Are You Getting Results from Your Online Business?

Well it’s been a while since my last post. It’s not that I’ve been busy…it’s more the fact that I couldn’t be bothered writing for this blog.  Sounds bad doesn’t it? But when it comes down to it, this blog isn’t how we make our money. In fact, it makes us nothing at all except when we write up a review for something (which is few and far between) or when someone pays for advertising space.

For now, this blog really is just a way of expressing my views of this online business I am in and also provide advice to others who are wanting to make a living online.  So I personally don’t want to have to feel forced to write every day for it simply to keep the traffic coming in order to make sales.

But not only that, I find this business model for making money online quite time consuming. It also requires consistent action in order to maintain the momentum and quite a bit of networking in order to build a following.

In contrast, I find that the model we use to make money online is so much easier and once set up requires minimal work.

For instance, to get this particular blog up and running to a level of making a consistent income I would probably need to do the following on a consistent basis:

  • leave blog comments on other peoples websites
  • leave forum posts
  • tweet regularly
  • regularly post on Facebook
  • write at least one blog post a day
  • network, network, network!
  • regularly post to my email list
  • check RSS feeds on a daily basis (something that I don’t do at all by the way)
  • write guest posts
  • work on JV’s

That to me is a lot of work.

On the other hand our model requires the following:

  • find a product in Amazon
  • do a bit of keyword research
  • write up a really good review for that product and post to one of our blogs
  • get traffic to it

The difference between the two is that the first model requires consistent effort (usually daily) whereas the second model requires a one-off amount of work. The only consistent work involved with this is getting the traffic and even then once a level of traffic is achieved we don’t have to worry too much about it.

So we can take a week off and not do any work without it affecting our business. In fact, we can take a month off because the pages we have set up already get traffic and don’t need constant work to maintain that traffic. Obviously we can’t neglect those pages totally but the work involved with maintaining them doesn’t have to be done on a daily basis nor on a weekly basis once the traffic is there.

When it comes down to it, you only need a handful of good pages to make a full time income online. We have individual pages that consistently make over $500 a week and that is without ongoing effort on our part. So we don’t need to blog consistently or leave blog comments or check RSS feeds or post regularly on forums or Twitter constantly. All we really need to do is get traffic to our top product review pages and that really is just a handful of pages per website.

I’m on a mission at the moment to simplify everything we do. I want the The 4-Hour Workweek lifestyle…who wouldn’t?…but the only way we are going to get that is to consistenly analyze what we do to see what is working and what isn’t and then refine the process.

What me and Wanda do is get out the butchers paper and write down the tasks we do on a regular basis. We then go through each to see whether each task is actually worth the effort. For instance, at this moment in time we don’t see the value in spending hours a day on Twitter. It brings in minimal traffic for the amount of time and work that is involved. So you’ll notice the Twitter account for this blog has been pretty quiet these days as has the rest of our Twitter accounts. That’s not to say that Twitter doesn’t have value but for us it’s too much work for the results we are getting.

So what about you? Have you thought about the effort you put into your online business? If you are new to making money online then obviously you are going to have to do a bit of work before you see results but what about those that have been online for a while. Are you actually making any money for all the work you are putting into it? If not, then you need to step back and look at exactly what tasks you are doing on a daily basis and see if they are getting you the results you desire.

Twitters LIST Feature – Is this the beginning of the end?

Today as I logged into Twitter I noticed an announcement at the very top of the screen introducing Twitters new LIST function. So I promptly clicked on the ‘Create New List’ option and proceeded to create my very first List. It wasn’t difficult and within about a minute or so I had a list of some of my favorite tweeters.

Twitter List FunctionAs I was doing this it suddenly occured to me that this could possibly change the face of Twitter forever…at least in terms of making money from it.

Let’s face it, the good majority of those on Twitter follow someone only to get them to follow them back. This is what Twitter has become. It is really just a big marketing network with each person trying to sell something. Even the big celebrities are there to sell themselves, their image, their next movie or whatever. There really are only a small handful on Twitter who use it to chat simply for the sake of chatting…and the reason there are only a few is that as a means of communicating it really is a clumsy system.

So if we want to make money on Twitter and we need followers to do that, then I can see the potential for the new LIST system to make it just that much more difficult.

This is how I see it…users are going to log in and head straight to their favorites list and hang out there. What this means is that they don’t get to see the full list of tweets coming from the regular list they are following…they only see the tweets from their favorites list.

Now I see this as a good thing because when you think about it, it can only increase the quality of the tweets on Twitter. I mean who is going to add a spammer or someone who is constantly promoting products to a favorites list? You are really going to have to start getting good with your tweets in order to be added to someones list AND ‘getting good’ means providing quality and not promoting products every second tweet.

If it happens to go this way, then a lot of people are going to leave Twitter as it will get harder and harder to make money with it. If enough people start to leave then Twitter’s popularity may just start to wane. After all, the only reason Twitter became as popular as it has is because of its money making potential. Or to put it another way, if Twitter suddenly made it mandatory that you could no longer promote products on the site, how many people do you think would actually be left on it? 

I believe that people really need to be able to continue to easily make money from Twitter if it is to maintain it’s popularity. If the money is no longer there then people will only leave looking for the next big thing to make them rich.

This could just be the beginning of the end for Twitter if this is how it all pans out. Hopefully my thinking is totally wrong and instead the new List system opens up a whole new world of opportunities. I guess we can only wait and see…

Is the Tweetie 2 iPhone App Worth Buying?

For most of the day today one of the trending topics on Twitter has been Tweetie 2 so since I had no idea what it was and I was just a little curious, I clicked on the link to see what the fuss was about.

