HyperLocal is Here – Time to Hop Aboard

HyperLocal is Here – Time to Hop Aboard

Have you read some of the headlines concerning Hyperlocal lately?  Do a search for “hyperlocal advertising” and you’ll find things like How Hyperlocal Advertising Changes Everything and Small Businesses Target Hyper-Local Mobile Ads, and much, much more.  Even Facebook is getting into hyperlocal.

Maybe it’s time for YOU to get into the hyperlocal game as well.

What is Hyperlocal?

Wikipedia’s definition of hyperlocal is probably the most accurate:

“A working definition of hyperlocal was published in a 2012 Nesta report, describing it as online news or content services pertaining to a town, village, single postcode, or other small, geographically defined community."


Hyperlocal is basically niche marketing on steroids and what surprises me the most is that most people are largely ignoring it, meaning there are still HUGE opportunities in the hyperlocal marketing space.  I mean, hyperlocal knocks down (quite easily, I might add) the major hurdle for most new marketers – traffic.  A halfway-decent hyperlocal website will capture significant traffic by accident.  Imagine what a well-designed, well-run hyperlocal will do?

How Does Hyperlocal Marketing Work?

It’s actually pretty simple – and much like niche marketing.  Instead of targeting a specific niche, the webmaster targets a specific community or area.  By maintaining such a narrow focus, the webmaster can be sure that his or her content is laser-focused on the audience being targeted.  As a result, the webmaster is often rewarded with massive amounts of traffic while needing to exert very little effort.

Many successful hyperlocals follow the same recipe for success.  They build a nicely designed (and branded) website along with a matching Facebook page, which is often used as a “feeder” to the website.  Since a properly executed Facebook “like” campaign can generate as many as 1000 real fans for less than $100, it becomes rather easy to build a significant fan base of several thousand interested people almost overnight for just a few hundred dollars.

Since a hyperlocal website/brand is laser-targeted, fan engagement is often “off the charts” and often results in amazing reach.  In turn, the hyperlocal website receives TONS of laser-targeted traffic, day in and day out – simply on the strength of the website content shared on the hyperlocal’s Facebook page.

Hyperlocal on Steroids

Hyperlocal brands that successfully match their hyperlocal audience with a hyperlocal niche often see explosive growth.  A good example is BerksSoccerNews.com.  A local youth soccer site in Pennsylvania, Berks Soccer News often sees upwards of 1000-2000 visitors per day during the fall high school soccer season.  It’s a great example of how a smart webmaster can generate massive traffic by coupling a hyperlocal niche with a hyperlocal audience.

There is one caveat to this hyperlocal thing…

The hyperlocal model lives and dies on the quality of the content (often news-related) provided.  Since one of the primary sources of traffic to a hyperlocal site is “return visitors”, poor quality content simply won’t cut it.  On the flip side, however, a hyperlocal site with quality content can often generate thousands of visits per day, despite the relatively small target audience.

But How Does a Hyperlocal Make Money?

A hyperlocal website is really no different than any other website.  As such, hyperlocals monetize in various ways, including affiliate marketing, ad sales, AdSense, direct product sales, service delivery, etc.  There is no shortage of ways to monetize laser-targeted traffic.

What SMART hyperlocals do is avoid “monetizing” for the first few weeks or months as they build the site and the community.  Only after a relationship has been established does the smart webmaster begin monetizing the site and the brand.  Even then – he avoids the “hard sell”, instead, option for the “soft sell”.  It’s a strategy that works for thousands of hyperlocals around the world.

Low Bar to Entry

With such low startup costs, a hyperlocal can be up and running inside of a week, complete with an audience and readership for less than two hundred bucks.  Few businesses can be started for such a small investment.

If you are looking for an easy to run online business with low start-up costs, consider a hyperlocal.

This is Why You are Failing as an Amazon Affiliate

This is Why You are Failing as an Amazon Affiliate

There are lots of reasons one can fail as an Amazon (or CJ, Linkshare, ShareASale, etc) affiliate. However, some reasons are more obvious than others.

Listed below are some of the more major reasons I’ve seen for folks failing at affiliate marketing (especially Amazon). 

You are targeting products that you can’t possibly rank for…

So you want to earn monster commissions in the HDTV niche eh? Well, so does everyone else. If you rely on organic search for traffic, stop promoting "Best Sellers" and popular items. Everyone and their grandmom is doing this. Unless you can rank above the fold on page one in Google, your product reviews just aren’t going to be seen. Instead, go after the less-competitive products in the same niche.

You are spending more time on backlinks and less time creating content…

If you need to spend 5 hours per day building backlinks just to rank your product reviews, you are really making life difficult for yourself. There is so much low-hanging fruit to chase that I never understood why people chase generic, high-traffic / high-competition terms that require such effort to rank for. Target lower-competition stuff and spend more time writing content for your site and less time trying to rank. You will have far fewer grey hairs and results will be realized more quickly.

You are not targeting "buying" phrases…

Sure, the term "HDTVs" will get you a TON of traffic (if you can even rank for it). However, how many people who are searching for that term are going to actually buy anything anytime soon? I’ll answer for you – not many. Stop targeting "traffic" and start targeting "buying" traffic. Think about what terms you would search for when researching something you were ready to purchase. Those are the terms you should be targeting.

