Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Interview with beBee Co-Founder Javier Camára Rica

beBee Brand Ambassador


Those of you who know me will have a hard time believing that I (of all people) was appointed as Brand Ambassador for a Social Network.

How could that happen?

beBee is refreshingly different. It´s a "no rules" site. Whether you want to share information about Change Management or a cute cat picture - everyone is welcome. Job searchers and recruiters find their place just like plumbers, philosophers, managers, bloggers ...

The affinity-based approach makes sure that we can connect with exactly the people or topics we chose.

It could not replace LinkedIn and the German pendant (I´m expanding!) XING. A particular group of corporate management will never participate in online socializing. They are glad when in their limited free time no salespeople can bug them. And they could not share personal interests.

But they will leave their static business card on business networks so that to me the question is not LinkedIn or beBee.

The new connections and good mood from successful social media work on beBee reflect on everything else you might do on the net.

I started on XING a week ago, and have already 103 connections, founded a group that has 24 members. That might not sound impressive to American ears. But for a specialized topic and a country the size of Germany, it´s a great start. My group became the second largest group for the topic in 3!! days.

I had two meaningful (phone/skype) appointments and am discussing a partnership.

Networking on beBee makes me so happy, that I forget that I hate social media - and that leads to good results everywhere.

But ... this is not a Cheerleading event.

What I have achieved with the help of beBee

  • More interaction on LinkedIn
  • Could FINALLY close my Facebook account
  • Two new clients in the last 23 days
  • Two new testimonials
  • and lots of fun, engaging conversation 
Fun and likable clients are the ultimate measures, and the site is just starting to grow in the US, Germany - worldwide.  


Equity for Ambassadors

Well, as an Ambassador you are entitled to equity. Would you agree with me if I say that people who own a piece of a network will find a way to make it successful?

That said, 11 Million users in the first year is impressive as it is.

Words are words - facts are facts. 

Check out beBee

Below is the link to the interview and also my profile where you can see the number of followers I gained in a short period and how much quality comments and discussions take place under my posts. 




See you there!

PS: Oh, and drop me a note, I´ll be happy to "introduce" you and help you to get started there. 


Friday, September 30, 2016

How to not be annoying on Twitter

Use of Twitter auto messages


A quick Twitter tip from my personal point of view:

I might be particularly sensitive to spam, but rest assured that there are others who feel just like me.

You know what I find surprising? Meanwhile, the only group of people besides porn stars I am not following back on Twitter are social media experts.

First off: It makes sense to automate Twitter to reduce the workload.

There are many social media experts with tons of know-how on the market. But it´s also a title (like Entrepreneur, Leader) that is trending and free to wear. Therefore, many brand new marketers call themselves "social media experts" right after they signed up to their first MLM (multi-level marketing).

That surely doesn't apply to all, but generally speaking, many social media experts, or self-proclaimed experts, are a severe annoyance on Twitter. 90% of them send an auto message with some link. The penetrant ones even start their message with "I have a gift for you." or post on your timeline.

How much credibility has someone who sends you his affiliate links right after you were kind enough to follow them back?

I use auto-reply too. I welcome everyone who gives me the honor of following me. I do not include links to any offer or link. I do not ask people to follow me on other social media sites.

That is because I understand that at this point I have not earned their trust and it is not up to me to demand or "sell" anything.

Hand on your heart. Did you ever buy anything from a link someone sends you in their welcome message? ... I didn´t think so.

So PLEASE don´t do it. Just put links to your sites on your profile. If you´re interesting or valuable, enough people will look.

Provide value to your audience first and if you have to send them your links once you have established a connection.

Let´s bring the "social" back in social media (:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

3 Essential Tools For Online Businesses

The tools mentioned below are either free or they offer a free and paid version. What they have in common is that they can help you run your business better.

In no particular order:

Buzzsumo

https://app.buzzsumo.com

Buzzsumo comes in a free and paid version. The free version allows you to get valuable insights about your influencers.

You can see who shared your content, who engaged with it on sites like Facebook and Pinterest. Even though the amount of information in the free version is limited, it can help you to understand who is engaging with your content and which of your articles and photographs have the biggest impact.

I learned a lot about my readers, if you had asked me before using Buzzsumo I would have guessed that other articles are customer favorites.

SumoMe

http://sumome.com

You might already know Jeff Bullas´ tool set. Latest when you look at the site, you will recognize that you see his SumoMe on several (leading) websites.

Besides that they will try to get you to upgrade, most functions are accessible free of charge. The screenshot shows a few features.



Traffic Travis

Traffic Travis is a pretty universal tool. SEO, Keyword Research, Competitor Research, Backlink Check, Page Analysis and much, much more.

In my opinion, Traffic Travis is not the No. 1 in any of this categories but that you get all of the functions in one tool for FREE is amazing and in a way makes it "no 1". They also offer a "Professional" version that, in all honesty, I have not yet tried.

Check out this video to learn more: Traffic Travis


Monday, September 19, 2016

Review of ConnectAudience Retargeting

ConnectAudience Retargeting Review


Wilco de Kreij´s Re-Targeting Email Tool


You have probably already played around with Facebook advertising.  You might have learned that it is a quick way to burn a lot of money for little or no results.

You probably also have noticed that the opening rates for your e-mail campaigns are going down. Part of the reason for that are the changes that e-mail providers are making, but the other part is that it's just not working the way it used to.

You might or might not have used Google´s retargeting option. So when somebody visited your website, you can present them with advertisements, customized advertisements, on other sites he visits. It had probably happened to you that you didn't finish the checkout process in an online store and when you went to Facebook you were suddenly presented with an advertisement for just that company.

The disadvantage of Google´s approach is that they are in control of the data and that you can upload your list - but you will never know who interacted or reacted in which way. Google stays in power and possession of the information that can make you lots of money. Unnecessary to mention that the bidding war on Google Ads makes this an expensive game to play.

Here is where ConnectAudience fits in.

What is ConnectAudience


ConnectAudience can be described as a next-generation e-mail marketing and retargeting tool.

  • synchronize your autoresponder into Facebook Custom Audiences
  • connect your Facebook Lead Ads to you autoresponder
  • run retargeting campaigns depending on how people behave on your website

You will have full control which kind of ads you want to present to which type of prospect. If someone clicked on your link, you could display different ads than to someone who didn't click on your link.

What is important for you to know, is that this tool is approved by Facebook. You do not have to be afraid that at some point in time they might close your account down like it can happen with all of the shady tools.

You are in control and possession of all of the valuable data.
Wilco de Kreij ConnectAudience

A friend of mine has been able to increase his profits by nearly 300%. He calls it "Facebook killer". The vendor talks about the increase in profits of about 234%. Results will differ depending on where you're coming from. This friend was not very good at email marketing to start with, so that I do not want to sound like I expect everyone to see an increase like that.

In this case, I will not post a pro and contra section because, in all honesty, if there are any contra I didn't find them yet.

Facebook advertising used to be inexpensive and effective - these times are over. Presenting targeted ads is the way to go. The engagement will be much higher than with the traditional approach, which further decreases your per-click costs.

I suggest you have a look at the Link where you will find case studies and videos - and if you can determine the negative aspect of this tool, please do let me know.

