Freemium [extended]

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Apr 242012

what is it?

The word freemium, itself, consists of two parts: the words free and premium. This indicates the nature of the topic even before one dives deeper. Essentially, freemium is a business model in which a core product is given away for free, with premium products being sold alongside it. Despite the fact that products are given away for free, the main objective of this business model is, in fact, to make even more money.


 “the more people have an iPod, the bigger the market will be for the iPod and its accessories”


This means that by ensuring that more individuals are exposed to and have access to one particular product, the higher the chances of individuals actually purchasing things that go along with it.


so where did it come from?


The freemium business model originated from the IT world, where it was used frequently by software producing companies as well as Internet Service Providers. During the years the model has been adapted and used within other industries, becoming increasingly popular within the companies as well as the customers themselves. Nowadays the freemium model is often used within the music and publishing industries, in order to encourage sales.

A good example of this business model being implemented successfully within the music industry, would be the technique used by the Nine Inch Nails. They offered their new album Ghost I-IV for free for its users to download, yet simultaneously the rock band generated revenue from its concerts, deluxe CD box sets and paid downloads. By providing their fans and users in general with free material, more people were able to explore their work and invest in paid purchases.

The freemium business model works very well in today’s day and age, as technology is advancing at a very fast pace. Specifically the computer. It is now used for both the initial creation of the product as well as the distribution of most media products.


moore’s law


The fact that the computer came around plays an important role within the development of the freemium business model. According to Moore, the amount of computer power you get for a certain cost, doubles every 18 months or so. Therefore it is becoming cheaper and even more efficient to use a computer to produce product. Similar tendencies are true for the Internet connection, memory and so on, so forth.

From this, one can conclude that computer production is very inexpensive. It is possible to duplicate products at almost no cost, therefore increasing profits. There are however some downsides, as today’s potential buyer will often no waste his or her money unless convince its worth the buy. This is where the free product comes into play, as it is able to influence buyers into bigger investments.

Another downside is the existence of piracy, as by providing free content, a lot of it gets reproduced. Although one can argue that despite the fact that pirating exists, if the product is good enough and worth buying, then people would go out and buy it. It could be considered a continuation of freemium, part of the marketing strategy.


traditional vs. untraditional


Lets examine two different situations, let’s say you distribute 100 free CDs in order to sell 2 concert tickets, 3 T-shirts, or 4 paid CDs. In this case it makes no sense to do so, as the cost of producing and distributing the records will be too high compared to the profit made. On the other hand the cost of producing and distributing the music digitally is close to zero. Therefore only a small percentage of users need to buy something for you to make a profit.





A good example of a company that uses the freemium model very well is Skype. The provide users with the possibility to make free audio and video calls from computer to computer, phone to phone or computer to phone. On the other hand they offer a premium service for their users by allowing them to upgrade in order to be able to call from computer to landlines, as well as have group video calls.

Out of the total of 18.2 billion minutes of Skype-to-Skype calls, only 12% were paid for. The reason that Skype can make so much money is because their product is so cheap for them to duplicate and distribute.


fat world knowledge


Another example is the educational company Flat World Knowledge, which provides textbooks for schools and universities. Their main profit comes from the printed books they sell, while the digital versions of these books are provided free of charge. This means they can save on not having to reprint the books every two years with updates.


“For the model to be freemium, the free has to be something that can be used in and of itself, without necessarily buying something else. Like the way you can use the free version of Skype as a valuable tool, without paying for the premium.”


improving the business model


There are three main ways in which to ensure the freemium business model is even more successful. Active promotion is necessary, it is important to make sure even more people know about your free product, as it generates more users. This ties in very nice with the world of social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc.

The next important thing to consider is accessibility. If people find it hard to access your free product, some people will stop before they even get to it.

The last and most obvious is the free product itself has to be of quality, and must be usable on its own completely, without the need of purchasing any additional things.

 “It can be a small step towards a better world. it puts knowledge and tools in the hands of the people who could otherwise not afford it.”




I believe that the best example of the use of the freemium business model is Open Source Software. As it allows people to use the product and create something of their own at the same time. The freemium model works well as a happy medium between the companies wanting to make as much money as possible, and the users wanting to save money and invest in quality product.

 Posted by at 10:00 pm

Content Management – eCommerce Website Critique

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Mar 222012

Accordin to Wikipedia eCommerce or Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce, ecommerce, eCommerce or e-comm, refers to the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks.

