5 Reasons to Harness the Power of Social Media

Monetizer spoke a bit before about using various social media sites, such as Myspace, Facebook, Gather, Squidoo and Yuwie for moneymaking and promotion. These are just 5 of many, many more Social media sites. They provide a great source of traffic and new subscribers for your blog, or regular visitors to your website. And while you may have the funds to buy advertising with Google Adwords, Text Links or elsewhere, you may want to look to social media as a very cost effective (FREE) way to advertise your site or blog.

Here's 5 reasons to consider using Social media for your promotional and monetization plan:

1) Millions of users are using these sites - Myspace, Facebook and Orkut.com realize large amounts of traffic on a daily basis. They rank among the top 10 most traveled websites on Alexa's ranking system. With the popularity of these and other social media sites, they provide important and large additional traffic sources for your blog or website.

2) Find target audiences easily & network - With the majority of social media sites, you can search for members with similar interests. From there you can begin to add friends or connections and amass a sizable network of potential readers, clients, subscribers etc.

3) They provide feedback & new ideas
- Often times with a blog you are limited to whether someone decides to comment your entry or if they happen to email you about something. However, on social media you can often receive opinions of the target audience a lot easier and faster. On Myspace for example, you can use a bulletin such as "what do you think of this blog entry about this topic?" You can provide a link to the blog entry for your friends to check out. Not only does it provide you valuable feedback to help understand your audience, but it also serves as a basis for new ideas for your blog or site.

4) It's free internet real estate - Many of these sites have high rankings in Alexa and are found regularly by Search engines. With regards to that, it's a smart cross promotion to have some profiles set up because it's yet another place people may see or find out about your blog/site. They also may let you provide backlinks to your site, which in turn can help your site's rankings in Google and other search engines.

5) Several offer you incentives and even money - Squidoo and Gather are two in particular you may wish to set up. With Gather, you earn gift cards and possibly cash. At the site you can upload your own original content including articles, pictures and videos. It works based on points you accumulate for leaving comments, getting comments or joining groups. There's a money earner program as well. So while you are promoting your site, you can basically be earning gift cards to use as contest prizes or potentially earn extra money.

Squidoo pays you based on giving you a share in the Adsense revenue. The formula is not really made known as to how you get this, but seems to be based on how popular your lens page you create becomes. In addition, you can earn if you place Amazon or Ebay modules (among other choices) on your lens page. Should someone make a buy, you earn commission. Ultimately, even if you forget about either your Gather or Squidoo accounts, they are still potentially earning you money on the side. There are others around as well if you do a little poking, but those 2 in particular seem to bring positive incentives and money.

So there you have 5 great reasons you should be milking social media for all it's worth. Don't get the impression or idea that Myspace is only used by immature kids or Squidoo is too hard to use, but instead embrace each as a potential way to attract new audience members to your blog or site and realize more subscribers.

In a future post, Monetizer will warn you against some of the dangers in relying on Myspace too heavily.

Important Lessons: Domain Names & Blog Topics

John Chow has a great recent post called "How to Brand Your Blog". In the blog entry, one of the first points he makes is "Get Your Own Domain Name" and I couldn't agree more. The Monetizer has done several other blogs and has seen some do better than others. Due to not having enough funds, most were built on Blogger or Blogspot. Reason being, blogger was quick, easy and free. However, Mr. Chow makes the great points about the fact that if your blog gets popular and big and you decide to move it, you're gonna lose out on link love and search engine help. In addition, you really can branch out with a domain name. First you have the blog, but then it will offer you the possibilities of adding a forum, or adding other pages to expand upon your blog. There's a lot of websites built using Wordpress blogging platform, it's just hard to tell. They have unique designs and are technically done with Wordpress blog software, because it's easy to make updates to their site material.

Darren Rowse at Problogger also has a recent video in which he discusses "Make Money Blogs". In this video he discusses how the Make Money niche of blogging is very crowded and gets little search engine activity. He also goes on to say most people will do a make money blog after seeing there are people "making money" already. They assume if they're doing it, so can I. It's very true, this is incorrect to assume, and Mr. Rowse suggests why not have a blog about making money in diary format about how you are trying to. Excellent point, and this is what "The Monetizer" blog is all about. An experiment in attempted money making. I can fail and succeed and show you what works along the way and how this is doing. In addition to that, Monetizer does know a thing or two about internet resources.

Back to what both, John Chow and Darren Rowse have said.

1) Get a domain name as early as you possibly can. Try to think up a clever catchy name that is easy for people to type into their browser. Domain names usually cost about $8 per year. You can head to most web hosting companies to get 1 and some will give you the domain free or cheap for your first year, if you buy web hosting.

2) Blog about a topic you'rea ble to blog about. This is strong advice Darren Rowse gives. If you start blogging about making money and it bores or frustrates you after not making money for a while, you're going to quit. However, if you're passionate about something like travel, sports, photography, etc, try blogging about those. It will show more to your readers and help you build the audience/traffic to make that money.

All in all, these 2 above factors are probably two of the biggest things to consider when you're setting up a blog that you want to turn into a successful moneymaker. Plan them well, and then start monetizing :)

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