ConnectAudience


Where to buy


Currently, if you follow the link below you will find a time-limited special offer. In this case, the offer is truly time-limited (not the usual special offer that will still be there in a year from now) so that I suggest you do not wait for too long.

That said, it 's hard to talk about cost when your profit from e-mail marketing goes up dramatically while your costs for Facebook advertising will go down.

ConnectAudience Special Offer


Content Repurposing

When genius doesn't strike


Old posts made new


Content Re-Purposing. Make Old Content NewLet's face it; we can't come up with an ingenious article every day. Luckily, there are several ways of repurposing your content that not only help you over "those days" but also enables you to reach people that are not into reading blog posts.

Some people prefer to listen to a podcast or watch a video. Content repurposing can attract new readers to your site.

Depending on the kind of content you are offering there are many great possibilities of repurposing your content.

Here are some of the best ways to turn a rainy day around

SlideShare

The benefit of sharing a PowerPoint presentation on SlideShare is not as big as it used to be when SlideShare was deeply integrated with LinkedIn, but it is still an option that is highly ranked by Google. Turn some of your old content into PowerPoint presentations. You can add the link or presentation to your relevant articles, which will further help your rankings and make your post more interesting.

And let´s face it (and it bugged me through all of my business life): Even the most ridiculous nonsense looks intelligent and meaningful on a slide. Not that I am saying YOUR content is nonsense.

Quotes

People are visual creatures, and I am sure that your content contains excellent information that can well be turned into useful quotes.  If you are lucky, you will even get a lot of shares when you use them on social media sites.

Updates

Have you learned something new since you first wrote your article? A good way to revive an old post is to add new information and then republish it with the current date.

Podcast

Have you considered starting a podcast? Why not use rainy days to turn your popular articles into podcast episodes? As with the other examples, it allows you to reach new people that might like what you are doing.

Pictures

Turn a clever statement of yours (from the day when genius did strike) into a shareable image. You can use a statement or a snippet of text. This pictures can be used on all social media sites as well as your blog. In my experience, people often share pictures, not only on sites like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and such.

List of 16 sites that offer free pictures: HERE

Youtube

If you are comfortable in front of a camera: Create short videos out of your most favorite content. Add the links to your post. Not only do videos rank very well, video sharing platforms are yet another source to appeal to people that do not read blogs and also deepen your connection with your existing client base.

Webinar

This applies only if you have something splendid to share. Do you have something to teach that can help people with their businesses our lives? Can parts of your articles be used to provide immense value to your audience?

Suppose you have the material you should go ahead and create a webinar. A webinar is the best way to show your audience that you are willing and capable to help them out.

An additional benefit is that your list will grow in no time. Looking for the right tool? Look no further than HERE

e-book

Scan your most popular e-mails, your articles and anything else you might have done. Do you find enough material to put together an e-book? If so go ahead and produce it as soon as you can.

An e-book is another excellent tool to add lots of subscribers to your list.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Why Affinity-Based Social Networks Are Booming

Spanish Startup beBee takes America by storm. Why are so many writers, bloggers, companies and social networker leaving traditional networks?

beBee Aurorasa Sima


Why I left Facebook and use LinkedIn less

First of all: beBee is free. It does not have a "members recruit members" function. I feel it is important to mention that the only reason I am writing this hub is to share the joy.
Most of you who will be reading this are writers, blogger, and small businesses. While beBee is not limited to small businesses and hosts large corporations as well - as of today it is the only community where size or marketing budgets do not impact your visibility.
beBee made me happy. Social networking used to be a nightmare for me. After only a few weeks on beBee, I have met wonderful new people and learned that social networking CAN be fun - if it is social.

beBee is not in competition with LinkedIn, Facebook, Xing, Twitter or any other network. That said, (you might have noticed it yourself) many of LinkedIn´s influential writers have left the site.
My motivation for social networking is to
a) promote my coaching business (emotional intelligence training, sales training, success coaching)
b) connect with wonderful people
c) Learn and share knowledge.

What is beBee

beBee is an affinity-based social networking site. That means that you can follow people and topics and connect with people that share your interest.
You have full control over your feed. It is not necessary to send connection- or "friend" requests to be able to follow a person.
Unlike sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, beBee is democratic and fair. LinkedIn appointed "Influencers" and if you are not one of them you might find it hard for people to find your posts. On Facebook, visibility is for sale.
The algorithm of beBee is more democratic and fair. If you produce quality content, you WILL be seen.
Business is about people. Business is personal. Because you share information on both, your professional and your private life and hobbies, you will be able to form meaningful and emotional connections quickly.
That said, the site is not "business only." If you just want to learn, read, hang out - you are as welcome.
I love the inclusiveness and positive atmosphere on the site. Even the grumpy people are more lovable on beBee. beBee welcomes white collar, blue collar - any collar.

About beBee

beBee is a Spanish site with meanwhile 11.6 Million users. It is fast growing and appears to be in the process of taking the US by storm. About 60k new US-based user join daily. Last week, beBee opened their office in New York.
beBee is designed to give users control over important features such as notifications, the type content they view, and how they interact with others of similar interests.- Javier Camara Rica, CEO beBee
CEO and Co-Founder Javier Camara Rica worked as a Consultant for Oracle and co-founded two companies (professional community and email system) that have been sold successfully.
Co-Founder and serial investor Juan Imaz has built companies from start-ups to multinational corporations since 1993.
The biggest difference I have noticed is that the people on beBee are very open, inclusive and communicative. The funny thing is that several people I am connected with on LI do not post a single post there, but on beBee they share content as if the world would end tomorrow.

beBee for Job Search and Recruiting

beBee offers all features of a professional and efficient job search free of charge. Advertisers can post three listings for free; corporate clients can choose inexpensive subscription options ($ 20/50 per month).
The advantage for job searchers is that the recruiter can get a realistic and authentic impression of the applicant, which results in less frustration for both parties.
beBee Recruiting Job Search

LinkedIn versus beBee

LinkedIn is an excellent professional network, and I am in no way suggesting to replace it. But is it the best tool to build your brand?
If you are a blogger, writer, or small business and have taken time and effort to publish Pulse articles, you were likely disappointed. Often, even your connections will not see your posts. How can you build a brand when nobody sees you? My like versus view ratio is perfect - just the number of views is too small.
Another annoyance is the relatively high amount of fake profiles and sales spam.
Currently, authenticity is trending. I teach people to increase their EQ, I should be happy, right? But what we are seeing on LinkedIn, and I find it highly annoying, is what I call "sales pitch revised".

"My grandmother has been attacked by 1233 monsters, she nearly died but then .." and so on. Followed by a sales pitch.
My LinkedIn feed is of low quality. I disconnect, I mute. I am connected to many people I would love to hear from. But they do not post. Because it is a professional network only and every "like" or "comment" shares the relevant post to your whole network, most people are very careful. Most do not post/comment and "like" at all.
I see more and more of "this belongs to Facebook" comments, math games and sales pitch after pitch. After pitch.
I have not looked for a job for ? years, so that I could not compare beBee and LinkedIn from the viewpoint of a job searcher.

beBee versus Facebook

I will admit, that I am not neutral when it comes to Facebook. I dislike it strongly. And I distrust it. My subjective and biased opinion (and I hope you have better experience on Facebook!):
Facebook is probably the ideal platform for people who want to hang out with friends and family. It is also the ideal platform for bots, spam, scam, and hate speech. And way too much salesy posts.
Facebook has a function that is similar to LinkedIn Pulse. In the current state, it is missing many features. The visibility of these notes is higher than the visibility of regular posts. But still not in the range that would make it worth spending your time and brain on producing valuable articles.
There´s another thing to keep in mind. Privacy. Not only does Facebook sell your data to their advertisers. Unless you are using a script blocker they also follow the sites you visit when you leave the site. A few days ago, WhatsApp announced that they also would share data about your user behavior, your connections, and your phone number with Facebook.