However, the term may refer to more than just buying and selling products online. It also includes the entire online process of developing, marketing, selling, delivering, servicing and paying for products and services.


Benefits of selling online:

Selling online have numerous advantages and some of them are mentioned below.

  • Cost effective and accessiblity to global market.
  • Cutting out the middle man and that means more profit.
  • 24 hours business. Your ecommerce software keeps your online shop running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
  • Automated Order processing and quicker payment processing by directly integrating your ecommerce solutions to your bank payment gateway.
  • Greater customer satisfaction. A modern ecommerce website design helps you provide all the customer support that are required.
  • Better customer information. Fully automated ecommerce solutions allow exchange of information to customers efficiently and cost effectively.
  • Drive traffic and sales. Professional ecommerce website designs are more compatible with search engines and thereby sending you relatively more visitors.
  • Simplify sales management
  • Make bookkeeping easy


I have chosen two websites which show different ways of being a successful eCommerce. I will point out a few positive or negative aspects of their overall website design. – electronics retailer. – women clothing, footwear and accessories retailer.

Continue reading »

What did I learn last week – .htaccess file and other oddities

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Mar 202012







Not compulsory but in general a good idea to have.


.htaccess (hypertext access)

  • Custom Error pages (ie 404 etc)
  • Pw protection
  • Redirection – can redirect requests for one page to another (useful if your site changes)
  • Rewrite URLs – wheater your site uses www or not (URL Canonicalization)
  • Hot link prevention – (images usage from your website control)

A localized server configuration file to override default server configuration settings.

Name comes from – originally the file had one primary purpose – create pw protection – controls the access to any particular areas of the website.

Usually at the root folder.


What .htaccess does?

  • Custom error pages (most common one – 404 “page not found”). Often not appreciated but very important.
  • If there is a broken link on website (your mistake). A custom error page to help user recover from the error.
  • There is no real rule to create one. Should look and feel same as homepage. Can place anywhere but you should tell server where to find it.
  • In form – ErrorDocument 404 /error/404.html – one line txt line (each elements separated by a space) in .htaccess file in the root of your web site (then applies to all pages on your site)
  • Inject some humor into your custom 404 error page


  • Pw protection – in combination with a htpasswd file (containing encrypted username and password) Pw protection needs .htpasswd file in folder to be protected. You can set up as many id and pw combinations as you want. File can be located anywhere on the domain, ideally in a secure location.
  • If the .htpasswd file is located in the same folder as ht.access but if you have access to folders above the root, it should be placed there as its more secure.
  • Also used if you work with a file which you want to see live online but you want no one else to be able to view it.
  • How it works:
        • User requests access to folder by entering address in browser -> Server checks if folder contains .htaccess. -> If auth required: username and pw are asked.if incorrect 401 is issued, if correct, access is granted
          AuthName “Student Project work”
          AuthType Basic
          AuhUserFile /home/mawa/.htpasswds/.htpasswd
          Require valid-user

          AuthName – text that will display on the  authentication dialogue box
          AuthType – method used, Basic is the default
          AuthUserFile – server path to the password file
          Require – type of access (e.g. group access can be specified

.htpasswd file contains a list of User Name/PW combinations, one on each lineIf you want to add more than one pairs.

One pair of id and pw; id given in plain txt, the PW si encrypted using MD5 algorithm.

Free online tools to create .htpasswd files. Use notepad to save your .htpassword file and then upload to your site using FTP. One both .htaccess and .htpassword are in place, the folder is protected and accessible only by entering the correct authentication details. If the .htpasswd is not there, the .htaccess will still request the credentials (in which case no one will be able to access because there is no pw)

The auth dialogue box varies depending on browser.

If the auth in unsuccessful (incorrect pw or username), a 401 error is issued (You can make a custom page for 401 errors.)

(The Code Book by Simon Singh)


If you need to make changes on website.

  • 301 redirect
    It tells where the content is moved to. It knows the change is permanent and it will update index straight away. (Requesting for the new content)
    Its an .htaccess file;


Redirect 301 /acad/

Inbound links are not usually updated in any systematic way -> keep the redirect in place for as many years as appropriate

(for the users who got main links for your site)

In some reason you may want temporary redirect -> not telling search engine it’s a permanent move (if you are fixing your site, if your site is down)



Apache server called mod_rewrite used.

