Saturday, January 30, 2010

Keep Up To Date with Your Affiliate Product Promotions Using Ebay Pulse

If you use affiliate programs as a part of your internet marketing strategy, then you know how important it is to promote the right products at the right time. For instance, do you think an aspiring affiliate marketer would have much success trying to sell used, old Atari's from eBay on Twitter? I think not (however, there is value in the Atari game system with some die hard collectors, believe it or not) - this is not 1985. You would be better advised to promote the new Wii Fit Plus instead, since this is a very hot item, present-future.

There are several ways to stay on top of the best affiliate products. Television is probably the best way - if you see it being advertised on TV like mad, you can rest assured that it's a hot product to promote online as well. Aside from television, one of the best free tools you will ever find is on eBay, and it's called eBay Pulse.

If you take a look at the eBay Pulse tool snapshots above, you will notice that it's a niche affiliate marketer's dream. It breaks down the most popular items on eBay (1-10), the site's largest stores, the most watched items on the website, and a little link down at the bottom of the page which reads "See More eBay Pulse Categories". This particular link is golden because when it is clicked, the page that comes up is a free niche finder tool that covers any niche market imaginable! Let's say, for instance, that you wish to promote golf equipment (clubs, bags, gloves, etc.), this tool allows you to instantly view the hottest supplies in demand right now. The result is this new Pulse page pictured below. (Partial Page Only)

As anticipated, golf clubs are where the bread is buttered. More specifically, Taylor Made and Ping clubs are the most in demand clubs on eBay. This tells you that golfers are looking for Taylor Made and Ping golf clubs, and they prefer them at a heavily discounted price. They might even be willing to purchase them used. These facts leave you with a few options.

Your first option is to promote new Taylor Made clubs from a company like Austad's Golf. They have a great affiliate program, which is available through Commission Junction. They accept new affiliates readily, so they are a great company to get started with promoting the golf niche.

The second option you have is to buy used golf clubs off Craigslist or eBay and resell them at a profit on either site, or even on your own website. You would be surprised how inexpensive things are sometimes, on Craigslist especially. There could be a small defect in the club, or some other imperfection which makes it unsuitable to the owner - they might put it up for sale for 50% retail price. Buy it, touch it up a little bit, and put it back up for sale at 75% retail. I can guarantee you will sell it easily.

The moral of this story is, if you are looking for a free niche finder tool, look no further than eBay Pulse. If you have a niche already then use Pulse to expand your horizons. If you are looking for a new niche or two, then eBay Pulse will help you in many ways, and many times over.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Unleash The YouTube Producer Within You! (Part 2)

In part 1 of our YouTube marketing tutorial, we covered just a few of the best ways to create viral videos for YouTube. The three video creation and marketing tactics we covered in part 1 of our tutorial, you recall, were "The Insane", "The Unique", and "The Spin Off". Granted, these are three of the most successful  media models for viral video success on YouTube, but they aren't the only one's that can bring you success.

The Animals

Remember the viral video of the cat riding around on the motorized vacuum cleaner? There have been several spin-off videos of "Roomba Driver" but none have been able to duplicate it's success. Some of the spin-offs have been viral hits in their own right, but the original takes the cake most of the time on YouTube.

If you have a crazy dog who does something unique, get it on video, upload it to YouTube, title it descriptively, and add a detailed description to it. If it's funny and unique enough, you may just be on your way to viral success my friend.

The Meltdown

Many people take great humor in others getting angry over stupid things. I know I do sometimes. Did you ever see the movie "Christmas Vacation" with Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo? Who hasn't right? The scene of Clark punching and kicking the Santa Clause then punching and karate chopping the reindeer brought tears to my eyes! His extreme overreaction to the house lights going out was classic. Take a look at this classic scene from "Christmas Vacation".