The number of fake profiles is so high on Facebook that I am worried about the data quality. I know a few advertisers who burnt a lot of money there without seeing the results you desired.
Maybe the ads and advertisement strategy they used was not perfect. But they do see results on LinkedIn and Adwords with the same strategy.

Unnecessary to say that many professionals and most managers do not have a Facebook profile. It does not have a job search / recruiting function.
beBee vs LinkedIn Facebook Xing

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Conclusion

Affinity-based social networking is the future. beBee will represent Spain at Startup Europe in Silicon Valley in September. This train is already rolling and it is getting faster. If I were you I would join now, as long as they "just" have 11.8 Million members.
About 60k new people and companies sign up from the US each day. This number is also growing.
Other than building your brand and form meaningful business connections, beBee is as diverse as life itself.
Whether you´re a manager, salesperson, scientist, intellectual, cute cat pic lover, cookbook junkie - there is nothing you will not find on beBee.
Have a look at my profile (link below).

Thanks for reading and I hope we can connect on beBee
bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Monday, August 29, 2016

Facebook Alternative beBee? A Review

beBee vs Facebook

First off: beBee is not in direct competition with Facebook. 

In all honesty, I am not exactly sure about Facebook´s mission. If we say that it´s a platform to connect with your family and friends, Facebook wins. beBee, the affinity-based network, has a different mission.

I´ve shared some general info about beBee in "Linked in vs beBee" and my concern regarding the data quality and changes to privacy at facebook HERE.

Many people on Facebook use it in a different sense: 
  • Winning clients
  • Building a brand
  • Playing games

Sadly, these days one can get the impression that the site has become a huge playground for advertisers and spam. The huge number of fake profiles, bots, and scammers in addition to Facebook´s aggressive privacy TOS make some people start to distrust the site. 

Are you on LinkedIn too? How many times do you read "This post belongs on Facebook" in your feed? Facebook has become a synonym for low quality and unprofessional posts. 

Is that the right place to build your brand?

Problems with Facebook


Negativity
Researchers have found that people feel happier once they leave Facebook. I will have to agree, I felt better after I left.

Part of the explanation is probably that people portray themselves in a positive light. They post about an ideal persona. That can make people feel lonely and unsuccessful. The other part of the problem is that - no matter if you agree with the content or not - the massive amount of negative messages has a negative impact on your brain. 

One-sided view
Facebook shows you more of what you "like". The problem is that you are starting to see a filtered view of reality. 

Bots/Spam/Scam
Facebook might have the highest amount of users (especially as they seem to be very accepting of fake profiles, and automated bot profiles) but the amount of scam and spam is hard to tolerate. 

Advertisers
Smaller pages have one severe problem: Basically, even people who liked your page often don´t see your posts. Facebook has a solution: Pay to show your own followers posts at a prominent position. If you are not willing to pay - for new pages and small companies it can be difficult to gain visibility. 

What is beBee?

    Facebook versus beBee review
  • Affinity-based community
  • Over 10 Million users in the first year
  • 40 K (number growing) US-based users join daily
  • Users are in control of the content they want to see 
  • High visibility
  • Meaningful interaction
  • Job-Search and Headhunter portal
  • ad-free, privacy breach free
  • no bot activity, hardly any spam

Conclusion

Depending on what you are trying to achieve, beBee might be a Facebook alternative or addition for you. 

Again, if you are looking to just connect with family and friends and do not mind the downsides of Facebook you might not be interested. 

If you are looking for genuine interaction, likeminded people, building your brand - this is the place to bee.

I moved. Have a look at my profile HERE

Thursday, August 25, 2016

WhatsApp To Give Phone Numbers To Facebook

Are you like me someone who rarely or never reads the "changes to our TOS." Well, maybe we should start reading them.

Facebook plans to increase ad revenue

Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $ 22 Billion.

Facebook Alternative beBee?If you agree to the new TOS (if you don´t you´ll have another 30 days to do so) WhatsApp will begin to share information about your usage of the app as well as your phone number with Facebook. 

Currently, Facebook is losing a few ad clients and is looking for ways to increase revenue. I have sold data mining projects for six years of my life, and I am fully aware of the gigantic amount of information an artificial neural network can predict from what feels like a tiny bit of info you share. 

WhatsApp will not (and could not because of the end to end encryption) share the content of your messages with Facebook. Currently, they will not share your profile name or picture. That might change. 

The information about when you are most active and whom you communicate with will be used by Facebook to complete the detailed profile they already have about you. They then can use the information to show you targeted ads.

If you do not mind the amount of information you are sharing with Facebook - fine. Just be aware that the few pieces of data you are sharing lead to far more knowledge about you than you might think.

An order of a specific wine in combination with a purchase of music from a certain artist might allow someone to predict that there is an 80 % possibility that you are gay or maybe that you are likely to purchase a book about dogs next.

On the day you get Diabetes your insurance (supposed they are using Business Intelligence tools) can predict nearly exactly what your next diseases will be and when you will die. And most importantly from the viewpoint of that health insurance: What you will cost until the day you die. 

Facebook Data Quality?

When it comes to Facebook, I am not objective, and I will admit that. Every popular site has problems with bots, spam and wants to earn money. In my opinion, Facebook takes it to another level, though.

My coaching business is small, I am probably not even their ad-client target. Here´s a thought for those who are:

I am exaggerating here: Some days you can have the feeling that Facebook has become a community of meme posters, advertising clients, bots, hate speech, scam, spam, and fake profiles.

Mindless games, like for instance "Farm Ville" (Zynga) that is played by millions of people encourage their players (who often use a second profile so that nobody will see their game activity) to add tons of "neighbors" They are needed to advance in the game. Farm Ville is only one of many games with that principle.  Many gamers add hundreds of random people just for the purpose of advancing in games.

Obviously, there is no statistics available for: "How many games on Facebook make players click random strangers and create fake profiles". Just to give you an idea: Zynga's less popular game Poker has been played by 350 Million users (Source: Dean Takahashi, 2014) and Millions of users play it daily. This is not Zynga´s only game - and Zynga is only one of many producers who encourage people to use a second profile (as these games have a tendency to spam all of your friends if you are not very careful) and click random people.

I wonder ... what does that mean for the data quality? When advertisers pay tons of money to place ads that´s an important question, right?

The concept of making the owner of pages PAY so that people who "like" the page see the posts is ... well, it´s one where I can only wish Facebook best of luck.

Did you know that Facebook (unless you have a script blocker running or delete your cookies) follows you and sees which other sites you surf on?

Again, before you hand out your most precious possession, your data, make sure that you are fully aware of the amount of information you are giving out.