  • to change http:/www to www.
  • to change to .com (to use either/or)
  • rewrite URL’s which are generated by blogs, formus and cms’s so that they are more instantly memorable and usable by search engines – SEO purposes to get the keywords to your URL! (in case of wordpress article presenting, the wordpress transforms the “ugly” URL with and article name)


It is an SEO issue. Search engines may think


are different wesites when, infact, they are the same.

To force all URLs to be rewritten with “www” even if the request was made without it:

RewriteEngine On
Rewrite Cond %{HTTP_HOST}^$[NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=301,L]


To stop hotlinking (If for example someone is using your images or other data and stealing your bandwith):

If the file (jpg, gif, etc) is requested by another server, not a local server, issue a failed request. To annoy you can also send to different image or any different file! 🙂

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www.)?*$ [NC]
RewriteRule .(gif|jpg)$ [R,L]


Very similar to html. Not very options available. It tells Google and other search engine spiders which content you would like them to index (for crawl).

Lists all the important content on your website. Includes options that allow you to spesify how often the content changes and its relative importance.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="">


to tell crawl/spider where they should not go – list of content you do not want to index. Evenn if you have no content you dont want to index, still add it! If the content is not found, a 404 error is issued and the spider continues with crawling your site. robots.txt avoids 404 error.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /error/
Disallow: /includes/
Disallow: /forum/clientscript/
Disallow: /forum/cpstyles/
Disallow: /forum/customavatars/
Disallow: /forum/customgroupicons/
Disallow: /forum/customprofilepics/
Disallow: /forum/images/
Disallow: /forum/includes/
Disallow: /forum/install/
Disallow: /forum/signaturepics/

It is good to add robots.txt file in your web root. Do not forget to add your sitemap when you have one in place! Looks like this:

User-agent: *


A small graphic image that appears in the address bar and other places when website is viewed in a browser. 16×16 inch. Special type of image file (.ico) that is not supported by mainnstream applications (Photoshop has no native support, Fireworks CS4 + has; plugun for Photoshop available). Context sensitive!

If you create a lot of icons,  it may be worth spending a bit of money ($49) on an application like IconWorkshop.

Adding the Favicon to your site:

  • When you save your icon, it should be called favicon.ico, this is the default filename the server will look for, just as it looks for index.html
  • Use FTP to upload favicon.ico to the root folder of your website.
  • There is no need to add a link tag to the <head> of your HTML files if you use the default filename and place it in the root folder.

Point to Favicon using a <link> tag only if:

  • icon file is called other than favicon.ico or is in a sub-folder. (if you want to have it in images folder etc)
  • if you want to use different icons in different parts of your page (blog has different one from main part of web etc)
  • to conform to W3C preferences
<link rel="icon" type="image/x-icon" href="/folder/favicon.ico" />


Change Mode (CHMOD) is a method used in Unix operating systems for setting file permissions. When uploaded via FTP its given default permission settings. Expresed in 3 digit number – default value 644 –  all can view but only the server can write.

If it is a folder – 755.  In order to maintain security, you should only change permissions on files and folders where it is absolutely necessary.  This file listing shows
a WordPress blog. The permissions for the folder “wp-content” have been set to 777 because WordPress uses it to store uploaded content.

 Posted by at 11:20 am

On-site SEO

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Mar 162012

Search Engine Optimization is the practice of improving a website’s performance in search engine listings with the aim of driving more traffic to the site. On-site SEO encompasses all of the internal changes that can be made to a website to increase its page rank and performance in relation to targetted keywords.

Recently I have been redesigning a website that has been struggling with its performance in search engines in comparison to its competitors. Pregnancy Preparation is a local business running evening classes for pregnant women in Derby. I will refer to this project in my examples, detailing what steps I have taken to hopefully improve the site’s page rank (currently 0) and help it to match relevant search queries.

Keyword Development

Before considering how to optimize a website it is vital to have a list of keywords that you are trying to target. There are many online tools to help identify relevant keywords and phrases, such as the Google Keyword Tool, which can help by providing statistics and suggesting related search terms.

To filter the results of your own ideas and suggestions that have some out of a keyword tool, keywords should be categorized as either primary, secondary or tertiary. In general it is preferable to target the keywords with a high search volume and low level of competition although other considerations, such as locality or industry, may lead to the selection of more specific terms with lower volumes.

