Internet Marketing with Jonathan Leger

How A Simple App Can Explode Your Site Traffic

If you’re not heavily courting mobile device users, expect your business to fail in the next five years. 

Hopefully my bold statement and that comScore graphic got your attention. If you’re a content producer, you cannot ignore mobile users. Yes, that means having a great looking, responsive mobile website, but it also means engaging your users in a custom app designed for your site.

Let’s think about that last statement for a moment. Do you really need an app for your website if you already have a great mobile site?

To answer that, ask yourself: How much time do you spend on your phone or tablet each day? Of that time, how much of it is in apps versus your mobile browser?

Mobile Users Spend More Time In Apps

If you’re anything like the typical user, 90% of your time is spent in apps. As a mobile society we’ve grown accustomed to using apps. It’s just quicker to load up an app and flip through it than it is to open up the browser and clumsily tap a site name into the url bar or do a search at Google to find it.

But don’t take my word for it. Take a look at the facts in this chart:

Of all the time people spend on their mobile devices, only 10% of that time is in the browser. That means if you limit yourself to a mobile website you’re missing out on a potential explosion of traffic and revenue.

Apps Aren’t Just For Entertainment Anymore

I’d be remiss to ignore the fact that the chart in the previous section shows most of people’s app time being spent in entertainment-focused apps. If your business is entertainment-focused, that’s even more reason for you to create an app. If it’s not, notice that 1 minute out of every 4 that people that spend on their phones outside the browser is not related to entertainment.. That’s still two and a half times more time than people spend in their mobile browser. So unless you want to miss out on 240% more traffic to your site, you need an app.

Seriously, though, how many visitors and potential new loyal customers or readers can you get using an app that’s purely informational? Do people really install those kinds of apps? Indeed, and they do so in droves. Here are a couple of examples:

100 thousand downloads

500,000 downloads

1 million downloads

I found all three of these apps at the top of Google Play’s search results for “weight loss tips”. All three are basic apps. There’s nothing fancy or impressive about any of them, and yet collectively they’ve been installed by more than 1.6 million people — and that’s just from Google Play. Add the numbers from Apple and Amazon (whose app store is very popular for the many millions of Kindle users), and we’re talking double or triple those figures just for the top 3 apps.

Keep in mind that these example apps are purely informational in nature. They’re not games, they’re not productivity apps — they’re not really any different than a mobile website in any way except that they’re an app.

Not sure how that might apply to your site? Well think about it – people want information on all kinds of topics. The information isn’t suddenly worthless because it is delivered on a mobile device. Let’s look at just a few examples:

Woodworking: When you publish posts every week (or day) with a new pattern, or technique, review or tool advice, you help people interested in woodworking get better at it. You think they want to take a laptop out to their workshop? Some may, but imagine the convenience of having the information on a phone. It could be right in front them them while they work.

Knitting: This is almost the same as for woodworking. You can publish instructional videos and techniques that your viewers can watch anywhere. The knitters and crafters I know like to do their stuff when they’re sitting in queues, or otherwise just killing time. Patterns and ideas on their phone can be taken anywhere.

Weight loss: You’ve already seen the types of application shown above. Weight loss tips are invaluable if you’re eating out – who wants to pull out a laptop?

Exercise routines: Guess what? I don’t take my laptop to the gym. How many do you see in the gym? Even the basic information is only valuable if you can access it. Since almost everyone has a smart device these days, it tends to stay with them.

Language learning:  Publish one post a day with the meaning of a word in German, Spanish, Italian or whatever. Give examples of use. Your application users can improve their language skills while they’re waiting the queue for a coffee, sitting on the bus, or doing anything else (like exercising at the gym…!)

Are you starting to see why you need to get an app created for your mobile users?

Apps Don’t Have To Be Expensive To Create

Maybe you agree that you need an app for your mobile users, but think that they’re very expensive to have created. That used to be true, but it’s not anymore. Basically all you really need is a great mobile website that’s “wrapped” into an app that turns your website into an app. While it’s not quite that simple, that’s the basic concept.

Honestly, the hard part isn’t so much the creation of the app, it’s getting everything right with the app so it will be accepted into Google Play, Amazon’s App Store and the Apple App Store (especially the Apple App Store — sheesh). The potential benefits however, are huge.

Build It And They Will Come (WRONG!)

Let me be clear here: having an app for your mobile users does offer massive potential, but just having an app created and submitted to all the aforementioned repositories isn’t going to immediately result in a huge number of downloads and installs. Just like your website, you need to promote your app.

One great way to do that is from your mobile responsive website. All of the app stores base the ranking of your app in large part on the number of users and the ratings that those users give your app. High installs and good ratings combined with good title, keyword and tag use pushes your app higher in the search rankings of the app stores.

So if you can get your current mobile visitors using your app, not only does that increase retention by making your site easier for them to access when they want to, it also helps promote your app in the stores, which can result in an explosion of new users beyond what you’re already getting to your mobile site.

Mobile Site + Mobile App = Success

Just to be clear: I’m not advocating you ditch promotion of your mobile responsive site in favor of an app.  Recent studies show that more people make purchases from a mobile browser when on the go than from an app, but that apps build loyalty, brand awareness and user engagement. As a content provider, having ads in your app is a great way to increase revenue as well. To maximize the presence and profitability of your online business, you want to take advantage of both avenues.

Mobile is where it’s at. We all know that. So make sure you’re doing all you can to grow the mobile side of your business so you don’t get left behind.

Ask your questions, share your thoughts and your own personal experience in a comment below!

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How to Setup a Super-Profitable Pinterest Campaign

Pinterest remains my #1 source for quality traffic. With over $60k+ in revenue in the past six months alone it is quickly moving its way up the ladder of my top online revenue sources too.

But let me tell you, learning how to generate that kind of traffic, and that kind of revenue, from Pinterest hasn’t been a walk in the park! There was a sharp learning curve and Pinterest threw many curve balls along the way.

Fortunately I’ve refined my systems and processes to a point to where it is, for the most part, smooth sailing now.