Facebook alternative beBee?

beBee is an affinity-based community. You could say that it takes the best of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and combines it with its own spin. It is not targeting LinkedIn. If you are in a position where you seek to connect with Top Management, like board members and such, you definitely want to use beBee as an addition. beBee offers employment ads. If you are looking for staff or a job you certainly want to check them out. 

How beBee works


People can follow each other and join what beBee calls "hives". Hives are groups that are focused on a specific topic or industry. What makes beBee unique is that people share their professional content as well as content about their hobbies and such. We talk about "authenticity" a lot. beBees concept is based on just that. What I have never experienced in any community before is that users actually READ your content (not just "like"). The amount of quality content and interaction is extremely high. 

The community is meanwhile 11.6 Million members large and growing fast. As of today, it is 99 % spam, scam and privacy breach free. I think I saw 2 MLM links and received 4 spam messages in the few weeks I am active there. 

Every site will analyze your data and your activity. Unlike Facebook, beBee shows no ads (as of today). Your data neither gets sold nor used for targeted marketing. beBee does not track what you do when you leave the site. 

I will write more about beBee in the next days, make sure to check back or sign up to my newsletter. 

Or ... if you like, have a look at my profile there: beBEE

I recommend that you hurry. As I said, the community is growing at high speed. As always - those who are there first will have an advantage and high visibility. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

5 Most Annoying Social Media Tactics

Please understand this as a humorous list, created with love. There is always a hint of truth in every joke, though. "How I deal" is merely an info on how I react and in no way to be seen as "social media advice".

So here is my list of the most annoying social media people (and I commit to exaggerating):

The Tag Spammer

This type is very common on Facebook - but all other sites as well. They post a picture of a sunrise. Nice. Who were they with? They tag about 300 people into the post. In the spirit of fabricating worthless social proof, half of the tagged people will comment and like the sunrise picture.

This type usually posts A LOT, preferably quotes, cute cats, and other pictures. Never anything he has written himself. He uses bots (automation) on all sites that allow it, even Facebook, LinkedIn ...

He considers himself an "influencer" and often offers his services. Seriously? Could I learn how to fabricate social proof by tagging?

Tagging is a useful function if you think your post is relevant to someone or if you have been with them.

How I deal: I disconnect. Firstly, the notifications about nothing annoy me. Secondly, this type does not interact, share or read your content. It´s a deadlock.

The #Guy

He does not #care if he is on #LinkedIn or any other place where #  have no #function. Readability is overrated. #hashtagthis.

He loves sites like Instagram.

How I deal: I keep them.

The negative nelly

Usually a brilliant person. The type we would generally love to hear from. Generally. He would deny and dispute that he is a negative nelly. He is not aware anymore that like a proofreader scans texts for typos and grammar mistakes, he is looking for a factual or logical error in every post he reads and something he can disagree on.

I am not sure if he is open to receive the goodness and wisdom from the posts he reads.

We love to learn about different viewpoints. People will not always agree. But if someone only leaves negative comments (which he would also deny and characterize you as "not open to constructive criticism") and just reads your posts to find something that is wrong with it .... it gets old quick. Fine is the line between feedback and unsolicited advice.

His posts are perfectly thought through, of intellectual value, and contain neither a logical nor grammatical error. There is no lightness in the way he goes about social media.

How I deal: I enjoy his posts, but I do not actively seek a connection. If I disconnect or not depends on his activity level. If I see 20 negative comments in a row, I will disconnect. Never block. His intentions are not evil.

The "Engagement Starter"

Never posts anything unique or puts effort into his social media work. Might post a bikini picture on LinkedIn to stir up controversy. Or post something like: "Tag someone who deserves it".  Feels indifferent about the fact that the reactions of your network to this post will spam your feed with irrelevance.

Because of the high level of interaction, the majority of social media sites will show this post before the posts with unique content someone spent time and energy writing.

Most of the time, this type shares nothing about themselves. They might ask you how you feel about something - they will not share how they feel about it.

It´s a numbers game. Will probably win a few new clients through the high amount of people who see the irrelevant posts. Will be considered a "social media wonder" after a short while. Because, sadly, this works. So does porn - everyone has to make their own decision who they want to be.

How I deal: Block. This type has no value. They are not social nor are they interested in genuine connection or interaction. This is my least favorite type of all. I will even mute people or disconnect if they constantly interact with these posts. Especially on LinkedIn, people do not seem to be aware that "This post belongs on Facebook" or "So inappropriate" shares the irrelevant post to their whole network.

The affiliate marketer

This type is bursting with enthusiasm. Pumped to the bone they sign up to a social media site and start posting links to a MLM (multi level marketing) system. Again and again and again. At the time when they sign up and start spamming, they still believe they will get their investment back - and make lots of money on top.

They do interact. They comment everyone´s posts with: Great info! Here is a link to a site that will make you rich like Dagobert Duck, Elvis Presley will return, and your hair will grow again.

They´ll click you on LinkedIn and if you click back you will receive this message:

"Thank you for connecting! Here is a gift for you: xxxxxxxxxxx."

If you´re having a bad day you can have some fun with him: Just ask him how much money he made from the "quick rich" system he promotes.

How I deal: I feel for them and smile while I softly disconnect. The pyramid schemes and MLM programs have excellent marketing and brainwashed him to believe that this will work.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

16 Free Pictures Sites For Bloggers / Writers

While I am searching for pictures of brains (so far without success) I was thinking that others might be looking for sources of pictures they can use as well.

Best of free stock photos


Here are my picture resources, in no particular order:

1. Unsplash

I would describe this site as artsy. Wonderful pictures, some very professional looking.
https://unsplash.com/

2. Refe Real Life Photos

The name says it all...
http://getrefe.tumblr.com/

3. picjumbo

Free and premium membership.
https://picjumbo.com

4. Morguefile

Another huge collection. Not all pictures look professional. Lots of  "people" photos.
https://picjumbo.com

5. Pixabay

Images, vectors, and videos.
https://pixabay.com/

6. Death to the stock photo

Lovable, artsy, different.
http://deathtothestockphoto.com

7. Little visuals

http://littlevisuals.co/

8. Gratisography

Very interesting pictures. Great for articles.
http://www.gratisography.com/

9. Compfight

With search engine.
http://compfight.com/

10. Splitshire

Very many professional looking pictures
http://www.splitshire.com/

11. IM creator

Curated. Also includes templates, icons ...
http://www.imcreator.com/free

12. New Old Pictures

Vintage Photos
http://nos.twnsnd.co/

13. PhotoPin

Millions of creatives
http://photopin.com/

14. Function

Smaller but nice collection. More than pictures.
http://wefunction.com/category/free-photos/

15. Free High Resolution Photos

Receive 20 pictures per email when you sign up and more every Sunday
https://pjrvs.com/a/photos/

16. Dreamstime

By far the biggest site on this list. You can also sell your own pictures on there. Free and paid pictures (subscription).
https://www.dreamstime.com


Monday, August 8, 2016

Webinar JEO Review, Walter Bayliss

Webinar JEO Review, Walter Bayliss
Webinar JEO is probably the last of my series of webinar system reviews. I found my "weapon of choice".

Walter Bayliss is on the market for over 7 years now. He is an entrepreneur, software developer, and internet marketer. He used to offer "RunClick Webinar" - a webinar system based on Google Hangouts. After experiencing too many issues with the Google platform, he created an Amazon EC 2-based system.