The primary key-phrase identified by the client for Pregnancy Preparation was ‘pregnancy yoga derby’, which she felt was the most likely combination of keywords her potential customers would use. Currently her site is listed at the bottom of page 2 on Google for this query and is preceded by many of her competitors as well as many less specific results.

keyword search results for pregnancy preparation

Keyword search results for Pregnancy Preparation

Keyword Density

As search engine algorithms have become for sophisticated, the volume of keywords in page content has become less of a factor in page ranking. However, it is still important to consider keywords when writing content to ensure that it will be seen as relevant to the website and will match the other contextual indicators used in categorising your website. The optimal keyword density is 4-5%, any more than this could be considered keyword stuffing and result in a penalty. There are various online tools that can help identify the prevalence of keywords across a website, for example the SEO Book Keyword Density Analyzer. This crawls your site and ranks keywords and phrases by percentage, giving an insight into how well the content reflects the keyword strategy.

keyword density for pregnancy preparation

Keyword density for Pregnancy Preparation

This breakdown for Pregnancy Prepararation identifies ‘Class’ as the most common word. Whilst this may need to be addressed in terms of reducing occurrences of non-key words and phrases, many of the terms the client wishes to target are occurring naturally.

Page Title

The title tag is perhaps the most important element for telling people and search engines about the content of a page. It is commonly used by search engines as the heading for a search listing and is the first thing a user will read when scanning through a page of results. Page titles should:

  • Make use of primary and secondary keywords
  • Be between 8-10 words and 50-80 characters
  • Be unique to the page

The first word in the title should be a relevant primary keyword, followed by a secondary keyword or phrase that gives more specific information about the page contents. This will create a headline that is both informative and attractive to users and search engines, improving page rank and providing a match for the user’s search criteria. In the case of the yoga class website the following title was being used on every page:

<title>Pregnancy Preparation - Yoga-inspired exercise classes in the Derby area</title>

I changed this to prioritize the primary key phrase identified earlier, followed by a more detailed overview of the business making use of secondary keywords. I made the simple addition of the URL suffix for each of the subsequent files to identify the different pages and clarify the structure of the site:

<title>Pregnancy Yoga Derby | Yoga-inspired pregnancy preparation classes | About</title>

Meta Description Tag

The contents of the meta description tag is often used by search engines for the text that appears between listing titles and should be used as a way of presenting what is on offer to the user. Although descriptions are important for increasing click-through rates they are no longer a ranking factor, certainly for Google, and should be used as ad copy to match search terms and encourage interest. Description tags should:

  • Reinforce the title tag, providing more detailed information
  • Be between 25-30 words and 160-180 characters
  • Provide a strong call-to-action
  • Use primary keyword near the start and secondary keywords as appropriate
  • Be unique to the page

The existing meta tag on the Pregnancy Preparation homepage is passable, making use of some important keywords and clearly describing the nature of the content. However, there is no CTA and the same description has been used for every page.

<meta name="description" content="Pregnancy Preparation, organised by Berenice Sewell and Rebecca Cumming, provides bespoke Yoga-inspired exercise classes to pregnant women in the derby region" />

To improve this I have simply added the CTA for the homepage and then written variations for the other pages that are specific to each of their purposes:

<meta name="description" content="Pregnancy Preparation, organised by Berenice Sewell and Rebecca Cumming, provides bespoke yoga-inspired exercise classes to pregnant women in Derby. Call now to book your place." />

<meta name="description" content="Our Derby based pregnancy yoga courses take place at three locations in Mickleover and Little Eaton, come to the one that is most convenient for you." />


Headings should be used to give structure to the content and make it easier for users to find the information they are looking for. Whilst not as important for SEO purposes as the title tag, the h1 can still contain the primary keyword providing it can be worked in naturally and clearly describes the content. You should limit yourself to one top-level heading per page Subheadings (h2 and h3) can provide more specific information and should contain secondary keywords where possible.

<h1>Yoga-inspired gentle exercises, breathing and positions for birth. Relax, Stretch & Breathe</h1>

The original h1 for the homepage works well, clearly stating the nature of the business and managing to make sensible use of keywords. However, as with the title and meta description, it was duplicated on every page of the site. I have written unique top-level headings for each page that use relevant keywords to clarify the purpose of the content and encourage users to continue reading. For example, for the ‘benefits’ page:

<h1>How our yoga-inspired classes can help you and your baby</h1>

As the site doesn’t contain any large sections of copy, sub-headings (h2) have been used to label and divide content and as a result naturally contain relevant keywords.