So today I’d like to share the process with you! Of course there are a few details I’ll leave out. I’m not going to reveal the proxy providers I use, because I don’t want a barrage of people using the same servers, causing loads of accounts to be created and ruining it for all of us. I’m not going to reveal what niches I’ve found to be most profitable either, for obvious reasons.

I follow these steps when creating a new Pinterest campaign:

Step 1: Choose a Market – Some niches will not be profitable in Pinterest. Some will be extremely profitable. Keep in mind that Pinterest has more female users than male, but it does have male users and there are some male-dominant niches that do well. Start off by simply brainstorming some markets that you think might do well there. Then start plugging each one into a Pinterest search.  If you only see a handful of popular users/boards dedicated to that market, then it’s probably not a good one. You want to see a whole lot of users/boards dedicated to that niche.

Step 2: Choose a Domain and Build a Site – Your domain should be a .com, .net, or .org. Anything else may increase the likelihood of a site ban in Pinterest. Choose a good brand name. I like to combine two words. I find that you can find catchy, short names doing that (ie, WooDesigner.net). BustaName is a good resource to find a good name.

Your site needs to look legit. You don’t want a low-quality, thin site. Invest a little money in a custom logo or header graphic. Add a Facebook widget to the sidebar. Make it look nice. Pinterest has manual reviewers and if your site doesn’t look legit, it will likely be suspended. Of course, all of my sites are built to NicheJet Authority Site standards. Make sure your site is responsive… a large chunk of Pinterest traffic comes from mobile.

Step 3: Monetize your Site: Believe it or not Adsense is our biggest source of income with our Pinterest site network. You want a large block ad below the title of each post and above the content. I add another large block ad in the middle of the post and a third at the end. I then look for a good affiliate offer, usually through Clickbank if there is one available, and add a banner for that offer to the top of the sidebar. If you use a caching plugin with a WordPress site it is crucial that you exclude the following mobile user-agents within the caching plugin:

iPhone 
iPod 
Android
BB10
BlackBerry
webOS
IEMobile/7.0
IEMobile/9.0
IEMobile/10.0
MSIE 10.0
iPad
PlayBook
Xoom
P160U
SCH-I800
Nexus 7
Touch

If you do not exclude them Adsense may (and probably will) deliver ads to mobile devices that were intended for desktops or laptops. This will not only provide for a poor user experience, it will put your Adsense account in danger of suspension (I learned the hard way with warning emails from them). Most, if not all, of the popular caching plugins have this option.

I also like to add a popup to the site. You’ll need to check your popup once you’ve integrated it to make sure it displays correctly on mobile. Some popups, even with aWeber and GetResponse, do not. You just have to tinker with them to get them to display correctly. The call to action for the popup is either for a free report (or some other freebie) or it is for the actual affiliate offer. If it is for the actual affiliate offer I’ll send them directly to the affiliate offer immediately after opting in. If it’s for some freebie I’ll send that to them. In both cases I send 2 or 3 emails every other day with free info in the form of a blog post on the site. After those emails I send a direct promo pitch for the affiliate offer.

Step 4: Create a Pinterest Business Account – Create a business account. If you need to convert a personal account to a business account, you can do that too. You do not need to verify your site, though it doesn’t hurt to do so. You WILL need to verify your email though. If you plan on creating multiple accounts, and I recommend you do, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind:

  • You can’t create many accounts from the same IP. You’ll want to use private proxies to create each account and you’ll want to use that same proxy ANY time you log into that account. This is very important. If the account was created with proxy A then you should never log into that account with proxy B, or your own computer, or any other IP.
  • Each account will require a unique email. Some email providers, like gmail, may require phone verification. You can’t use the same phone number for loads of account verifications, so you’ll need to consider that. I don’t recommend using domain based emails (ie something@yourdomain.com). Use free email providers.

For each account you’ll want to create at least 4 or 5 boards, but the more the better. It is best not to have a very similar number of pins on each board. If you have 5 boards and the range of the number of pins in each board is within 20 or so, it will be suspect to a manual reviewer. Just create your account with those manual reviewers in mind. If a manual reviewer loaded your profile, is there anything that would look fishy? If so, correct it.

Step 5: Promote your Site with your New Account(s) – Obviously I use Social Multiplier 2 (SM2) for this. If you don’t, you’ll either need to spend an hour or more every day pinning and following, or hire a low-wage worker to do it for you.

It is very important that you use the same proxy that you used to create the account in order to login and use the account. If you’re using SM2 you’ll need to plug the proxy info into the account tab for that campaign.

Start off pinning no more than 100 pins per day. After 60-90 days you can start to increase that number slowly. Start off following no more than 250 people within the niche of your site (finding followers of boards in your niche) per day.

You can safely include your site URL as the source for ALL pins. We’ve been doing that the whole time with no trouble. Most of the traffic comes from the URL being added to the source, not from the URL being added to the description. The images we pin are from Pinterest itself. We’re basically just pulling popular images from Pinterest within the niche of the site and repinning them.

That’s pretty much it! This is what we’ve been doing to earn the massive amount of money we’ve previously mentioned in the past 6 months. It is very effective.

Put this all into place and you’ll be in good shape!

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5 Costly Website Mistakes to Avoid!

With the overwhelming success of my in-house network of content sites (thanks to Social Multiplier 2!), I have millions of website visitors coming into my various sites. With that kind of traffic you can quickly optimize your sites in order to maximize conversions, and that’s just what I’ve been doing.

Today I want to share with you the five most common mistakes people make with their sites, based partly on what I’ve known to be true for years, and partly on what I’ve recently learned to be true.

With that being said, let’s get started!