What is Webinar JEO


Webinar JEO is a complete webinar solution. It supports
  • Live Webinars
  • Evergreen Webinars 
  • Replays / Recorded Webinars
Webinar JEO supports unlimited attendees and does not limit the number of webinar and replays you can run. The feature list is impressive and extensive training is included in the cost.

The argument that is being pointed out most is that the system does not run on Google Hangout basis. Walter Bayliss shares how he lost lots of money by using Google Hangout and that attendees suffer from an up to 60-second delay. He informs us how the delay kills every interaction during the webinar when someone has to wait a minute for a reply.

Personally, I did not experience any problem with a delay of a few seconds but I also never had more than 200 people on my webinar.

Webinar JEO Features


As mentioned you can run live webinars, recorded webinars, replays and hybrid webinars. Hybrid means that a recording plays but you can enter the live chat and interact with the people.

That is standard with all of the leading systems, meanwhile.

Features include

  • Polls 
  • Quizzes
  • 1-Click private chat
  • Live screen sharing
  • Quizzes
  • Interactive Whiteboard
  • Live Chat
This is pretty standard with the exception of the interactive whiteboard and the quizzes. The whiteboard is an innovative function. 

The sign-up, follow up and lead system is probably the best on the market right now. Webinar replays can be sent out automatically (only a few systems offer that right now) and obviously, Webinar JEO also offers all of the standard features like buy-buttons, sign-up templates etc. 

It is easy to set up and run, whereas I only came across two webinar systems so far that were complicated to handle. 

So far so good. One feature missing (see "contra"), two innovative and unique features and the rest is best-of-class. 


The good and the bad


Pro

  • Unlimited attendees
  • High-performance system
  • Tons of features to help conversion
  • Extensive (quality!) training included
  • Runs on Amazon (stable and performant)
  • Innovative new features
  • Excellent follow-up and autoresponder system


Contra

  • No automated chat (chat of live sessions gets played at your evergreen seminars or you can enter chat manually). Also, the "simulated attendees" function that especially new marketers love (imagine for first webinar only 2 people show up) is missing. 


Final Verdict


It is one of the finest solutions on the market with an impressive feature list.

Currently, the brand new release of JEO has one or two features more than WebinarJam/Everwebinar. The developers of WebinarJam are also busy, preparing the new release. If a product has similar features and pricing it comes down to the person.

Both come with INCREDIBLE training that offers far more than just training on how to run webinars.

JEO is a bit more "affiliate-ish". Or you could say salesy. For this, and only this reason, my choice is WebinarJam. What newbies might like is that it is possible to pay monthly for JEO; while WebinarJam´s fee has to be paid yearly. On the other hand, newbies might want to get their hands on the automated chat and attendee feature.

Where to get / Pricing

Currently, a pre-launch promotion is active. You can get Webinar JEO for $ 297 for a year (and lock in the low price) or $ 39 per month. Walter Bayliss states that the price will be massively higher after the pre-launch phase. Sometimes these statements are true, sometimes they only have the purpose of creating a false sense of urgency. In any way: If you are planning to offer webinars you MUST look at this one: 

Learn more or buy HERE

Thursday, August 4, 2016

AdSense Alternatives For New Blogs

"Your blog does not qualify for Adsense."

"Your account has been temporarily disabled/deactivated."

AdSense Alternatives for New Blogs
Your blog/website is new. No one wants you. What to do? Wait until you have 50 k visitors? No way!

Here is the thing with AdSense: There are thousands and thousands of complaints about AdSense out there. It seems that many do not get approved while others accidently did something that is against Google´s TOS. Whether it´s true or not, I can´t tell. Many people claim their account has been deactivated after they clicked their own ad accidently - one single time.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Grow Your List With PLR

PLR stands for private label right. Someone produces a product (like an eBook, video training, etc.) and grants you the rights to sell it. It is not branded - you can put in your link, address, logo. Most PLR products come with a lot of extras, for instance, articles, that you can use for newsletter and such.
Review of NitroWealth Aurelius Tjin

That can definitely be interesting. The "good" vendors deliver everything you need to set up your sales page (sales page, graphics, additional bonuses). Depending on the supplier and regulations of the particular PLR product you might be granted the right you find resellers to sell the product for you. In that case, it is called MRR (master resell right). 

Until you are ready to create your own freebies, this is the best way to go about it. Like myself, you might decide that what you have to offer is best put into a product - not a freebie so that you might continue to use PLRs.

PLR as giveaway for list building


As discussed in earlier articles, as a new online marketer your challenge will be to create a loyal list of subscribers that you can promote your links and products to. PLRs are an ideal way of generating new sign-ups. How many times have you given your email address away to receive a freebie? Exactly. 

It is best to offer more than one freebie or at least to switch the giveaway from time to time. 

Psychology of Buyers

A quick side remark: PLRs are not best-of-class works. Most are awful; some are ok or even good. And that is enough. 

You see, rarely someone looks into free stuff. People want it, but people do not value it. They store it somewhere on their PCs, together with the other free pdf´s they are not reading. And if they do: Their expectation is not as high as it would be with paid content. 

Still, your reputation is on the line, and you have to be prepared for the rare case that someone actually reads your freebie. 

Problem with PLR


I´ll be honest with you: The quality of the overwhelming majority of PLRs is ... beyond. Terrible does not even start to describe it. Many or even most vendors cannot even be bothered to use the auto-corrector function that every word processing program offers in 2016. 

2016 is a good point. Many of the PLRs are from ancient times. Especially when it comes to social media advice, internet topics and such you are at risk of making a fool out of yourself if you happen to use one of the dinosaurs. 

Some vendors deliver incomplete content. They might provide an HTML site, but you soon learn that unless you can code you will not be able to integrate your payment button. 

The list goes on ... but let´s focus on the good things. You probably guessed that I would not write this article unless I can share one of the best PLR solutions with you. 

NitroWealth Review, Aurelius Tjin

I recommend NitroWealth. Why? PLR do not have to be pieces of art. But as mentioned before they have to be good enough to support your case of building a relationship with your new subscriber. 
Grow your list with PLR

Use PLR to grow your list

NitroWealth Aurelius Tjin


Here is why I love NitroWealth
  • Focused on the topics that sell. Weight Loss/Health/Nutrition; Internet/Marketing/Social Media; Self Help. 
  • Current and complete content. You get every single little thing you need to sell the item and tons of bonuses on top. The content has not been written in 1998 but is brand new. 
  • Good quality. A PLR will not earn you an MBA. But NitroWealth delivers quality content that supports your case and can be sold without feeling guilty.
  • All the rights you need. Some vendors do not allow to give their work away for free or below a certain sum. You can give all of the NitroWealth PLR away for free, for a cent - however, you want.
  • Contains blog posts, autoresponder sequences, articles and often videos
  • Professional, competent and fast customer service. 
  • Extremely affordable. 
  • 3 module packages offer rich content on all three money-making topics. Whether you want to ensure that you have something to offer for everyone or whether you have several websites - everything you need is in this worry-free pack. 

How to get NitroWealth


NitroWealth delivers a fresh set of PLRs every single month. It´s a worry-free package and saves you not just time but also $. 

The three pictures in this article only show a part of what you are getting. 

