Jeff Weiner, previously a Yahoo! Inc. executive.

2004- the term “Social media” was used first after LinkedIn created their social network application

2004- Facebook launched by Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg after drunkenly blogging about a girl who dumped him

2004- beginning of the age of Web 2.0 to be associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design[1] and collaboration (but term coined in 1999 by Darcy DiNucci in the article, “Fragmented Future)

2006- Twitter secret project launched by Dorsey

2006- MySpace became the most popular social networking site in the United States

2006-AIM reports the largest share of instant messaging users with 52% (initially released in 1997)

2006/2007- Microblogging gained popularity due to tumblr.

2007, blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 112,000,000 blogs.

2008- MySpace was overtaken internationally by its main competitor, Facebook, in April 2008 based on monthly unique visitors.

2009-Twitter changed social media spectrum by changing the question of “What are you doing?” to “What’s happening?”.and now ranks as one of the 50 most popular websites worldwide by Alexa’s web traffic analysis and also as one of the fastest growing websites.

2008/2009- Fmylife, awkwardfamilyphotos, peopleofwalmart and textsfromlastnight entertain drunk kids and help nurse hangovers

2009- Google buys foursquare

2009- Google wave anticipated to be the social media management platform of the future, allowing communications in real-time





How to Start Making Money Online: Affiliate Marketing 101

23 12 2009

There are thousands of affiliate marketing programs online..how do you know which ads or which offers to include on your site? Or even where to start?

1. Determine what topics you are knowledgeable and interested in at to be able to write about.  If you know nothing about cars, don’t attempt a mechanics site :o) You won’t sound like an expert and you’ll bore yourself to tears.

2. Look for offers in the field of your interest. Determine which have the greatest dollar potential, there are millions listed online at sites like clickbank.com or  Affiliate Tips

3. Compare your topic ideas to how much potential traffic there is for that subject matter by using Google’s free search tool to determine # of monthly searches and the cost advertisers pay for that traffic.

4. Select the one with the most potential and start writing articles tmblr or a wordpress blog are a great place to start. You can post the links on all your social media accounts.

5. Create  the associated twitter account to promote it, for example if your site is wineconnoisseur.com, you would want a wino type twitter page to reach people with similar interests.

Badabing. Instant Free social media eye balls and hopefully lots of sales. Let me hear about your success, tips or tricks!





3 Landing Page Tips that Will Change Your Life.

16 12 2009

Banging your head against a wall to figure out how to increase your conversion rates?

Little known fact: Your landing page copy, design and structure is equally, if not a greater contributor to the success of your PPC campaign than the ads themselves.

Scary, huh? I know, it’s time consuming and exhausting, but it’s time to stop being lazy and think through every element of that page before you launch it.  Or better yet…test it. (This is for a later lesson). Changing minor aesthetic elements in some cases boosted our traffic 3x! And it can do it to yours, too! But with so many sites and pages, what should you focus on?

1. On-page factors — design, copy, call to action promotions and imagery

2. Site-wide factors — Navigation, credibility seals, and shipping and return policies

3. Merchandising factors — product assortment, seasonal buying patterns and visitor segmentation

The bottom line: Focus on simplicity for usability 101. You want the least amount of distractions possible (excess text, flashy banners, distracting links) to get the user to complete the desired action. And track everything  to see what affects what.

Great Resources:

http://www.exclusiveconcepts.com/conversionbooster.php

http://www.quickonlinetips.com/archives/2009/11/create-landing-pages/

http://searchenginewatch.com/3635469

http://www.ppchero.com/landing-page-testing-how-to-test-and-what-to-test/

http://www.interwoven.com/components/static/landing_pages/optimost/landing_page_optimization.html?WT.Srch=1