Internal Links

Internal links should be used within copy to connect users to other relevant areas of the site as well as in the main navigation. They should be displayed using descriptive text and keywords where appropriate to make the destination explicit to the user. This can also help search engines by giving them an idea of the relevance of a destination in relation to the current page.

The first line of body copy on Pregnancy Preparation includes two of the locations of the yoga classes. Changing ‘Mickleover’ and ‘Little Eaton’ to links to their respective headings on the ‘courses’ page creates a short cut for users to key information whilst maintaining readability and keyword levels:

<p>Welcome to Berenice and Rebecca's website, we provide bespoke yoga-inspired exercise classes to expectant mothers with classes in Derby, <a href="courses/index.php#mick">Mickleover</a> and <a href="courses/index.php#little">Little Eaton</a>.</p>

External Links

As with internal links, external links should make use of keywords where appropriate and be descriptive about the destination. It is important to only link to reputable, authoritative websites that will not have a negative impact on your page rank. If an external source isn’t trusted, use the ‘nofollow’ attribute to prevent robots from making an association with the other website. It is also a good idea to regularly check the validity of links which may have been broken due to content being removed or changed on external sites. The W3C Link Checker is an online tool that checks all links on a domain and provides feedback about errors.


Images are an important aspect of SEO, with image searches providing an alternative path to your website. Images should:

  • have keyword rich file names, not ‘img1.jpg’
  • have keyword rich alt attributes
  • use hyphens instead of spaces (e.g. an-image.jpg)

It is important to not when writing an alt attribute that it primarily functions as a description of the image so only use keywords that will serve this purpose. There may also be instances when optimizing certain files, such as background or decorative images, wouldn’t be appropriate as they don’t necessarily relate to the content of the page.

The slider on the Pregnancy Preparation homepage contains four similar images that were previously marked up as:

<li><img src="images/yoga1.jpg" width="380" height="289" alt="1" /></li>

These have been changed to include more descriptive, keyword rich file names and alt attributes:

<li><img src="images/pregnancy-yoga-class-1.jpg" width="380" height="289" alt="expectant mums practicing pregnancy yoga 1" /></li>


Good quality, unique content is one of the most important factors in improving a website’s ranking. Search engines favour regularly updated content that is considered authoritative and is relevant to the subject of the website. As discussed earlier, it is important to use keywords in copy in context, considering readability and the usefulness of the information. It is advisable to include primary and secondary keywords in the first paragraph of each page as this may be used instead of the meta description when your site is displayed in a search query. There is also the option to highlight words or phrases within copy that are of particular significance as this will aid users in scanning the page to find what they are looking for. This should be used sparingly as overdoing it could ultimately reduce readability. For Pregnancy Preparation the client wanted two key terms that were unique to the business to be highlighted:

…run in an <span class="accent">Active Birth</span> format…
…the classes is <span class="accent">Topic Time</span>, where we…

Other Factors

In general it is helpful to write good quality, valid code as this makes it easier for robots to crawl a website and reduces the chance of errors that might prevent it from being indexed. All text that is visible on-screen should be present in the markup, even if images are being used to replace headings. In the case of the yoga site, the whole branding section was a single image with no actual text present in the code:

<img src="images/head.png" alt="main banner image" width="1055" height="225" />

This was simply replaced by appropriately marked-up text, providing a stable heading for the site and creating another legitimate opportunity to use keywords:

<p id="><a href="index.php">Yoga-inspired exercises for Pregnancy</a></p>
<p id="sub-heading">relax, stretch &amp; breathe</p>

Another problem that can prevent efficient listing of a website is canonicalization. As most browsers no longer require ‘www.’ in URLs it is possible that search engines can index two versions of the same website which may appear to be duplicated content and could have a negative effect on ranking. The same applies for websites with multiple top level domains (e.g. .com,, .net). To avoid this it is important to redirect all variations of the URL to a single address. This is achieved by writing a 301 redirect (indicating a permanent change to search engines) in the .htaccess file. For Pregnancy Preparation I rewrote non-www. to www. using:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301]

If you are using Google Webmaster Tools to manage a website it is possible to consolidate you URLs to ensure only one version of the site is indexed, however you will still need to upload a .htaccess file to setup the redirections. Other optional files include ‘sitemap.xml’ and ‘robots.txt’, both of which should be stored in the web-root. Sitemap.xml is a list of every page on the website with optional declarations for the frequency of updates and a relative score for importance. This file helps search engine bots to crawl your site and ensures that all of the pages are indexed. Robots.txt can be used to block certain robots and restrict access to particular pages. This can useful if there are files on the server that do not need to be indexed (e.g. include files). Even if you don’t need to limit access to robots it is still advisable to provide a robots.txt file as without it a 404 error will be logged every time the site is crawled.