The first month is available at just $ 1. Seriously. In 10 minutes you can be ready to either offer your freebie to new subscribers or make money by selling it. 

After that, the cost is $ 10 per months. That is as cheap as it gets for complete quality content. Easy cancellation at any time. No hurdles, no questions asked. 

You could get the full package for a dollar, download it and cancel. That would be shortsighted and a bit sneaky - but possible. 

Get it HERE

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Build my List Review, Jimmy Kim

Jimmy is one of the cool kids. The kind you want to hang around with. He is also one of the knowledgeable kids.


This review is evaluating the person as much as the product. Obviously, I am a member of the program. Sadly, most reviews are written by individuals who .... let´s say: work on assumptions.

Review of Build My List, Jimmy Kim


What is Build my List? It is
  • training
  • a product
  • a method
  • a concept and
  • a community
All new online entrepreneurs soon learn: They know what they want to promote, but they have no one to promote it to. Especially in the beginning, a blog just does not cut it. 

BML addresses and solves this problem. Step by step it teaches online entrepreneurs how to grow massive lists. It provides not just the knowledge but also the tools. Tons of bonuses complete the product. It even includes three months of free email automation. That is more than enough to get you started and keep your expenses low while you grow. 

Here is a screenshot from the member portal: 


http://braindiamond.com/buildmylist.html


You will find hours of training in your member portal as well as information on every single step you need to take. One of the many bonuses is a PLR (private label right) eBook that you can use as a freebie right away to grow your list. 

Especially new online entrepreneurs often do not have enough knowledge to put together an eBook of their own (which I would recommend for a later time though). 

By now you will probably think: "Gosh, it´s one of the two k programs again ... I don´t have 2k right now."

Well, it´s not. Rest assured. 

Who needs BML?


In my opinion every beginner in the business and anyone who does not have a list with as few as 10 k subscribers. 

Another factor about being your own boss is that many miss their colleagues. It can get lonely out there. Or better: In there (if you work from home). 

I also strongly recommend it to anyone who just functions more efficient in a motivated, supportive community. The FB group of BML is extremely active and whatever question you might have - you will get an answer within minutes. Often by Jimmy himself. 

The good and the bad


Pro: 
  • Step by step approach teaches you to play in the big leagues
  • Extensive deliverables
  • Very active community
  • Excellent pre- and after-sale support
  • Incredible pricing. The bonuses alone would be worth about ten times the cost of the whole program

Contra:
  • Once he has you on his list, Jimmy will relentlessly try to upsell you to other products (;
  • Only available in English
  • Digital downloads only


Final Verdict

When I started with Jimmy my list was about 200 people. Two short weeks later I was already at 1,6 K. The charm is that the knowledge and skills you learn will be yours forever. 

Give this one a try. As always: 30 days money back guarantee. 

Where to buy


You can buy or just grab a free eBook that will be helpful in itself HERE

Let me know your results with BML!

PS: I launched my first product a few days ago. Jimmy told me he would promote it only after I showed him a great EPC. Jimmy, Jimmy ... I thought you were a visionary. A pioneer. Well, he is not. But maybe you are? If so click HERE



Saturday, July 23, 2016

"Maybe Traffic" Is Not a Currency

Originally I just wanted to share how I felt when I received another request today for contributing to another site. Then the article grew and now also contains info on the marketing instruments that did help me to increase the number of people following my content.

Maybe Traffic is not a Currency

Writing for Free

If you follow this blog chances are that you are a new writer/blogger/marketer.

It´s a tedious task to find the first loyal readers who appreciate your content. Everyone will tell you (or more realistically try to sell you) the secret sauce of getting lots of readers and sales in no time. One of your greatest challenges will be not to lose focus when all around you shiny objects are blinking.

There is no legit and honorable shortcut to success. You will not make 200k or even 2k in the first week. Probably not even $ 200. You will also not find 100 new coaching clients in your first week online. That said, it is possible to make a great living and even a terrific living as a writer/coach/marketer who offers their services via the internet.

Naturally, for that to happen people have to see what you are offering and you need to find a constant and growing stream of readers.

Your invited to guest blog

How exciting is that? Once your articles start to become more popular, you will start to receive messages from people who invite you to write for their site, publish or market their content, etc. No wonder you are excited and happy. Finally, the hard work is starting to pay off.

I´ll share my view on this so that you have some more brain fodder to form your own opinion.

Content is Money

I am receiving a growing number of invites (via http://blog.aurorasa-coaching.com). The first few times I was excited. And hopeful for all of the traffic that will follow. Oh, and the backlinks.

There might be a few exceptions where it makes a lot of sense to write for other sites but here are a few arguments that make me decline most of the time:
  • "Maybe traffic" is not a currency. Your time is valuable and if someone wants you to spend it they need to present an adequate value for it. 
  • A single backlink is not worth a lot. For it to impress Google, you will have to write for the site on a regular basis. 
  • Most of the time you cannot aggressively market your site but just post a link in your author´s profile. Even if your content is good, many people will not bother to look for your site. 
  • You´re not a content machine. How many good articles can you write in a given time? You have to fill your website with a constant stream of good content as well. 

My advice is that you check any offers properly and make sure that you spend your time and precious material wisely. Depending on who your client is it might be more beneficial for you to post your article on LinkedIn Pulse, Bebee.com or Facebook.

This obviously does not apply if a very influential site with hundreds of thousands of readers reaches out to you ... which is not going to happen in the beginning. 

Who´s your client?

We discussed that you will receive invites to write for other sites. There are also sites where you can self-publish articles. For instance Hub Pages and Ezine Articles. I played with both briefly, and I have to say that I received LOTS of traffic through the articles I published there. 

While Hub page only allows for a "no-follow" link, Ezine Articles can help your site to rank very well in Google. 

Depending on your business this does not have to apply to you: I am offering Coaching. My clients are not on Hub page. All of the traffic did not lead to any measurable results or leads. 

For a minute, I forgot the No. 1 rule of sales: Who is your client. Where is your client spending his time? 

If you are in the area of "online business" these sites might be highly interesting for you. 

The better you understand your client, what he needs and where he spends his time the better results you will get with even only a few visitors to your website. At the end of the day, it´s about conversion and not clicks.

Backfire

SEO, backlinks, "click for click", social selling, keyword stuffing, link farms - the strategies keep changing. So does the Google algorithm. One of your biggest challenges will be not to fall for every scam or lose your time evaluating every shiny object.

Quality content never goes out of style. Many unsuspecting new content creators learn the painful lesson that Google does not appreciate trickery. And the promise of the "expert" and his tricks turn out to be a nightmare. Sooner or later search engines catch up, and they do punish websites that used any shady practices.

You might not even know that you were using shady practices when the great sales guy had such a convincing pitch (and didn´t he say he made his first 200k in a week?).

So my first piece of advice is: If someone tells you something that sounds too good to be true answer the following questions:
  • Is it honest? 
  • Does it provide value to your clients/readers?
  • Can it be considered trickery or shady?
  • Does the guy telling me about it make his money USING his own method or does he make his money selling his method?
  • Is the system/person teaching me skill or tricks?
At the end of the day, you can rank on page one and have thousands of daily visitors - unless your content is useful or entertaining, your visitors will probably not come back.

Time is Money

So you are putting out great content and take a lot of time creating it. Still, in the beginning, the world does not seem to care. It takes a while until a new website becomes known, trusted and popular.