Well I’m glad I did because I found out that it is an iPhone or iPod Touch application that you can use to access Twitter and do all the things you normally do on Twitter on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

This application isnt free and for me being in Australia it cost $3.99AUD…not a huge amount of money but when you can get other Twitter applications for free you usually think twice before spending. However, the ratings for it looked really good so I decided to take the plunge.

I have only been using it for about 30 minutes and have had a lot of fun so far. This application has so many features that some of the other Twitter applications lack like:

  • The ability to handle multiple accounts – I love this…I have quite a few accounts and it makes it so easy to get into each one without having to open a new window and enter passwords. In fact, the accounts are all listed on one page (once you enter them in the first time) and it is just a matter of touching the account with your finger to get into it…so easy!
  • An easy to use retweet option – this is so much easier than using twitter itself which doesn’t actually have a retweet option. It’s just a matter of finding the tweet you like and selecting a retweet button.
  • There is also a place to draft your tweets and save until later to post.
  • You can also update your profile via Tweetie 2.
  • There is an offline mode but I haven’t gotten into that yet so not sure what is involved.
  • And I just found out that it has the ability to reveal the short urls – in other words you can see the full original url and not just the shortened url.

As I said, I’ve only been using it for about half a hour now but I can definitely recommend this great little app if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch.

UPDATE: Since yesterday I have been using this application quite extensivley and I have to say that I am starting to prefer using my iPod Touch to access Twitter over my desktop computer. In the past, I had used other Twitter applications on my iPod Touch but only used them for when I wasn’t at my computer as although they did the job, they just weren’t as easy to work with as Tweetie 2.

But my absolute favorite part of Tweetie 2 is the ability to swap seemlessly between multiple accounts. I know I have already mentioned it above but anyone who has multiple Twitter accounts will understand how messy it can getting logging  in and out of different accounts.

Other features include:

  • the ability to link twitter accounts to your Address Book contacts
  • the ability to save searches
  • a translation facility to translate tweets
  • the ability to add photos and video you have on your iPhone/iPod Touch
  • a url shortener
  • hashtags

I have to say that I am loving it.

If you have Tweetie 2 tell us your experiences or if you have a question leave a comment below. We answer most comments left on our blog.

I’m No Longer in a Twitter Over Twitter…

Yes, you heard right…I think I am over Twitter. Why?…well for a number of reasons actually but read on…

When Twitter first started to become popular I went in and created an account for one of my niche blogs but at the time I really couldn’t understand what it was all about let alone what the point of it was. But Twitter got even more popular so I persevered and created Twitter accounts for most of our websites including this one (@affiliateblogon).

But even after using it for some time, for the life of me, I really can’t see the appeal of Twitter in terms of a form of communication.  It really is both clumsy and inefficient…BUT it seems to work for a hell of a lot of people to promote whatever it is they are promoting. So the inefficiency of this networking tool is forgotten in the rush to get as many followers as possible in order to make as much money as possible.

Okay I can accept that…I am in the business of making money online too so I understand the thinking here. Unfortunately however, in my view, Twitter is starting to become one big spammy piece of junk.

Just take my own followers for instance which, as I write this post, are up around the 1150 mark…not too bad I suppose except when you consider that a large number of people are getting tens of thousands of followers with some having followers numbering in the millions  – my 1150 followers now starts to look a bit shabby in comparison.

Of that 1150, I follow about 800 or so and out of that, probably a handful actually Tweet live – the rest have preprogrammed Tweets  in place that go up on a regular basis throughout the day. Some even repeat the same posts over and over so they might have the same 10 tweets go up every day. The majority of those tweets are 140 characters of promotional garbage…the rest are quotes or retweets of someone elses garbage , so that only a small number of those left are actually worth looking at.

I also find that once you are following more than a couple hundred people it is almost impossible to keep up with the number of incoming tweets so it becomes almost redundant if you truly want to keep up with what someone has to say.

Now some of you are probably thinking why I just don’t unfollow them…and I’d have to agree with you. This has been in my thoughts for the past week or so but I also have this almost warped thinking that says if you unfollow them, they will unfollow you and then you will be back to only a couple hundred followers…and as it appears that everyone is using Twitter I might get left behind by not keeping up with it all.

I mean, a celebrity can afford to not follow anyone and still get thousands of followers but anyone else needs to work for it. This means following people, tweeting appropriately, retweeting and  generally just chatting to people you are interested in chatting to. It’s not difficult by any means but it can take up a lot of time and I am wondering is it really worth it…maybe I need to get to 10,000 followers in order to answer that question.

Others reading this might also say that I should be following those in the same niche – in other words, grab people who are interested in what you have to say…stick with quality not quantity. Actually, that is what I have been doing but unfortunately my niche is all about making money online and that does tend to attract spammers. So what looks like quality ends up  being someone who just sends out promotional tweets to get you to sign up for something or go to their recommended site if I want to get more followers!

When it comes down to it, and to be totally honest, I am really only following someone to get them to follow me…that is my total motivation for using Twitter. It doesn’t sound right does it? I am not sure whether my thinking needs to change or whether I just need to go with the flow and do what the majority of people are doing and just keep working at getting more followers.

Now you can see my dilemma – although I am over Twitter  I can see the potential in this rather clumsy system.

So despite this blog post I am not giving up on Twitter and I am trying to stay positive about it. I am going to see where it goes – my thinking is that it can only get better with more followers and I hope to come back in a few months time and say how wrong I was and that Twitter made a real difference in my affiliate business.

Even so at this point I am more disullusioned with the amount of spam on there than anything else and I know that at some point I am going to do a mass unfollow and stick with a handful of people whose tweets I really want to read…in other words, use Twitter as it was intended to be used.

Stay tuned…