5 Website Mistakes that are Costing you!

  1. Lack of focus
    They say, “first impressions are everything.” I’m not sure if I’d say they’re everything, but the first impression a visitor has of your site is incredibly important! If you visit a site and you have no idea what to do next, you’re probably going to hit the back button quickly. A blog is easy. You have the article title and the article. But how is your homepage looking? Do you have headlines all over the place? If the primary goal of your site is to get phone calls, is that clear? Determine what you want the visitor to do and make it clear from the get-go. Get this one wrong and you’re just wasting your time on everything else.
  2. Failing to build a list or doing it ineffectively
    You must retain visitors. Even if it is only a small percentage of your total visitors, you must regularly retain visitors or you’re fighting an uphill battle. Email marketing is the best way to do that. Are you collecting name’s and emails? I find that entry popups are the most effective way to build a list. If popups annoy you, get over it. They work! Give away something of value that solves a problem your visitors have. It could be a report, it could just be revealing some powerful tip to them. Once you have your popup going set an auto-responder series up. Send them whatever it is you promised them immediately. Then, send them a few emails of free content. You could even send a short email that just sends them to a few blog posts on your site. After 3 or 4 free content emails, send them a promotion. Find a great, relevant product at ClickBank or some other affiliate network (ClickBank is great for digital products) and promote it. Now, each new subscriber will be primed and sold to on autopilot!
  3. Poor monetization
    You may be tempted to choose the ad dimensions and colors that look best on your site. Do not do that! You want to do what makes you the most money. I’ve find that for content sites, a large rectangular ad below the article title and above the content works best, followed by another large rectangle in the middle of the article and a third at the end. Add a relevant image, with text wrapped around it, to the second or third paragraph so the ad and the image don’t get in each other’s way. For sites that are not focused on textual content, you’ll just need to try different things and see what converts best.
  4. Neglecting mobile optimization
    Mobile use has risen considerably over the years and it has not peaked! That means you need to concentrate on both desktop and mobile. Did you just activate a new popup? You better check it on mobile! I’ve found that even aWeber and GetResponse popups can have issues. Most can be worked around, but you need to make sure your popup is displaying correctly on mobile and that it is actually working (as in, collecting the name and email and adding them to your account). Are your ads responsive? Better check it too! If you’re using Google Adsense be sure to use the mobile responsive ad unit. If you use a caching plugin with WordPress (you should if you don’t) be sure to exclude mobile user strings from the caching, as it can cause issues.
  5. Neglecting overall appearance
    An ugly site can certainly be successful. Just look at Craigslist. However, they are the exception and not the rule. You want your site to look clean, professional, and legitimate. In most cases a site that doesn’t look legitimate with have a high bounce rate. That means that even if you’re getting good traffic, you’re going to make far less money than you could have made. Look for a nice theme/template. There are plenty out there to choose from. Add a Facebook widget to your sidebar that displays the images of people who have liked your Facebook page. Add “credibility pages” (ie. about, contact, legal, etc.). Use high-quality images in your posts, not poor-quality, low resolution images. Look out for little things. Little things can cause big credibility and trust issues.

These are the most common issues I see when visiting websites. It is very sad to hear from a subscriber who’s site has several of these issues, yet he or she has spent months or even years of their time working on the site, just spinning their wheels.

Plug the leaky boat now and you can concentrate on getting to your destination (making money!) more quickly and smoothly.

Are you ready to make this year YOUR year? Join me at LearnFromJon.com where I’ll answer your questions personally and provide the training you need to make this year the year your online business finally “made it!”

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Don’t Waste your Time on the Wrong Market

market selectionI remember when I first started building sites going on two decades ago (time flies!). Choosing a market was really more of a lottery than a business decision. Needless to say, I learned the hard way that you really should look into a few things before making an investment in a market.

I say it is an “investment.” Sure, there’s the monetary investment that is involved. In many cases that’s low though. The primary investment that I’m referring to is your time. You can’t get the time you put into your site(s) and assets in that market back. The time you could have spent on something that resulted in a lot of money or with your family or friends.

Over the years I’ve learned what to look for in a niche, but more importantly, what to avoid. I’ve also learned that, unfortunately, many other Internet Marketers have been slow to learn these things. That’s the purpose of this post … to help you if you happen to be one of those people who has a hard time finding a profitable market.

market demographicsWith that being said, I’ll tell you immediately that the most important thing to realize is that effective market research requires you to move outside the confines of the Internet Marketing mindset and think very broadly in terms of commercial intent, the mind of consumers, trends and demographics.

That sounds complicated and it can get really complicated really quickly if you really dig into it all. But for most Internet Marketers it doesn’t need to be. Let’s look into some simple market selection principles that I believe any Internet Marketer can understand and, if put into place, use to their advantage.

You want to put yourself in the shoes of a “model” customer in this market. If the market is hiking, think of yourself as an avid hiker. If you have money to spend on your hobby, what would you want to spend that money on? Would you even need to spend any money? How often do you need to spend money in order to continue enjoying this hobby. Where would I spend this money? Then you need to see what your options are in profiting from the money that is spent by that “model” customer.

There is a particular hobby that has widely grown across the world called Geocaching. It is sort of like a world-wide, GPS oriented treasure hunt. For a long while hand-held GPS devices were needed in order to participate (great profit potential as an affiliate). But now, most people have smart phones, and there are apps available for it, so those devices are no longer needed. So if you hit that market, don’t expect to make much money selling GPS devices. You’ll be reduced to selling containers or other trinkets. That could still be profitable, but you’ll need to consider how much of a profit you’ll make per sale. It may take 100,000 visitors a month to make $1,000/m. selling those inexpensive trinkets. See where I’m getting at? Dissect the niche and consider what people spend their money on.

Josh Spaulding, one of my senior staff members, has a site about Germany tourism. Most people who visit Germany as a tourist visit once in their lifetime, or twice max. If Josh concentrated on building a list of people who visit his site, it could be profitable in one way or another, but it would probably not be NEARLY as profitable as a list built from a woodworking site, for example. My brother, Ted’s woodworking site has generated a massive email list of people who regularly work with wood, so the people on that list are always potential buyers!

I enjoy old time radio. But when I consider the market, I find that there aren’t many opportunities to profit from that market because those who enjoy it are really looking for one thing: to listen to old-time radio. Sure, you can brainstorm a few ideas that might interest people in the market, but the overall consumer intent is very low, so it’s just not likely going to earn you nearly as much money for the time spent on it as many other markets would.

