Setting Up Twitter To Promote Your SplashPlan Site

Twitter is a great social media platform for promoting a website, with the ability to use your website link as part of your profile and as part of your tweets.  Make sure not to overuse this feature as it does get to be a bit irritating to other users.  You may find yourself unfollowed.

Set up your twitter site by going to twitter.com and clicking Sign Up in the upper right.  Follow along with twitter’s set up wizard to get the basics down.

Once you are online, make sure your profile looks good and send your first tweet.  That’s all there is to it!

Make sure to watch the video below for more detail.

What is a URL or Website Address?

A URL is a synonym or shortened version of Uniform Resource Locator.  It can be a website address… which is usually what I am asking for when I say provide a URL.  Here is a link to the definition on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_resource_locator

The link above is a URL and starts with http://  In most browsers you can also copy the URL of the current page your on by highlighting the address bar, right clicking, and copying it (a menu will drop down when you right click it).

You may also see a URL or website address start with https://  The “s” in this case represents a page on a secure server or the secure version of the page (often you can load it with or without the s).  Other URLs that are not website addresses include mail: and ftp:  mail: represents an email address and ftp: represents an ftp location (file transfer protocol).

Why is all of this important?  If I ask for a URL or website address and you just put “bob’s website”, that doesn’t work too well… neither would splashplan.com because it doesn’t indicate it’s a web address without the http://   …   so when I link to it, it just appends to the current web page location (append means it sticks it on the end).

In addition, to be a web marketer, we must understand web terminologies…. so I hope I’ve taught you a couple new ones tonight.  You will need to use a full URL each time you want some other website to link to your page.  You use them in HTML a lot.  (HyperText Markup Language)  You can use HTML in classified ads to display a picture or make your text look different than normal (colors, bold, italics, underline, etc).  HTML is good to know along with what a URL is.

I’ve been around a while so URLs, website addresses, and HTML (as well as PHP) are mostly second nature to me… so I apologize if I sound too snarky about it… I know beginners need to know the basics of being online as well as the more advanced stuff, so here is my attempt to help out the internet with more information on the same things.  Don’t believe me?  Google search it…

Make sure to check out SplashPlan.com (click)

Do you use cookies?

Yes!  When somebody visits your splashplan site at xxxxxx.splashplan.com, we put a cookie into their browser so that when they return, you are still their sponsor.  The cookie is good for one year from the time of each visit (as we refresh the cookie with each visit).

If a visitor goes to a different splashplan site (a different member’s site), they continue to have the same sponsor information as when they initially visited, although they will see another member’s site on the home page.  This is only true for the home page.  Once they go to the registration page, they will see their correct sponsor.

We really want to give our members a fighting chance at sponsoring people under them so we are doing all we can to make sure that happens.

Even if we didn’t use cookies, visitors often bookmark the initial page they visit, or return from the same link, and the URL (web address) contains the sponsor’s subdomain name.

Do you have a suggestion for a better way to track visitors and credit sign ups?  Please feel free to write us at info@splashplan.com.

How do I make money with SplashPlan.com?

SplashPlan.com is a free service itself, but has links to paid services that you can buy.  In addition, you can change the affiliate link for the service so that you get credit whenever any SplashPlan member that joins under you buys the paid services.

Of course, there’s always your MLM program.  Most new members will not initially join your program, true.  But as they learn more about you and work with you, you will become a person with whom they trust and think of if they decide to make a change in the future.

Amazon.com No Longer Pays Affiliates In Illinois

Amazon.com sent us an email this week stating they are terminating the contracts of associates in Illinois.  The following is a copy of the email we received:

“Hello,

For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of Illinois residents. Unfortunately, a new state tax law signed by Governor Quinn compels us to terminate this program for Illinois-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers – including but not limited to those referred by Illinois-based affiliates like you – even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.

We had opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It was supported by national retailing chains, most of which are based outside Illinois, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that its enactment forces this action.

As a result of the new law, contracts with all Illinois affiliates of the Amazon Associates Program will be terminated and those Illinois residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to April 15, 2011 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of April 15, 2011, any final payments will be paid by July 1, 2011.

You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of Illinois. If you are not currently a permanent resident of Illinois, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates account here. And if you relocate to another state after April 15, please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.

To be clear, this development will only impact our ability to continue the Associates Program in Illinois, and will not affect the ability of Illinois residents to purchase online at www.amazon.com from Amazon’s retail business.

We have enjoyed working with you and other Illinois-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to Illinois residents.

Regards,

The Amazon Associates Team”

The Perils Of Technology

This article is not about some doomsday scenario, or perhaps how computers will take over the world, but is a little more pragmatic in its approach. Technology is wonderful and great, has helped us become more productive, helps us communicate more efficiently, and so on and so forth. However, as we become more and more dependent on technology, business risks increase. As a good for instance, my entire blog network went down the weekend of January 1st and 2nd because I accidentally maintained my web hosting away. Nothing told me that I was doing it, and I certainly didn’t intend it, but it was a consequence of something else I was doing. Boom, gone. Then my blog network was down for two days as I tried to restore it.

Many businesses are extremely dependent on computers and technology these days. If the power went out, most business could not happen. Even my little tiny consulting business would be suffering… I have not done anything on paper recently and it would be a major shock. However, I could ultimately do business without technology after significant adjustments. However, I do technology consulting so I could not do billable work. The companies that I work with are heavily dependent on technology so they literally could not do business if the power went out.