There were a few instruments that helped me grow the most:

Effective Marketing Instruments


Press Releases

There are quite a few sites where you can even submit your press releases without charge. The benefit of press releases include:
  • Will rank very high in search engines, virtually the day after the release
  • You can be lucky, and a reporter likes your release and decides to write about you
  • Shows professionalism
  • News sites have an excellent reputation with Google
  • You might get lucky and even land in "Google Alerts."
There are tons of paid services for press release distribution. Even if you just want to invest time, there are many great sites to self-publish your release. For a start: Here is a list of about 20 good sites where you can post without any charge: PR

Once you site kicks off, you might consider paying for the service as it is very time-consuming.

Re-purposing content

You should be very careful about posting duplicate content. I did not notice any negative backlash from posting an article after a few months on LinkedIn or BeeBee, other than that I stay clear of it.

But maybe some of your potential audience does not like reading too much. Maybe they prefer podcasts, videos or presentations.

You can easily use snippets of your content to create pictures, slide shows, podcasts and videos and get in front of an audience that might never have found your articles. If you have a blog and add something new to an older article you can republish it with the current date.

Very effective.

Webinars

What was the most efficient measure for me was webinars. Not just for the sales but also for the quality of great people I could add to my list. It is nice to receive positive feedback and comments on your newsletters and start building a relationship with people.

Also, a webinar allows people to learn who you are. As well all know: You buy the person - not the product. If you provide value people will be happy to share your event.

Of the many webinar solutions I tested, I found THIS the best. You will also receive tons and tons of great marketing advice. I tested many other webinar solutions and found this to be the best by far.

The only negative thing I found about his webinar solution is the way that it integrates with MailChimp. People receive the webinar sign-up confirmation and then the 2-step opt-in message from MailChimp. Compared to the flaws of the other webinar solutions I tested it was the one I could tolerate the easiest.

Viral Promo

When I decided to offer a webinar, the challenge was to get new people to sign up. And to then also show up. I tried several ways to achieve that:
  • Paid ads. I burnt a lot of money for not much outcome. I guess if I go on the street and offer people the kind of money Google asks for their paid ads I would have greater success. 
  • Solo ads. Tons of sign-ups. Not many show ups. Quality solo ads do not come cheap. 
Then I came across UpViral. 

Do you have a useful freebie to offer to a new subscriber? If you do not have it already, you should definitely buy or produce one. 

In one sentence: UpViral is a system that allows you to offer a "reward" for successful action. For instance: Someone can get a free eBook after he shared your event in 3 FB groups. Or after five people signed up for your newsletter/event/etc.

Psychology can explain why people are engaging way more when they have to hustle for their reward than when they get it for free. 

At the cost of only $ 25, I was able to get 238 sign-ups for my webinar within a few days. As I cannot tell if the buyers came via the UpViral promo or from my existing list, I can only look at the number of sign-ups. 

That´s pretty incredible. I don´t even want to start thinking about the costs of getting this number of sign-ups via Google Adwords. 

Read more about Upviral HERE

It´s the concept that companies like DropBox, Realplayer, and others use with great success as well.

Publishing on Social Media Sites

As mentioned briefly another great way to build your brand and get people to know you is contributing articles to - depending on the kind of your business - LinkedIn, BeBee or Facebook. I do not actively use Facebook so that my experience might be different from yours. Of the three mentioned FB was the only site that was not worth my content. 

Especially BeBee, a relatively new site, can lead to thousands of views on your content even if you do not have a huge network.


Whatever method you chose to grow your online business: May your site thrive!

Love & Light,

Aurorasa


Monday, July 18, 2016

Review of UpViral Wilco de Kreij

Who is Wilco de Kreij


Wilco and I have a bit of history. I was mad at him for a few weeks. When he was testing his newest "baby", UpViral, I came across his beta-test in which he used unsuspecting Entrepreneurs as guinea pigs. He talks about this test in a video on the SITE.

That said, the test was successful. It worked on me and when I looked at the concept from the viewpoint of human psychology and what I know about the brain it made sense. To gain access to a little tool, I recruited five sign-ups for Wilco. 

Wilco calls himself a "wiz kid." He started selling sunglasses online at the age of 16. From his personality structure, he would and could sell sunglasses to people who live in a dark cave so that I am always a bit careful. In his defense: He is not one of the sleazy untrustworthy salespeople. He IS a hustler. But what convinces you is his energy and his authentic enthusiasm for his projects. 

Even the beta release of UpViral has worked on me so that it was clear that I had to take a closer look. Particularly since Wilco has a history of very successful product launches. 

UpViral Review and Test

What is UpViral?


In one sentence: It is a lead generation machine in the form of software and methodology with which you can acquire an army of people who will promote your product, generate sign-ups and even sales for you. In no time and at nearly zero cost. 

It is the methodology that companies like Dropbox have used to become major players in a short time without marketing effort. 

In times where solo ads often bring questionable results or are just too expensive and the "long tail keyword" times with google ad words and such are over, it is great to have a cost effective alternative. 

The principle is very simple. You create goodies. People have to share your post/link/etc. a certain amount of times to qualify for the goodies. Or they get access to a reward once a number of their friends have signed up to your list/event. And you? After the initial setup that took me 6 minutes, you sit back and watch your list grow and your profit rise. 

What convinces buyers are referrals and recommendations from people they know and trust. 

Who needs UpViral?


Anyone who wants to promote a product, build a list, market an event or even affiliate product. 

How does it work?


UpViral offers integrations, templates, and a tracking system. You set up a promotion (for instance: "get 5 of your friends to sign up to receive this free eBook"), and the system tracks the number of clicks/sign-ups and grants access to the "reward" as soon as the goal is reached. 

Do I need technical knowledge?


On their website, they state that you can get ready to roll in 5 minutes. It took me 6. No technical expertise is required other than knowing how to operate a computer. You can integrate it with your existing solution or use it stand-alone. It´s compatible with any of the large email systems, lead pages, and new apps are being added constantly. 


Pro
  • Very low cost for the product
  • Safes you all the money you spend on paid ads
  • Eliminates dependencies on SEO experts, Google Ranking and such
  • No time or effort necessary for setting up or learning - it´s out of the box and ready to go 
  • Team of 10 people supports the product, but Wilco replies to every message personally if you reach out to him 
  • Extreme compatibility (supports all popular email systems, sales funnel systems and lead page builder)

Con
  • Only available in English 
  • It takes a few days until a promo starts to get viral and hundreds of sign-ups come in each day

Pricing


UpViral is a monthly/annual subscription, starting at $ 25 per month. It is realistic that, depending on your niche, you can get up to 15k subscribers in a month. Given the quality of and price for solo ads and paid ads that are extremely inexpensive. 

30-day money back guarantee allows you to test for yourself for two weeks. The differences between the "basic" and "premium" variant: 

UpViral Review Wilco de Kreij


Final Verdict


In my opinion, this is a 9-star solution. With my last solo ads, I had severe problems with the quality while FB ads or Google AdWords burn a lot of money. My personal experience is that people were more interested in getting an eBook I used to give out for free once they had to work for it and present me with five other subscribers before they could get it. 

UpViral is a simple, practical concept that has been transformed into an intelligent, easy to use product. 