Saleswoman weighting vegetables on scale in grocerYou also want to consider where money is spent. Organic food is becoming more and more popular. The trend is growing more and more. It seems like it could be a great market to get into, in one way or another, for that reason. That may be the case, but before you do, you’ll want to consider the fact that Wal-Mart (at least here in the U.S.) and most other grocers are continually expanding their organic food line, so while the market is growing, the online market seems to be shrinking because people are able to get more and more of that food at their local grocery store.

Once you’ve found a niche and considered these things the next question you have to ask yourself is this: Can I profit from this market without having to drive millions of visitors to my site? If so, how?

Can I create my own product in this market? If so, would there be enough profit margin after production/shipping etc.? Are affiliate programs available? If so, are they legit? What do they pay? Is it worth my while to promote this offer? At times I’ll find a market that looks great after considering all other things, but when it comes to the product/service to sell I hit a brick wall. Creating it myself is not feasible for one reason or another and I either can’t find a good affiliate program or all of the affiliate programs I come across are just bad.

As I hope this article has helped you to realize, market selection is less of a step-by-step process and more of a mindset. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Success rarely comes by following a static step-by-step process. Success comes by having the right mindset and taking action.

That is why, while providing step-by-step instructions mindsetwhen beneficial, my team and I at LearnFromJon.com concentrate on helping our clients learn to THINK right and then to DO right in order to gain success online.

We’ve had many success stories so far and I have no doubt there will be many more in the future because a successful mindset + a successful strategy + taking action almost always = Success!

Do you have experience related to market selection that you’d like to share? I would love to hear from you. Please do share your own experience, ask a question, or just leave a random comment on this post via the box below. I read them all and I’m always interested in hearing what you have to say.

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Your Pinterest and Social Multiplier Questions Answered

We held a fantastic webinar this past Thursday, October 13th. It was loaded with proof of my personal Pinterest success, step-by-step details about how I’ve gotten almost 2 million visitors in 3 months from Pinterest, and a demonstration of how my Pinterest automation software (Social Multiplier 2) works and is super easy to setup and configure.

During the webinar we got hundreds of questions. We didn’t have time to answer them all on the webinar, so I took the list of questions and boiled them down to the ones that weren’t duplicates of each other and answered them all.

So here it is, all of the webinar attendees questions answered to the best of my knowledge and ability. These questions related to Pinterest in general and the Social Multiplier software.

Q: Are you using the Google Adsense Plugin or setting the Adsense Ads manually?

Yes, I use the Google AdSense Plugin on most of my network sites. But I also am using a special plugin that comes free with the Lifetime version of Social Multiplier (you’ll learn more about that in the next webinar on Friday, October 21st).

Q: Will it work for a blog of health info?

Yes. It works very well in the health market.

Q: Does our site need to have an email service?

I strongly recommend that you have an opt-in box where you collect people’s email addresses, yes. It’s resulted in a lot more sales and advertising revenue for me.

Q: If you keep sending traffic to your site from every pin won’t pinterest flag your site?

1.8 million visitors later across 10 sites and dozens of accounts and no, I haven’t had any issues with Pinterest flagging my sites because of that. It makes logical sense that a business account would almost always post pins that target their own site. Go to the Pinterest account for Best Buy or Amazon and you’ll see that all of their pins target their own sites.

Q: Any danger having TOO many pins per board? spammy ?

100,000+ pins later on my jewelry account and I haven’t had any issues.

Q: What’s the most practical way to keep multiple Pinterest accounts, so that Pinterest doesn’t penalise them – since Pinterest tracks the IP addresses of owners?

You need to use high quality private proxies (not shared proxies). That’s the best way to run multiple accounts from one installation of Social Multiplier.

Q: How many pins do we need to have in our Pinterest page to make more money?

A lot. I recommend you pin at least 200 times a day to each account. You also need to build up followers, which Social Multiplier will do for you.

Q: Don’t the pin links have to be linking to original site where the images are according to Pinterest policies?

No, that’s not in their policies, and I’ve never had an issue with that. Of course it’s up to you to read their policies and decide for yourself what they do and do not allow. I’m not an attorney so I can’t give you legal advice on Pinterest’s policies.

Q: Will this work in the real estate niche in a local area?

Possibly, but I’ve never tried to target local businesses with Pinterest. I only target markets that work across all locations.

Q: In order to get a list from Pinterest do you send them to a landing page or is there an automatic email capture with Pinterest?

What I do is send people to informational pages that use a pop-up opt-in box with an irresistible offer. That is adding thousands of people to my email lists every month.

Q: Do we need “buffer domains” for this Social Multiplier 2 to protect our money sites.

It’s a violation of Pinterest’s policies to redirect visitors to another domain. My experience is that it requires a manual review for a site to get blocked, so it’s a risk you would need to consider.

Q: Do you have to use proxies?

No. If you’re only using one or two accounts you don’t need to use a proxy.

Q: Have you had other people who actually ‘own’ the pin come after you?

That’s all covered in the Getting Started guide. Once you read that it will make perfect sense how Pinterest looks at and responds to copyright claims.

Q: I know in other platforms, automated services can get you banned… how does this software avoid that?

The software is designed to follow the limits and guidelines laid out by Pinterest. Of course any tool can be misused, so it’s important that you read the Getting Started guide which will help you understand the do’s and don’ts of Pinterest.

Q: Can you run concurrent jobs?

Yes. I have one installation of Social Multiplier running almost two dozen jobs simultaneously. As long as your computer is powerful enough to support it, it can do it.

Q: Are the pins posted at random or constant time intervals?

The time intervals are currently constant. I’m working on adding an option for more random variations, but you can also achieve a level of randomness by using multiple jobs and just having them post different quantities of pins / follows per day.

Q: Can you visit the account while the SM2 is running?

Yes, but I recommend you use the same proxy that Social Multiplier is using to run the account in the browser you use to visit the account. That’s the safest way to handle it.

Q: Does what social multiplier do can be considered as spamming?

You can spam Pinterest without software, so of course you can use Social Multiplier to spam Pinterest, too. It’s a tool. You can use it properly or improperly. That’s why the first thing you need to do is read the Getting Started guide that comes with the software to understand what Pinterest considers “spamming”.

Q: Are there limitations on how many pins you can do in a day / how many boards / users we can follow?

