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The 4 P’s of Marketing and your Blog, It’s all in the Mix

Marketing Mix
photo by TooFarNorth

The Marketing Mix that is, You may or may not of heard about the 4 P’s. They are essentially the 4 most important points to consider before launching a product, except I’m going for a slight twist, the product is a blog, your blog (or website).

So time for some clever marketing,

the 4 p’s are:-

  • Product
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Place

So how do they apply,

Product

Your product blog or website must serve a need or want of customers/readers. There is no point creating a blog aimed at no-one. Research your target audience, the likely popularity of your subject/niche and decide what they need or want. There is no point on a ‘make money online’ blog to go and discuss keeping hamsters as a pet, because your readers are not expecting this sort of content. But on the other hand if you have a personal blog you may be able to discuss a wider range of topics, as your readers are not expecting content concentrating on a single subject. In many ways the person behind the blog is the product, in the same way celebrities are in ‘real’ life, the interest is in the actions of the person/blogger.

Price

Unlike normal products, you don’t set a real price on accessing your blog (unless you sell a product). Therefore this part of the marketing mix is open to interpretation to some extent. But for every action for a reader costs, e.g reading your article is costing them time so ultimately they want/need to gain something useful, if they don’t gain from your blog, they may not return. Hence writing valuable content target at your market, therefore your readers, is essential for success. As the average time spent, plus the number of return visits rise, so does the value of your blog.

For those who choose to display advertising, charging too much is not going to encourage repeat business or positive referrals, but charging too little can lead to poor returns. Trying to get a good balance is essential. You may have seen I have added Adtoll and Project Wonderful ads to this site, they are great as the cost of advertising is set by demand and number of readers therefore leading to a fair value for advertising for both parties.

Promotion

If no-one knows about a product it wont sell, If no-one knows about your blog it wont get read.

Promote it, tell the world about your wonderful blog and how it can help them or why they need to read it.

This can be accomplished by many ways, such as web directories, search engine listings, forums, commenting on other blogs, social marketing, exchanging links, widgets (entrecard, blogrush) and word of mouth (tell friends and family) e.t.c.

Placement

Again open to interpretation, for a normal product it describes how many outlets you have got for your product. For a blog this could be seen as how many incoming links you have got, as mentioned within promotion. Network with other bloggers and try to exchange suitable links with your blog. If your link compliments their content, the visitors you get are more likely to be interested in your product, your blog. Therefore could become potential readers/subscribers. A link from a random site will not give you ‘customers’ for your target audience. Targeted traffic is essential.

Overall I hope this has given a useful introduction to the marketing mix and applying it to your blog. Applying all 4 P’s will give you synergy or to rest of us 1+1+1+1 = 5. I will discuss further the 4 P’s individually in future posts, so stay tuned!

Cheers,

Martyn.

Hot Online Surveys for Cash

paid surveys
photo by -bast-

This is probably the easiest way to make money online for students or for that fact anyone.

Take a survey get rewarded in cash or credits that you can exchange for vouchers. Sounds too easy, but not all paid surveys sites are well paid. So I thought I would today discuss my opinion of 3 major players within the UK market and how I’ve done.

Toluna

This was the last one I signed up for, but has been the best so far. As well as surveys there is an active community site where you can earn points as well. Generally surveys take between 5 and 30 min’s to complete they are well rewarded and the frequency I am offered surveys to complete is often very good, generally several a week. Even surveys I’m not in the target audience for, often give a small reward of points.

Points can be exchanged for vouchers such as for Sainsbury’s or HMV. For example at the moment 30,000 points converts to a 5 voucher for Sainsbury’s. Hopefully one should be arriving on my door mat in the next couple of days.

Valued Opinions

This one is all in cash, minimum payout is 10 in the form of a voucher, at the moment this includes Tesco, Argos, Amazon plus more. Also you can donate your earnings to charities including British Red Cross and WWF. I receive surveys less frequently than Toluna but they are often better payed. Also pricing is much clearer as there are no points to convert. But unlike Toluna if you are are not part of the target audience or they have as many responses as they were looking for, you are compensated with a ‘prize draw ticket’, a little bit of a drawback. But relative with my earnings for Toluna they’re not far behind.

YouGov

The first I signed up to, also probably better known because their surveys are often used in newspapers and television. Also available to American visitors (the other two I’m not sure about). It works on the same basis as Valued Opinions except payout is 50 but in cash (by cheque). The drawback, well I’m lucky to see a survey every fortnight, the reward is often ok, but at this rate it may take me a year and a half to reach that 50. Unlike the other two it has a referral system, for anyone you refer you earn an equivalent amount to what they earn in the first 3 months. Although it is the survey site I have found to be least effective.

So what happens.

Well you sign up, probably the longest part as you are asked for various details, so you can be asked to surveys applicable to you. This can lead to some being asked to more or less surveys, but that’s the luck of the draw. Once signed up you will be emailed about any opportunities with the amount of reward you recieve, complete the survey and you are away. But don’t expect much, it is best described as pocket money than a serious income, but you may enjoy it!

In conclusion I recommend Toluna although, Valued Opinions are not far behind.

Best of luck,

Martyn.

Blog Re-design Underway

Under Construction
photo by Daniel Morris

Initially my plan was to get off the ground as quickly as possible, but as with many new blogs I put little thought into the direction I was taking. In many ways I jumped in with my eyes shut. So learning to blog effectively has been a steep learning curve, but worth it.

Now I have decided to try and push this blog to the next level by modifying a ‘off the shelf’ theme to personalise it, make it unique and most importantly give a professional look to this blog.

But most importantly I am trying to differentiate this blog from the thousands of ‘Make Money Online’ blogs that have appeared over the last 5 years or so, hence this market has become so overcrowd with blogs that regurgitate the same material week in, week out.

For me this is still an exciting experiment and testing ground for future projects, but one thing I have learnt is you are not going to become rich overnight. You also need to put a lot of hard work in to get anywhere / get noticed.

So what’s changing?

  • Martyn’s Blog will become Money Making Student, nothing wrong with ‘Martyn’s Blog’ but it sounds to much like a personal blog about life in general. Money Making Student is more concise and to the point.
  • Theme is personalised and more professionally looking, although not finalised, I plan to tinker with it over the next couple of weeks, bear with me it could get messy. If you have any suggestions or criticism please let me know!
  • Personalised domain name, the current address is clumsy and was only planned as a stop gap. The gap seemed to have got very big!
  • More adverts, hopefully I don’t end up giving the impression of a free ads newspaper, but by placing the ‘useful’ stuff on the left and ads on the right, I won’t confuse or mislead anyone intentionally!

Any feedback is most welcome, I discuss the changes in more depth once I have completed them and visitors and me are happy with the result!

Cheers,

Martyn.





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