If you decide to pursue this avenue to viral video riches, bear in mind that angry outbursts are usually only funny when they occur naturally. If you think that you can stage a fake outburst and make it go viral, I have some bad news for you. YouTube enthusiasts will see right through you as if you were a piece of white tissue paper.

If you want to video a hilarious angry outburst on the scale of Clark W. Griswold's classic meltdown, you will need to have a good bit of luck on your side first of all. In the real world, most people don't carry a video camera around with them at all times, making the likelihood of catching a temper tantrum on tape quite remote. So how do we catch an outrage on video, you ask? Well we all know someone who is abundantly "yang" right? The hot tempered of the world tend to lose their cool over the most minor irritations, often on a daily basis. Trail them for a weekend some time, and bring along your Samsung HMX-U10 HD Digital Camcorder (great for shooting home videos, especially those which are "YouTube Producer" ready), and you may just strike viral gold.

The Sexy Lady

A mega-viral smash video hit, you remember vividly I'm sure, was "Obama Girl". The best of video has nearly 17 million all time hits, and counting. The catchy nature of the spoof is a small part of the viral success no doubt, but the unquestionable attractiveness of "Obama Girl" herself gave the video's mass drawing power. When the beautiful woman can sing well too, it's pretty much a surefire viral hit in the making.

The Cute Kid

Kids are cute, let's tell it like it is folks. If your child is a ham (many are), you may already have the formula to YouTube fame sitting right beside you. If your kid likes the camera and he/she has a special talent, I suggest you get that camera rolling and let them do their thing. Don't be surprised if your child achieves stardom in a short time on the internet, and even if he or she pursues a modeling or acting career down the road.

The Movie Buff

If you are anything like me, you pride yourself in being a total movie buff! Are you a huge fan of the Star Wars Trilogy, or do you prefer Indiana Jones - The Complete Adventures Collection instead? Maybe you really dig the "Oceans Trilogy"? Well whatever your taste in movies, it is quite possible that you can turn your box office passion into profits.

Did you happen to catch the viral video featuring the Star Wars fanatic displaying his talent with the light saber? His overwhelming passion for the series has earned him 15 million views, and counting. I don't know about you, but I will put up with a little bit of teasing and ridicule for a viral smash video like this, any day of the week! This kid would probably concur with my school of thought, don't you think?

The Physical Comedian

What do the late John Ritter, the late Lucille Ball, Will Farrel, Ellen Degeneres, Conan O'Brien, Rowan Atkinson, the late Don Knotts, the late John Belushi, Chevy Chase, the late Peter Sellers, Michael Richards (Kramer), Steve Martin, the late Chris Farley, and the late Alfred Hawthorne (aka "Benny Hill") all have in common? You guessed it - they're some of the best physical comedians that ever graced the big screen.

Physical comedy is also known as "slapstick", and it appeals to a vast audience. Aspiring slapstick comedians are born every day on YouTube, and although few are as entertaining as a Steve Martin, even slightly above average slapstick talent will give you a chance to go viral in this category. Not many people are willing to attempt this kind of comedic style because it can be embarrassing and self-deprecating. It takes thick skin.

I suggest you rub some sand paper all over your body (to toughen your skin a bit) and give physical comedy a shot. If you discover that you are a natural born Larry, Curly, or Moe, then be prepared to start your own YouTube Channel because your fans will be in line waiting to see more of you!

The Shimmy-Shake

Can you dance a jig? Can you gather a large group of people together to watch you? Can you put it on tape? If you answered yes to all three of these questions, you may just be in business.

One of the very first viral videos I ever saw was the Evolution of Dance. If you watch the video a few times, it becomes quite clear that it is very simple and self-explanatory. Mashing up those different dance songs is easily accomplished, with either an iPod nano , or an external USB CD-ROM burner drive

As for the dances themselves, the guy in the video is a decent dancer but he's no pro, by any means. If you can loosen up and shake your booty a little bit, and if you can go impromptu, that's good enough to go viral in the dance category on YouTube.