Yes there are limitations. Social Multiplier sets limits based on the known limits that Pinterest enforces.

Q: I saw proxy info. Can you talk about when you need to have a proxy account?

That’s all covered in the Getting Started guide that comes with Social Multiplier.

Q: Does Pinterest have a listing of top categories?

Yes. When you add a board to your account there’s a dropdown of categories you can select for the board. Those are the most popular categories in Pinterest.

Q: Do you use proxy for each account?

I personally do, yes. I use a different proxy for each account.

Q: How many pages should you have on your site?

I have sites with page counts ranging from 10 pages to hundreds of pages. It doesn’t seem to make much of a difference to Pinterest as long as the site is high quality.

Q: Do you link from Pinterest to your home page or to a sales page?

I link to the inner pages of my sites for the most part. I don’t recommend you link directly to a sales page, as Pinterest considers that kind of overt advertising as spam. I just put ads to my sales pages (or affiliate sales pages) on the information page of the sites I promote.

Q: Does it rotate the landing page urls?

Yes, Social Multiplier will randomly select one of the target URLs you supply to use in each pin.

Q: Someone told me I needed a Pinterest business account is that true?

Yes. I recommend you only use business accounts because Pinterest’s terms of service don’t allow you to do any promotion unless you have a business account.

Q: Is the software desktop or in the cloud?

It’s desktop based. It runs on Windows and Mac computers.

Q: In preparation for the 24th, can we open multiple Pinterest Accounts under different profiles ?

You can, yes, just make sure they’re created with different proxies for safety.

Q: Would this work for a dropshipping store or amazon affiliates?

I use Social Multiplier to promote Amazon affiliate stores. I assume dropshipping stores would work as well.

Q: What about copyright issues of using other people’s images/content and linking to our site?

That’s all covered in the Getting Started guide that comes with the Social Multiplier software.

Q: It looks like it’s great for physical products but what about services?

I haven’t tried it with services, so I can’t speak to that from experience. I assume if the service is something that can be handled long distance nationally it could work well though.

Q: What pop up do you use?

Any pop-up box works well. If you use AWeber its lightbox pop-up works very well.

Q: How many pins should you do at the beginning to be prudent?

I never pin less than 200 times a day per account, even when they’re brand new.

Q: What is the least amount of pins and following do you advise?

I advise 200 pins a day and 250 follows a day to start with.

Q: One account per domain promoted?

Yes, at least at first. Once a domain is well established in Pinterest (the original account has thousands of followers and has been pinning hundreds of times a day for at least 30 days) then it typically becomes safe to create multiple accounts to promote the same domain. But until it’s established you risk getting the domain blocked if you try to promote it with multiple accounts.

Q: Can I use Pinterest to promote my Amazon/Kindle book — and others’, as well?

Yes. I can definitely see it working well for something like that.

Q: In some of your documentation you mention that SM2 finds popular pins to pin. Is there some way to control the quality of the pins to pin?

Yes. You can control the quality of what’s posted by creating a file with all of the images, page URLs and image descriptions that you want to use and importing it into Social Multiplier. That way you have total control over what gets pinned.

Q: Do the pins need to point back to a specific image on your site? I’ve heard that Pinterest users can feel disappointed if they follow the pin link back to a site where the image doesn’t exist.

I’ve never had an issue with this, but if you’re worried about that you can also create a custom import file and make sure you’re only using images that exist on the page of your site that the Pinterest user is sent to.

Q: Can I use this just to get more followers? I want to pin only products my ecommerce store sells and our own graphics, etc.

Yes, you can do that.

Q: If your site gets blocked on one account will that automatically block the site from a different account?

Yes. Once a domain is blocked by Pinterest it cannot be pinned to by any other Pinterest account.

Q: If you have several sites on one IP will blocking the site block all your other sites on the same IP?

I’ve never had that happen, no.

Q: Does running SM2 while using another software create computer performance issues?

Not with Social Multiplier 2. It’s very efficient and streamlined to not cause performance issues.

Q: Can you see Pinterest niches getting saturated at all in the future? or with this method you have?

No, I don’t see this happening any time soon. Pinterest has 150 million users and growing fast. That’s a huge number of people available to reach out to.

Q: How many Pinterest accounts can the software work with at anyone time?

There’s no limit. It depends on how powerful your computer is. I have one installation running on a cheap VPS that isn’t very powerful at all that’s running 7 accounts with dozens of pinning and following jobs. The software is very efficient so it runs multiple accounts very well.

Have a Pinterest or Social Multiplier question that wasn’t answered in this blog post? Post it in a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer it!

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$5,025 in 7 days (Pinterest Case Study Update 2)

As I demonstrated to you in my Pinterest case study and the case study update (where one of my Pinterest properties went viral), Pinterest can seriously deliver when it comes to traffic and earnings.

It’s been 7 days since that one site went viral in Pinterest and I wanted to give you an update on how well it’s performed during that time.

From Friday, September 30th, through Thursday, October 6th, the site got more than 186,000 visitors from Pinterest, my Pinterest network earned $5,025.57 and I added 2,795 email subscribers to that one site’s email list.

Here are the screenshots to prove that I’m not inventing these massive numbers. I’ve blacked out parts of the screenshots that would violate my own privacy, customer privacy or the terms of service for each revenue provider. Otherwise the images have not been altered.

 

The Traffic

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-11-57-02-pm

The Earnings

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-11-51-42-pm

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-11-52-22-pm

The Opt-Ins

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-12-03-06-am

 

$15,695.70 Since July 1st

With these outstanding viral results, my total earnings from Pinterest traffic (both AdSense and Clickbank) come to a whopping $15,695.70 from July 1st through October 6th. Just over three months! The numbers are growing, too, as I add new web properties, build new accounts and the existing accounts keep growing in popularity and followers.

I’m telling you folks, Pinterest is tough to beat when it comes to amazing traffic that converts and is easy to generate using software automation.

Your Turn Comes October 24th!

There’s no way I could have achieved these numbers without software automation. I use a tool that automates pinning and following with my Pinterest accounts. My desktop version is almost ready for public release. In fact, LearnFromJon.com members will be able to beta test the new desktop tool in a few days (probably Monday).