What did I learn last week – Social Media

 Coursework  Comments Off on What did I learn last week – Social Media
Mar 052012

To get the attention of your viewers to your social media links you need to use both strategy and good taste. To design a good call-to-action social media icon/link you need to think about its positioning, its color, approach, style, size, everything. You also need to keep in mind that you want to get the attention of your viewers to the social side of your website without distracting from what’s important, such as the content. In my opinion, a good social media link is one that you have no trouble to finding and when you find it, you like what you see. – Gizele Miller

Social Media is a tool that allow the sharing of information and creation of communities through online networks of people.

Social Media for Busines:

  • Gain Likes – opt-in marketing list
  • Motivate to gain followers
  • Updates and offers to maintain followers

Customer feedback (seek feedback from customers on a new and existing products)

Customer service (honest and promt to customer enquiries/complaints)

Widgets and buttons(make it easy o share your content)


Blog – It is difficult to start forum as at the beginning it is “empty”.


FB Pages – to attract more business.

3 kinds of FB:

  • FB personal account
  • FB Groups (closed discussion)
  • FB pages

Set up: must be logged in to your personal account, you can not set one up; bottom right – create a page button; follow options.

Once the page is set up, go to you personal page, you can see personal account and pages – visible only for administrator. (Button to edit) Because it is Page – people can Like it (ie Friend with the business). You can have more than 1 administrator (edit admins)

Like your page – instant form of communication! Give them good reason to Like.

(special offers, new content, fan only content maybe,…)

When you set up your Page, make all media files available (video, images). You need to continue give quality content to keep people attracted for not to Dislike.

If non fan visits page – come and join option for benefiting…

You need 25 Likes for

If you are adding Like button, there are 2 different type of Like buttons – Like website or Like FB page.

Insights – only admin can see. Friends of fans – direct contact is with people who have Liked your page – its good to get Friends to share the content!

Story – likes, posts, shares or comments – interaction with your page

Friends of Fans can be quite compelling!

FB connect

Integrating FB to your web page – FB apps. When people interacts with your web page it appears on their newsfeed – clever way of marketing!

Canvas – you can create as many pages as you want called what ever you want which will be listed – gives an iFrame.

FB will give you code how to add widgets and buttons to your page.

You can have a live stream from FB page (status updates) Customers can import the latest activity to timeline.

FB also provides customer service opportunities (FB can be used for customer contacts – feedback / complaints via the “wall” or “message” systems. Reply to public messages quickly and view criticism as a chance to improve. Never delete user feedback because it is a complaint).

EdgeRank – everything do not appear to Friends page?

(Your status within the FB network)

Cross posting (FB is not the same as Twitter so don’t make the mistake of cross-posting the same messages between the two platforms, unless they are appropriate for both).

FB Marketing Links:




Marketing solutions

For news sites



New in market but it is gaining popularity (remember – it links with the biggest search engine!!!) (similar to FB though)

Followers – Circles – possible to post on certain Circles only.

Good for separating customers from suppliers – provides segmentation.

Hangouts – a high quality video chat.

  • Promoting your website

There are lots of ways to promote your site and Google+ page. Promote it yourself with Google+ Direct Connect and the Google+ badge, and let others recommend you with the +1 button. Including the Google+ logo in your marketing materials, directing users to ‘Follow you on Google+’ and using other media outlets to let people know you’re on the platform are also great ways to grow your followers.


You can comment on anything and anyone can pick up the tweet. If its interesting he/she can retweet or become a follower. Lifetime of a tweet is limited though.

You can comment also by tweeting about something in your industry to get followers.

# tag – if you want a particular word or company – retrieve similar tweets.

You can also send direct messages via twitter.

Twitter for business:

Follow button – Promote your Twitter account and make it easy for people to follow you directly from your website.

Widget – Put your updates anywhere or create a live stream for an event. Compatible with Facebook, MySpace, Blogger etc.