If you have not already you should give it a try HERE 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Google Play Music vs. Prime Music

Comparison of Google Play and Amazon

I am an Amazon Prime member so that I have free access to their "Prime Music". Prime music is a full-scale music subscription. 

Google Play Music vs Amazon Prime MusicOne would think that because of that I have a strong bias towards Amazon. And I had. Amazon used to be my favorite company for many years.  A while ago, I still decided to try out Google Music. 

Here is a comparison of both services:

Available artists

Both companies offer an extremely broad spectrum of mainstream and less popular artists. From my experience (and I am listening to some rather uncommon artists) and in the tests that I did for this comparison, they basically scored even. Of one artist one has a few titles more, of the next one the other service wins. 

But, what I loved from Apple, Google has podcasts. Therefore: 

Google wins. 

Storage

Amazon offers free storage for all music you purchased from them. They do not count towards your allowance. That applies to Google Play Music as well. 

Amazon allows you to upload up to 250 songs without charge. Google lets you upload 50,000 songs. Yes, 50,000. A "music subscription" for $ 25 (annually) enables you to upload up to 250,000 songs to Amazon. 

If you chose to cancel your subscription Amazon will not send you a warning. On the day your subscription ends you will lose access to your uploaded songs. They keep them for a year and if you re-subscribe during this time you will regain access. Or you can delete your imported songs and start fresh with up to 250. 

$ 25 is a great price but I still do not like the fact that without any warning you lose access to your uploads. We all prefer being invited to hard-selling, right? And please see "Security of your music" below.

Google is the clear winner. 

Music Subscription

Google offers a few songs and albums for free - so does Amazon. Again, both companies offer extremely large amounts of songs and there will not be many artists who ever came out with an album you will not find. 

The monthly fee for the Google Play Music service is 9.99. You get access to 35 million (!) songs. There had been rumours that Amazon is going to offer a "Music only" subscription. I have not heard from that in a while and a google search also did not lead to results so that I think they dropped the idea. After all, they use the free services to push their main service, Prime. 

Amazon Prime music offers access to over 1 million songs for free. 

I am not sure how to score a winner. Obviously, 35 million songs are better than 1 million and free is better than $ 120 per year. I´ll put it like this: If for some reason you are not a Prime Member and do not want to become one google is the crystal clear winner. 

But if you are a Prime Member anyway and use other peaks of the Prime Membership, unless you are a music freak it´s probably not necessary to pay for another subscription so that in that scenario Amazon is the clear winner.


Compatibility

Both companies offer apps for PC, phones, tablets. It comes as no surprise that the Google front end is conveniently integrated into your browser while you have to download and install the Amazon music app. 

You can go to your library via a web browser with Amazon too but you cannot upload your songs via Chrome. I did not bother to install another browser to try. It´s 2016 and 34.7 % of people use Google Chrome. Just work around their special flash player! It´s not rocket science. 

Both do not have an app for the Apple watch ):

Google wins this one. 


Security of your music

Before I relocated from Germany, I copied my CD´s. My own CD´s -  purchased in a store. When I tried to upload them to Amazon, they would only play a loud sound. Amazon was of the opinion I did not legally own them. 

I do not appreciate a storage service to play police; especially when it makes mistakes. Two other things happened at the same time: The USB stick I stored the music on broke and Amazon changed their storage rules. I do not remember how many songs you were allowed to have back then ... they lowered it to 250 and did not like today have the option of restoring it. 

They just deleted my music. UN-BE-LIEVABLE!

That happened 3 years ago, and they probably changed this. That might be an emotional way to look at it, but basically, Amazon stole my music. At least that is how it felt - and you do not forget who steals from you. 

I am pretty sure if Google would lower the allowance of songs you can store they would give you not one but probably three warnings and not delete your music. When my Google drive subscription ran out I could still download all of my content. 

You guess it. Google wins. 

Import

Both compare songs you upload to their libraries. For some reason, Amazon until this day has an annoyingly high error rate. 

Often albums that ARE in their library get detected correctly but the songs are being called 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. I have 12 songs called each number. Obviously, you cannot search for the song titles. They also very, very often mess up songs you even purchased from them. 

For instance: 7 albums I purchased from them as well as many imported (including popular albums like Caribou, Franz Ferdinand, and Bear in Heaven)  end up as separate albums. So you would have more than one album with the same name and one would contain most songs, the other only one song or a few. 

I also purchased an album from Amazon that consists of only two songs. The songs have the same name, only one has the addition "day" and the other one "night". I see both songs in my Amazon library. But on any other device, I can only see and therefore play one of the songs. 

Maybe it would work to manually on your computer create playlists for all songs from an album and then it works on all devices - I found another solution you will see in the conclusion. 

While Google is able to figure the artist from the file name (or however ...), Amazon has severe problems with recognizing any song that is not in their catalog. And as discussed with many songs from their own store. 

In all neutrality (hahaha) and fairness I cannot say: Google is the winner. I will have to say: Amazon is the loser. 

Radio

Both services offer a radio function. There is not much to say about this: Amazon has a very limited amount of "radio stations" that are 100 % mainstream only. 

Google has a service like iHeart radio and others. They have ready-made stations but you can also choose the artist of your liking and the system creates a station for you. 

Unless you have a paid membership, sadly, you only have a limited amount of  "skips". Songs you give "thumbs up" get added to a playlist. 

If only Google had an apple watch function ... I am always happy for every app I need less and this could replace my iHeart and potentially Tunein radio. 

Google is WAY better (which is easy when you have all the data in the world to analyze) than any other service I tried (Spotify, Last FM (when they still existed), iHeart, TuneIn...) in adding "similar artists" that I really enjoy. 

Again, they do have an unfair advantage by being in possession of unimaginable amounts of our personal data - but it´s not about market fairness for me when I want to listen to good music. 

Google wins.

Advertisements

Google shows advertisements. At least to me as a free user. Amazon only advertises their own services and products. 

Amazon´s ads are less intrusive and less annoying. 

Amazon wins. 

Conclusion

If you are a Prime Member with a "regular" taste in music there is no need for you to pay for a music subscription other than the $ 25 per year "music subscription" if you want to upload more than 250 of your own songs. 

While I am writing this article my songs are uploading to Google Play Music even though I am a Prime Member. Some music is a tad cheaper on Amazon.

My first thought was: But when I buy songs from Amazon I would have to upload them manually if I switch to google. That was another annoying thing about Amazon. It can add your songs to iTunes. But my iTunes is not on the same machine as my music. I sync to iTunes from a removable hard disk. 

There is an effortless workaround, though: In the Amazon Music App you can choose to auto-download your purchases while in the Google Play Music App you can select which folders on your computer you want google to auto-synch.  

Google is better in many aspects that are important to me personally: 
  • Integrated, state-of-the-art radio function
  • Free upload of 50000 songs
  • Nearly no mistakes with tagging or missing files, no matter if recorded from youtube, purchased from Amazon or recorded via some other app
  • Better frontend
  • Podcasts!!! Without podcasts you (or at least I) still need iTunes
PS: You can find my podcast there too!

PSPS: Should you not be a Prime member yet: In addition to the free music service the membership includes a "Netflix" (video offer), free 2-day shipping on many items, a free book rental per month and many other perks.

Free trial HERE