I’ve made my new tool super easy to use. All unnecessary options that haven’t proven themselves useful in improving traffic have been left out. It’s streamlined and simple, and comes with an easy to understand “how to” guide that walks you through everything you need to know about promoting your website(s) with Pinterest using the tool.

Get ready! The public release of this tool is scheduled for October 24th. If you’re not already on my email list and you want to be sure to get the announcement, go here to opt-in.

In the meantime, feel free to ask any questions you have or post any of your own thoughts in a comment below.

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Pinterest Case Study Update – 93,180 visitors in 3 days

Hopefully you’ve already read my Pinterest Case Study post. If not, then I suggest you go look at those numbers before you look at the ones in this post – it will give you some perspective. The short version is that in three months I was able to get more than one million visitors from Pinterest that resulted in more than $10,000 in profit.

Friday morning, however, I woke up to a very pleasant surprise. One of my Pinterest-promoted web properties had begun to go viral. The pins targeting that site were being repinned like mad. Friday was by far the single best earnings day for the site, and one of the best earnings day for my Pinterest network (about $400).

It was, at least, until Saturday. The viral storm continued to strengthen, and I ended Saturday with another $543 – the best earnings day for my Pinterest site network period.

Until (you guessed it) Sunday. The traffic and earnings exploded Sunday (which is definitely the best day for Pinterest traffic), resulting in a whopping $1,320 in net earnings for that one day.

From Friday September 30th through Sunday October 2nd the site got more than 93,000 visitors from Pinterest, my Pinterest network earned $2,259.90 and I added 1,340 email subscribers to that one site’s email list.

When was the last time Google rewarded your site with that kind of traffic, earnings and opt-ins in such a short period of time? Never? I didn’t think so.

Here are the screenshots to prove that I’m not inventing these massive numbers. I’ve blacked out parts of the screenshots that would violate my own privacy, customer privacy or the terms of service for each revenue provider. Otherwise the images have not been altered.

The Traffic

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-3-33-52-am

The Earnings

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-3-31-16-am

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-3-32-26-am

The Opt-Ins

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-3-38-47-am

 

The Viral Trend Continues

The viral traffic storm hasn’t stopped yet. It will be interesting (and lucrative) to see how long it lasts, but I wanted to update you with the figures now so you can see what’s possible with Pinterest if you do things right.

Also, keep in mind that these results didn’t happen overnight. I’ve been promoting this particular web property in Pinterest for about three months.The accounts promoting this site have been aging and growing in popularity over that time. The traffic and earnings have grown quickly but steadily until Friday when they seriously spiked.

That said, three months to achieve this kind of traffic and revenue is extremely fast in comparison to how long it normally takes to rank a site in Google for enough keywords to get even a fraction of these results. If you’re not putting your time and attention into Pinterest, you’re missing out big time.

Automation Is The Key

Like I said in my original Pinterest Case Study post, software automation is the key to the successful promotion of my web properties in Pinterest. I am hard at work at a desktop version that will perform the same kind of automation that my in-house system does. It’s coming along nicely and should be ready for public distribution by the last week of this month (October).

If you’re not already on my email list, click here to opt-in so you are notified when the software gets released.

I’m sure you have questions and opinions, so please post them in a comment below. I’ll do my best to respond.

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Penguin 4.0 – Google’s long-overdue course correction

penguinWhen Google first released their Penguin update in 2012, it was an unmitigated disaster. That update penalized all the wrong sites for all the wrong reasons. It was designed to target link spam, but it initially failed – badly.

Google quickly started making changes and corrections to try and improve the algorithm. It did improve, though webmasters the world over grumbled and griped about how many perfectly legitimate, “white hat” sites had been demolished by the update.

Some continue to argue that, years later, it still unfairly favors big name brand sites over high authority niche sites, but that’s another post for another day.

One basic principle of Penguin that Google didn’t change was the effect that spammy links had on the ranking of a site. Those low quality links from known spammy sources often got a site demoted out of the rankings. This led to the birth of what’s called “negative SEO”, where unscrupulous SEO practitioners would build garbage links to competitors’ sites and tank their rankings.

When negative SEO was first postulated I was in denial that Google could be so stupid. “No way Google, with all of its brilliant engineers and forward-thinking leadership puts the power of negative SEO into the hands of the bad guys. NO WAY!

Alas, it was true. Negative SEO was real.

Granted, it had no effect on highly authoritative sites, but for the little guy trying to build the reputation of his or her site, it worked. Though Google never directly admitted to granting the bad guys such power, they provided tacit proof of its existence by giving webmasters the ability to disavow links. Why would a site owner need to claim that they didn’t build the spammy links if spammy links had no negative effect on a site?

Now, finally, more than four years later, Google has taken the power of negative SEO away from the bad guys.

Gary Illyes from the Google Webspam Team has stated that with Penguin 4.0 (which is rolling out now) Google can finally “devalue spam instead of demoting” sites that are the target of spammy links. What that means is that Google “no longer penalizes the site or specific pages but rather ignores/devalues the spammy links and thus the rankings are adjusted” (see this SearchEngineLand.com article).

While this news should certainly make webmasters across the world happier (and sleep better at night knowing their rankings won’t be tanked by negative SEO), I have to ask the question: Why did it take one of the most technologically brilliant teams in the world four years to correct such a painfully obvious, damaging flaw in their algorithm?

Given Google’s general lack of transparency when it comes to anything related to their algorithm (which, honestly, I understand their reasoning for), we may never know.

This doesn’t mean you can run out and build spam links with impunity, however. Google is still taking manual actions against sites known to build low quality links. It’s the automated demotion that’s been removed from their algorithm. A human being has to make the decision now. So if you’ve been the target of a negative SEO attack, Google still recommends disavowing those links to recover your rankings.

As always, post your questions, thoughts and personal Penguin/Google gripes in a comment below. I’m all ears.

P.S. It’s these kind of innocent-webmaster-ignoring actions that Google has taken since going public that have led me to look more and more into alternative forms of traffic. And boy oh boy am I glad I did. CLICK HERE to see the astounding results!