Twee button – Add a Tweet button to your website and let people easily share your content on Twitter.

Promoted Tweets

Use Promoted Tweets to amplify your message with targeting options that allow you to reach the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

Promoted Tweets can be targeted to search results or to user timelines. Twitter’s geographic targeting increases the relevance of your message based on location.

Promoted Tweets in search: Use Promoted Tweets to reach users while they search for their interests on Twitter. Promoted Tweets targeted to search terms appear at the top of the results page.

Promoted Tweets in timelines: Use Promoted Tweets to amplify messages to your followers or users who are like your followers. Promoted Tweets targeted to users’ timelines appear at or near the top of their timeline when they log-on or refresh their homepage.

Targeting followers puts your message in front of your brand advocates

Targeting users like your followers extends the reach of your campaign and brand to more users who are receptive to your message

Geographic targeting: Increase the relevance of your campaign by targeting your message to a specific geography. Promoted Tweets can be targeted at the country level or at the U.S. regional level.

Political campaigns: Use Promoted Tweets in search or in timelines to reach Twitter users during the election season. Campaigns requiring FEC-compliant notices will feature a purple promoted icon at the bottom of the Promoted Tweet. The disclaimer appears when a user hovers over the Promoted Tweet.

Promoted Tweets are priced on a Cost-per-Engagement (CPE) basis, so you only pay when someone retweets, replies to, clicks or favorites your Promoted Tweet. In addition, impressions on Retweets are free and can extend the reach and cost-effectiveness of your campaign many times over.

Just like organic Tweets, relevant and interesting messages are rewarded above all else. Tweets that engage and resonate with users will appear more frequently.


create your own “channel” page

results might appear in google standard search

people are using YouTube as a search engine in its own right

earn CPC when adverts are displayed over video

product support / “how to” videos – reduce customer service overheads

embed videos in your website

viral marketing opportunities

Here are 34 ways to use YouTube (and other video hosting services) for business.

Expertise and Thought Leadership

  1. Upload recordings of presentations you’ve given, to demonstrate authority and public speaking skills.
  2. Share slides from presentations that weren’t recorded.
  3. Create short videos of valuable tips of interest to your clients and prospects to show off your expertise.
  4. Conduct an interview with an expert.
  5. Turn your podcasts into videos, to expand your reach.
  6. Engage with the YouTube community by leaving comments and uploading video responses to videos on topics related to your business or industry.
  7. Enhance your videos using YouTube’s special features, such as annotations, audioswap, insight, language options and quick capture. Also see what’s cooking in the YouTube Biz Blog and TestTube for more  upcoming features.
  8. Record an important meeting to share with employees, shareholders and others, as appropriate.

Marketing and Advertising

  1. Set up a channel to reflect your brand and engage with others. Here’s an example from The White House.

10.Choose a user name that reflects your brand for your channel URL.

11.Add your channel URL to marketing collateral and social network profiles.

12.Post customer video testimonials to add to your credibility.

13.Put together a creative video explaining your product or service.

14.Show your product in action using movie trailer-style: fast, creative and catchy.

15.Show the results of someone using your services.

16.Promote your events using recordings of previous events.

17.Introduce your staff to add authenticity.

18.Take viewers on a tour of your offices and city to help them feel connected with you.

19.Ask others to use your product in their videos (like product placement in movies) and cross-promote each other.

20.Post links to your videos on various social networks.

21.Look into YouTube Promoted Videos to reach your target through contextually-relevant search results.

22.Use Google AdWords on Google Content Network, which includes sites like YouTube. These use text-based ads and don’t require a video from your business. Research thePlacement Tool to identify the best placements for your ads.

23.Earn money from your videos by entering into a partnership with YouTube.

24.Run a contest.

25.Add Call-to-Action overlays to your videos to drive traffic to your web site.

26.Study your channel’s performance with the integrated Google Analytics and YouTube Insight to make the most of your videos.

27.Display company information in every video including name, URL, phone number and email address.

Customer Service

28.Create “how to” videos to help your customers use your product or service.

29.Post solutions to common product or service problems.

30.Answer customer-specific questions using videos. Imagine how surprised a customer will be when you point them to a video with the answer!

31.Embed videos on your web site on appropriate pages, including customer support and product tours.

32.Post a blog entry discussing a problem and include a video for visual support.

33.Go the extra mile by adding closed-captions or subtitles to your videos. Remember that not everyone can watch or hear videos in the same way.