Your content is not compelling…

If I am searching for information about a product I am ready to buy and I land on your site and I’m immediately greeted with a wall of text, I’m clicking my "back" button. For Pete’s sake, break it up! Add some images! Add some paragraphs! A wall of 800 words just isn’t appealing to me. By the same token, please don’t tell me 4-slice toasters are great or that I can toast more slices of bread faster. Stop with the mundane details. Give me something useful. 

Oh, and PLEASE don’t just repeat what Amazon is saying. Chances are VERY GOOD that I’ve ALREADY been to the product page on Amazon. I already know what they are saying about it. At least give me YOUR opinion on what Amazon/others are saying about the product. Simply parroting what Amazon already said is not helpful to me.

You are promoting things that people simply do not buy online…

I realize that "anything" can be bought online. That said, some things just aren’t as conducive to online shopping as other things. Some things are simply too expensive for many to trust buying online. Some stuff requires the buyer to try it on. Some stuff is just cheaper at a brick and mortar. Think about what you are trying to promote and ask yourself if people really buy it online.

You are promoting things that you know nothing about…

I just thought of this one. Please folks, know something about what you are promoting. If you know nothing about HDTVs, either learn about them first or simply do not promote them. It becomes painfully clear in your wording when you have no idea what you are talking about. Your visitors can tell.

I’m sure there are others and I’ll add them as I think of them. That said, address the few mentioned above and you will give yourself a much better chance of success.

Amazon Versus ClickBank – Who Wins?

I often see people arguing over which affiliate program is better. Is Amazon the better opportunity or is ClickBank? The argument invariably boils down to commission rates. While Amazon offers commission rates of anywhere between four and 8%, ClickBank often offers commissions in excess of 75%. On the surface, the 75% commission sounds like the better deal. However, is it really?

While ClickBank offers much higher commissions there are other factors to consider in addition to commissions. Conversion rates are a critical component to consider when comparing the two. For example what good is a 75% commission rate if the conversion rate is one out of every 1000? When trying to determine which is better you need to consider both pieces of information (conversion rate and commission).

The strength of Amazon is the site’s ability to convert visitors into buyers. More often than not, your job as an Amazon affiliate is to simply get the visitor to Amazon and let Amazon handle the conversions. However, as a ClickBank affiliate, you often need to pre-sell your traffic before sending them to the product’s landing page. You will often miss out on sales if you do not do a good job of pre-selling your traffic. For these reasons, I prefer Amazon. I’d much rather simply have to get traffic to the product that I am promoting than have to presell.

For me, Amazon is the better program. What do you think? Why?

The Low Competition Strategy and Why it Works

Before getting into what the low competition strategy is or why it works, it’s important to understand the psyche of the typical newbie IMer. I feel this is important because it provides a background on why I designed the strategy in the first place. Understanding the target demographic will help you better understand what the strategy is and why it’s best for newbies.

The typical internet marketing newbie can often be summed up in 4 points:

  • Has No experience making money online
  • Has little money to invest in online activities
  • Has very little time to devote to online activities
  • Wants to see results NOW

If you are new to internet marketing, I would be shocked if at least 3 of the above points did not apply to you.

Let’s get into what the low competition strategy is and why it is quite possibly the best strategy for the newbie. Billed as a "low-competition" or "easy-to-rank" strategy, the idea of promoting low-competition products on Amazon isn’t necessarily all that novel an idea. When you think about it logically, it makes perfect sense. By targeting products that very few marketers are targeting, you quickly eliminate most of your competition before even getting started. Because of this lack of competition, Google is practically begging for decent content regarding these products/terms. If you can create content that is decent, you have a very good chance of ranking for said products and terms right out of the gate without the need for any off-page SEO (i.e. backlinking).

AdWords Campaign Disapproved Due to Site Policy?  Here is What You Should Do.

AdWords Campaign Disapproved Due to Site Policy? Here is What You Should Do.

OK, so you’ve gone ahead and setup a shiny new AdWords campaign for your latest affiliate product.  You’ve waited… and waited…. and waited for the campaign to go live only to receive an email from Big G telling you that your campaign is disapproved due to "Site Policy".  Now what?  What does that even mean?

Well, what it means is that Google doesn’t like something about your landing page or possibly your site in general.  You could be promoting a forbidden subject or there could be a problem with your site.  If you resubmit another campaign for it without making any changes to the site/landing page (and then getting the changes approved by the AdWords team), you are on the fast path to a permanent banning from the AdWords program.  Just a few mistakes like this is all it takes to earn yourself a permanent ban.

Should you find yourself in this predicament (as this poster has), step away from the Campaign Management console and head on over to the AdWords TOS.  Although you should have already done this part (read the TOS), now would be a good time to do so if you haven’t already.  This section pertains specifically to Site Policy violations.

Once you understand what Site Policy actually means, make the necessary changes to your site, login to your AdWords account and visit this page to request a site review from the AdWords team.  Without it, every ad you submit for the site will be disapproved.