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CASE-STUDY: 1 million visitors and $10,000+ from Pinterest

pinterest-logoI’m a very methodical person, always have been. It’s just in my nature to test and tweak and test until I get something just right.

Whatever I’m doing, be it improving my physical fitness, learning to build canvases for my wife to paint on or figuring out how to generate traffic and revenue for my web sites, I study and learn and test until I’m satisfied with the results.

Even when I’m happy with the outcome, I never quit trying to improve. It’s how I’ve achieved my success.

So when I started tinkering with Pinterest last year and saw it’s incredible traffic and revenue generation potential, I started testing and searching for ways to take better and better advantage of it.

I’ve learned three things through this process:

  1. Pinterest delivers traffic in a big way.
  2. Pinterest traffic is high quality.
  3. Pinterest traffic is easier to get than any other organic (unpaid) source I’ve used.

I know you’re eager to see what I’ve accomplished, and I’m going to show you. But first let me tell you a little bit about Pinterest. Afterward I’ll show you my results and outline the methods I am using to generate traffic and revenue from it.

 

How Pinterest Works

While having more than 100 million active users, Pinterest is not nearly as popular as Facebook or Twitter in terms of active user counts. A big part of that is because the great majority of Pinterest users are based in the United States. It hasn’t caught on in other countries like those other social networks have.

My traffic shows that 83% of traffic generated from Pinterest is from the USA, 4% from Canada, 2% from the United Kingdom and the final 11% is from a variety of other countries (with each additional country providing less than 1% of the total traffic).

I am optimistic that Pinterest will gain traction in other countries as well. It’s comparatively young – only about five years old. Compare that to Facebook (12 years old) and Twitter (10 years old), and it’s easy to see Pinterest becoming far more global in the next five years.

The beauty of Pinterest is its simplicity. You simply “pin” (post) images that you like, along with descriptions of the image, to “boards” (collections of typically related images). If you like what a Pinterest user is pinning, you follow either the user or just the specific board. You can also invite other users to add pins to your boards. Traffic is generated when people click-through from the pinned image to the web page (URL) attached to the image.

New users can create a Pinterest account in seconds. The interface is lovely, clean and intuitive, making it easy for users to get started creating boards, pinning images and following other users.

Ok, enough about how Pinterest works. Let’s get into what I’ve been able to achieve with it.

 

1. The Earnings

earnings
click the image to enlarge

I have used Pinterest traffic to generate $10,301.04
in earnings from July through September

 

As you can clearly see from the chart above, Pinterest traffic generates serious revenue. The reason for this is simple: Pinterest users are active buyers. In fact, a study done by Shopify shows that 87% of Pinterest users use the social media tool when making buying decisions. That’s the kind of traffic you want: people who are actively looking to buy.

Here are the month to month earnings, totaling $10,301.04:

  • July – $1,376.69
  • August – $3,991.03
  • September – $4,933.32

I included June in the chart so you can see the dramatic growth rate over the last few months (it’s not included in the total earnings number). The October value is a forecast for next month. I expect October to do far better than September based on short-term growth rates.

I am monetizing the traffic with three different sources:

  1. Google AdSense
  2. ClickBank affiliate sales
  3. Amazon affiliate sales

ClickBank and AdSense account for the lion’s share of the revenue. I’ve just started ramping up traffic to Amazon for one particular web property. The results are promising, so I expect its revenue share to grow considerably in the coming months.

earnings_projection
click the image to enlarge

The above chart is my projection of the earnings I expect from Pinterest traffic through the end of the year. It’s based on current short-term growth rates of only the current web properties I am monetizing with Pinterest.

The truth is, though, that I’ll be adding more web properties to my network before then, which means that the numbers shown in this chart are really just a conservative estimate.

 

2. The Traffic

traffic
click the image to enlarge

I have used Pinterest to generate 1,013,501
site visitors from July through September

 

Pinterest may not have as many active users as Facebook or Twitter, but my experience and testing shows that it delivers far more organic (unpaid) traffic per pin (post) than both Facebook and Twitter combined.

The reason is longevity. The images you post to your account can be “repinned” onto other user’s boards. When another user puts your pin on their board, it appears in the timeline of everyone that follows that user. The following users can also repin the image, etc., resulting in a continuous stream of viral traffic over time if the pin gets popular.

While other social media sites also notify an account holder’s friends or followers when you like or share something, because Pinterest is so visual and its users so actively engaged in shopping (which means more click-throughs to your site), the results from Pinterest are far superior in my experience.

Here are the month to month traffic numbers, totaling 1,013,501 visitors:

  • July – 184,592 visitors
  • August – 364,940 visitors
  • September – 467,589 visitors

As with the earnings, I included June in the chart for comparison purposes only – it’s not included in the 1+ million total. October is my forecast based on short-term growth rates.

 

3. The Email Subscribers

optins
click the image to enlarge

I have used Pinterest traffic to add 7,475
email subscribers from July through September

 

“The money is in the list.” Marketers say it all the time, and it’s true. It’s much easier to sell to somebody who has volunteered to receive marketing information from you than to make a sale from a first time visitor. That’s true whether you’re engaging in direct mail marketing, marketing through television, video or radio commercials or sending traffic to your website.

Once a person has volunteered to get onto your email list (opted-in), you can start to build trust with them by sending them valuable information on the subject they’re interested in. Once you have their trust they are much more likely to buy based on your recommendation.

Don’t get me wrong – I make a lot of money from direct site visitors as well, both in advertising and affiliate referrals. But I would be missing out on a big chunk of weekly income if I didn’t also email my subscribers. Even if you’re just referring your subscriber to your latest blog post, it still earns you more money when they click the ads or click-through and buy your affiliate offer.

Here are the month to month subscriber numbers, totaling 7,475 email opt-ins:

  • July – 1,380
  • August – 2,690
  • September – 3,405

As with earnings and traffic, opt-ins are growing dramatically month over month. I expect that trend to continue, which will further boost earnings as I market to the subscribers.