There are many, many risks to our technology infrastructure that could leave a business or businesses severely handicapped, even to the point of putting them out of business. If you manage technology risks, I am sure you know what I am talking about, so I will not go into detail. Many companies are prepared for disasters but it is often the devil you do not know that will really hurt you. In fact, I made a list of risks for a client and over the following three years, some happened and other problems not on my list happened. These problems can knock you out for hours or days. The complexity of understanding and fixing technology problems are well beyond most people as it often takes teams to resolve them.

Now I am not saying to do business without technology. You cannot. It would be too expensive and many of your competitors would run right over you. You have to use technology but you have to understand the risks. You have to be prepared for, and practice recovering from, problems that may never happen but could.

What kinds of technology problems have you encountered?

Where My Blog Traffic Comes From

I am going to tell you some secrets in this article.  Perhaps they are known by those of us who have had blogs for a while but may be new to new bloggers.

I have been writing articles for my blog for about 4 months now and have gotten about 1350 visitors in the past month based upon Google Analytics.  When I analyzed the sources of traffic, here is what I found:

Referred: 46.35%
Direct: 23.69%
Search: 12.8%
Other: 7.16%

Referred Traffic

Referred traffic is non-search traffic coming from other web sites.  Of the referred traffic, probably half is paid clicks from StumbleUpon or Google.  I pay about a nickel a click from both sites so I don’t spend a whole lot of money.  In fact, I now have Google Adwords set to 25 cents per day.  I think StumbleUpon is about the same.

The other half of this traffic comes from posting comments in other blogs, click throughs from feedburner (my rss feed), and links people give me from their websites out of the goodness of their own heart.  I probably get about 15 to 20 clicks per day from my twitter account also; I am not sure where these are accounted for, they may be in Other.

Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is when people enter your website name in their browser.  However, I cheat a bit.  I own about 100 web site names and get about 10 to 15 clicks on average per day from them.  That only accounts for half of the direct traffic though.  The other half is returning visitors and referrals from past visitors I believe.

Search Traffic

My search traffic is actually a bit misleading because the vast majority of searches that found my site in the past month are looking for my name, a specific article title, the web site name, or something else that looks specifically like the visitor is trying to find the site.  I do get a few new visitors a day from organic searches of non-specific search terms and hopefully they also become regular readers.

Other Traffic

It’s hard to tell what other traffic is in Google Analytics because it doesn’t really break it out for you to show you where other traffic comes from.  I was thinking it might be my twitter traffic from when I post an article or other referrals that it can’t classify.

Summary

Unlike what you might believe, generic, organic searches are only a very small part of my overall traffic; but the volume is growing quickly.  More important than getting on the search engines is giving your visitors something worthwhile to find.  Good content brings people back along with their friends.

I did buy some of my traffic but really I spend very little, maybe $100 per month total.  This is just my impatience because ultimately it will mean nothing.  The relationship I build with you, my reader, will mean the most.  Where do you get most of your traffic?

Using Sex To Sell – Do Nerds Really Love Hot Blondes?

I am a computer guy, so I’ll start there. I am not the nerd I used to be, but I still love a good technical solution. And I do love GoDaddy. They have been an excellent company to do business with, much better than the domain/hosting company we had in the past. Still, I have to wonder about their commercials… If you are selling domain names, hosting, and other online services, does using sex to sell them really leap out as a marketing ploy? Well… yes. I gotta admit, their commercials are goofy but entertaining.

Sex has been used to sell all kinds of products over the years from shaving cream to lingerie to Harley Davidson Motorcycles. Men often want to believe that using a certain product will make them the envy of cute girls, if even only subconsciously. So domains by GoDaddy are the envy of really cute girls, NOT. But hey, a guy can dream.

That’s what these commercials do, they put us in the middle of a really bad porno and make us expect that the rest of life is going to be similar. Even the mundane web site, domain name, hosting, etc. products are more exciting with sex. Does it really take much creativity to think these things up? Probably not, but putting them together, sex and technology, is really a stretch… that works. The commercials and controversy worked guys. So should we do the same?

I liked GoDaddy because of their business. But I noticed GoDaddy because of their commercials. You really do need a good business model or the marketing dollars really will not pay off. Sex or no sex. And could you get the attention without the sex? Probably not, but if you put some creativity into it, who knows?

Check out the following resources:

Why We Moved To GoDaddy

So far, I have only written one review about another website. This time I feel very strongly and I wanted to share my opinion with you. Once upon a time we used a web/hosting company that I’ll avoid using their name. They are somewhat popular as they are advertised quite a bit. I was getting into the habit of registering domain names and pointing them to my blog. One problem is that my web company charged me for the forwarding as well as registering the domain. I really didn’t think much about that as long as it worked.

I did start running into problem where I could not forward the domain on my own and I would have to call and wait on hold for someone to help me. I had written emails but they were completely unanswered. Finally, I would get somebody and they would be able to help me. Unfortunately this would go on for each domain I would register and I got completely tired of it. So I decided to make a move.

I registered a domain with GoDaddy and it went through great. I went to their web screens and did my forward to my main domain. They set up the DNS entry and the forward was set up in just a couple of hours with no fuss and no extra charge. I was so happy with this that I’ve started moving over my other domains using their transfer. No problem with that either, except for the other hosting company. I got it worked out and most of my existing domains are now taken care of by GoDaddy.

I was so impressed with all of this that I decided to go with their WordPress hosting, which is where my blog is right now. Everything was easy to set up and I didn’t have to contact anybody for help. It all just worked.

I did have a couple of minor problems that were easily solved or answered to my satisfaction by email. No need to call, they were quick, responsive, and accurate in their responses. GoDaddy has been the absolute best to work with.

You probably know GoDaddy as the company with the goofy Superbowl commercials. The commercials really do not do the company justice, as they are as top notch as you find. Excellent to work with, excellent everything. You really cannot go wrong working with them.

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