Here is my suggestion to you. Mash up some various classic dance tunes like this guy did (do not use the same songs he used, whatever you do! He may have a patent on this particular song mix. The video has over 160 million hits to date, and that is very powerful stuff - this makes him powerful as hell too!) and rehearse the dance steps for a few weeks. When you feel confident enough to shoot your video for YouTube, gather your crowd of people and go for it. No matter how it turns out, upload it to the social network, title it, and describe it in complete detail. If it's going to go viral, you will know within a week.


Well, this should get your creative juices flowing. In this two-part tutorial, you have been presented with ten of the very most powerful viral video models on the planet. Some of the models can be mixed and matched as well. For instance, a killer "spin-off" of "Obama Girl" for the present time might be something like "O'Brien Chick" - Conan is pretty popular these days, no? If you know a beautiful woman who can also sing, I suggest you start planning and making some phone calls. If you don't, I will!

May viral YouTube bliss bestow upon you and yours. Cheers.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Backpage On Pace To Overtake Craigslist Within Five Years

For a very long time now, Craigslist has topped the charts when it comes to online classifieds advertising networks. It is no surprise that the website is still on top in this category, but what might be a bit of a surprise to some is that Backpage (Craigslist competitor-in-chief, if you will) is on the fast track to one day leapfrog Craigslist as the top online classifieds network. How long, you ask, may it take for this to occur? Not too long at all. I predict, by 2015 Backpage will be ranked higher in the Alexa Top 500 Global than Craigslist. It's five years from now I realize, but this is still a bold statement, since at the present time Craigslist is in the top 50 and Backpage has not even cracked the top 1000 list. Backpage must climb 1000 spots just to catch up to Craigslist!

Here is the reasoning behind my semi-ludicrous thinking. Craigslist has evolved into a haven for scam artists, prostitutes, frauds, money launders, criminals, and even murderers. This is not pure speculation on my part, it has been well documented and covered by all the major media outlets around the globe. This negative publicity for Craigslist has led to a frenzy of new rules and regulations, put in place by the site's administrators. These ultra-strict crackdowns are beginning to alienate members of the large online community, especially those posting the ads. In fact, many of Craigslist's most loyal advertisers are bolting in favor of the up and coming online classifieds network, Backpage.

Backpage is strict as well, but seemingly only when necessary. If a stalker is suspected of prowling Backpage in search of potential victims, and the admins of the site get wind of it, obviously they are going to intervene and take action. The attractive nature of Backpage stems from the fact that it isn't overloaded with cut-throats who use automated software programs to "flag" their competitors ads by the thousands. Believe it or not, this is one of Craigslist's biggest drawbacks currently. The worst part of this debacle is that the Craigslist brass is well aware of the tactic, but they refuse to do anything about it because they feel that the community as a whole don't want the ads posted in the first place. They see the automated flagging bots as a good thing, if you can believe that one!

These days it seems that Craigslist is nothing but a hassle for sellers and marketers. If you post an ad which has a fair amount of competition, chances are your add is going to be flagged and removed for absolutely no reason whatsoever. If you do manage to get your ad to stick for any length of time, don't be surprised if it gets ignored. The site has become such a firestorm for controversy and skepticism, practically each and every ad posted on the site is now being dissected and over-analyzed by the community. More and more legitimate, upstanding ads are being wrongly deemed "scams" just because the community is so cynical these days. Think about this, many of the cynics have probably been scammed at least once on Craigslist. They aren't about to let it happen again.

Do yourself a favor. If you use Craigslist for internet marketing, wholesaling, affiliate marketing, trading, buying/selling, or whatever, give Backpage a whirl some time. You might be surprised just how refreshing it is to not have to keep checking your account for fear that your ad has been deleted or flagged. Hey, you might even jump ship like many other Craigslist faithful have. After all, even the mightiest fall, especially when they don't heed the red flags waving right in front of their noses.