 

The Proof

I’ve shown you a lot of big, impressive numbers generated over a very short period of time in this case study. I know that can be hard to believe. That’s why I’m also providing you this list of screenshots that prove the numbers. The numbers may be slightly different than the totals shown here, since I didn’t take the screenshots at the same time that I added up the figures, but where they are different it’s only by very small amounts.

I’ve blacked out parts of the screenshots that would violate my own privacy, customer privacy or the terms of service for each revenue provider. Otherwise the images have not been altered.

AdSense Reports

ClickBank Reports

Amazon Reports

 

The Methods I Am Using

Like I said in the beginning, I am very methodical. I test and tweak and improve as the results come in. That means that what I am posting now might change somewhat going forward as I continue to improve the way I use Pinterest for traffic and revenue generation. However, it’s clear that what I’m doing is successful, and I suggest you use it as a starting point for your own testing.

I Use Multiple Pinterest Accounts

As you may have already guessed, I am not getting these results from just one Pinterest account. I run a number of websites, and have accounts dedicated to the promotion of each site. Pinterest lets you create Business accounts for promotional purposes. As of the time of my writing this, you are not limited to just creating one account. That only makes sense. Many people run multiple businesses, and Pinterest naturally wants them all on board (no pun intended).

I Pin A Lot

I pin to each of my accounts typically a few hundred times a day. Those pins are linked to specific pages of my websites. People click-through the pins to my sites, generating traffic and revenue. It’s really a numbers game. The more you pin and the more eye-catching the images you pin, the more traffic you’ll generate.

 I Follow Users With Clear Interest

As with all social media sites, a certain percentage of people that you follow will follow you back. I use this reciprocal following to grow the popularity of my Pinterest accounts.

In order to get followers who are clearly interested in my market, I search for boards related to my market and follow the users that are following those boards. Anywhere from 10% – 25% of those users follow me back, growing the account popularity. When I pin, the pins appear in those users’ timelines, resulting in traffic to my sites.

It’s my experience that the more followers you have that are clearly interested in your market, the more likely your pins are to show up in the Pinterest search results as well. So having a popular account generates traffic not only from your followers but also from the Pinterest search function.

I Use Software Automation

Obviously I can’t pin hundreds of times a day to multiple accounts (or follow that many people every day) without automation being involved. I’ve developed an in-house software tool that assists me in doing this, making it easy to grow popular accounts in my target markets that generate traffic to my sites and revenue from that traffic.

 

“What Software Is That?”

While I have no plans to release the in-house software tool I’m using to the public (it’s not designed for multi-user personal use), I am working on a desktop tool that duplicates the functionality that is most important to my in-house tool’s success. The new tool runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. It’s being designed from the ground-up to use everything I’ve learned about Pinterest in the last year to help you maximize the value that Pinterest can bring to your own website(s).

As with any software automation, you will need to use this tool in a way that does not violate Pinterest’s Acceptable Use Policy. Failure to do so may result in your Pinterest account (or accounts) being suspended so that you are no longer able to use them. Get familiar with what they allow, because if you do things right the results are clearly spectacular.

I anticipate the desktop tool being available toward the end of October. If you’re on my email list I’ll notify you when it’s available. If you’re not on my email list, click here and enter your details in the opt-in box.

 

I hope this case study has gotten you as excited about Pinterest as I am. I’m sure you have questions, so feel free to post them in a comment below, along with any other thoughts you have. I’ll do my best to respond to everyone that requires a response.

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The Damage Of Distraction

distraction, 3D rendering, rough street sign collectionThis past Wednesday afternoon I made a phone call to my attorney (don’t ask, sheesh). When the call was over, I took the phone away from my ear and expected the screen to light up and the red “End Call” button to become visible.

It never happened. In fact, my phone became completely unresponsive. I forced it to reboot and it got stuck drawing the Samsung logo. Long story short, I should be getting a new phone in the mail today.

Here’s the thing about being without my phone for two days. At first I actually felt nervous and uncomfortable. “Oh my God, I’m freaking out. I can’t check my email or my texts!”

I didn’t expect this knee-jerk response at all. It made me irritated with myself. Somehow people had managed to survive without a smart phone in their pocket for thousands of years. I had managed to survive my first 30 years of life without one as well. I wasn’t lost without it.

Once I got my ridiculous initial reaction under control, I was amazed at how much easier it was to focus on the task at hand. Normally when I’m out and about, I’ll periodically check my email, texts, earnings stats, etc. to see how things are going for the day and if there’s anything that needs my attention. I think it’s just in my nature to be obsessive when it comes to my work.

Robbed of the ability to be obsessive, my brain settled in on the fact that I could give one hundred percent of my focus to whatever was in front of me at the time. When I’m writing code for a project that’s rarely an issue. I get completely absorbed in it. But with other tasks it can be harder – especially tasks that don’t require active physical participation.

That is, when I’m coding my fingers are flying across the keyboard. When I’m trying to envision how to build my next application, that’s different. I sit (or walk since I tend to think better while in motion) and contemplate the best way to tackle the project.

Not having the phone beckoning me to check it every time it made a sound, I was in a much better position to stay completely focused on the project that I am currently mapping out. It was amazing how quickly the plan came together because I had zero distraction.

The irony is that the smart phone was conceived with the idea that it would help you get things done. Being able to read and respond to emails or texts from anywhere, being able to call anyone from anywhere, would surely increase our productivity in whatever work we do, right?

Sometimes, sure, but when we’re in the middle of something that requires a lot of our focus and thought, that handy little gadget can serve as a destructive distraction, interrupting the flow of thought that is inherently required for anyone who runs a business to think through their strategy.

I’ve decided that once I get the replacement phone, it’s going to stay off a lot more than its predecessor. Not just in matters of business, either. I’m sure my wife will greatly appreciate the phone being off when we’re having dinner together. I’m pretty good about keeping it on silent and ignoring it in those moments, but sometimes the tug to check it is overwhelming. Even if I never stop to look at it, just being rid of the desire to do so will help keep my focus where it belongs: on the most important things in life.

Maybe you should consider doing the same.

As always, I invite your questions and thoughts in a comment below.

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