34.Show a work-in-progress project to a customer for review and approval, without the need for a face-to-face meeting or in-person demo.

NB! Quality images and videos!!!

Social Bookmarking

Specifically for sharing links:

Share yur own useful contet on these sites;

Provide “share this” buttons on web pages!

Social bookmarking is a method for internet users to organize, store, manage,share and search for bookmarks of useful web content. Search engines (might) favour sites appear within social media sites.

15 most populat bookmarking websites:


Digg – Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by our community.





Delicious – Delicious helps you find cool stuff and collect it for easy sharing. Dig into stacks created by the community, and then build your own!










Online Communitites

a social network of individuals who interact through internet media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals.


  • an internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages.They differ from chat rooms in that conversations are not necessarily in real time
  • source of user generated content
  • promotes community
  • moderation can be challenging
  • software to run forums:


  • blogs are often considered to be a form of social media:
  • comments / discussion
  • share buttons

Chat rooms

a website application where visitors can exchange messages by typing them on-screen which makes them appear to scroll by as a conversation develops with other visitors to the site.

Virtual worlds

a virtual world is an online community that takes the form of a computer-based simulated environment through which users can interact with one another and use and create objects.

 Posted by at 10:31 pm

What did I learn last week – Revenue Models

 Coursework  Comments Off on What did I learn last week – Revenue Models
Feb 292012


Freemium is an eCommerce business model which a product or service is provided free of charge, but a premium is charged for advance features, functionality, or related products and services.

The free version of the product should be useful without the need to upgrade to premium version (often there are obvious limitations that make upgrading tempting).

If you think you got valuable content on your site you can charge for it is considerable.

Should be useful without a need to upgrade.

Flickr – limited services for free, for extra space you got to pay

SoundCloud – limited 120min music for free, after that you got to pay, pay more – more features – small version is free, for bigger sizes you would need to pay

(policy – if you use for free you got to say from where you got the image from, to remove it you need to pay)

(With Freemium it is 2-5% who actually buy)

Freemium works for digital products as the cost is actually next to nothing.

Subscription content

Also known as Paywall, access content, 3 types:

  • Hard paywall – u cant get any content without pay
  • Soft paywall – type of freemium, degree of items for free
  • No paywall – free online

Benefiting search engine e traffic.

Internet advertising (CPM, CPC)

What type of advertising is appropriate for your site?:

  • None – be aware of distraction!
  • Value added – contextual  – the adverts are related to topic or page of your website; an extra income for your website
  • Ads as serious source of income – deliberately positioned to get clicked
  • Aggressive – pop-ups, pop-unders, overlays

Advertiser is the website or company who wants to advertise through banner adverts or other websites

Publisher is the website or company that displays the adverts, in return for payment

All related to the content on your page.

You can have 4 adverts on your page. Top one will pay more than the one on the footer. Even small websites can make money.

Inventory – your available advertising place. Its different kind of design (home page design, the actual page designed for adverts)

Advertising network – aka brokers. Advertising networks will take their cut (sometimes more than 50%)

(Google AdSense is advertising network)


CPC – you will not get paid for displaying the advert, only when its clicked

CPM – cost per thousand (millie)

CPA – cost per action (when certain action is completed)

ECPM – effective cost per thousand

CPS – cost per sale – not used very often (you get paid when something is paid)

Tenancy – flat rate with advertiser

Advertising network is company which connects advertisers to publishers. Their key function is the aggregation of supply from publishers and matching it with advertising demand.

They will try to match the adverts to content (context).

You generally have to have degree of traffic to sign up – so, not necessarily from day one!

There is minimum pay out – often $100. – possible to browse where to advertise

Google AdSence

An advertising network. Program which allows publishers to serve automatic contextual text, image, video and rich media adverts.

Key features:

  • Very contextual
  • Publisher has (some) control over appearance and text ads. Advertiser can chose color scheme
  • Publisher can remove adverts from certain publishers.
  • Google has strict quality standards for publishers sites
  • Range of reports to help optimize revenue
  • Integrates with Google Analytics for strong reports

AdSence for search – Google technology on your site

AdSence for feeds

AdSence for mobile

AdSence for video – displays ads over videos you host yourself

AdSence custom search ads – show contextual ads on ypur own site search pages (ads which match the search terms)

Any CPC network is targeted for clock fraud (from publishers who attempt to increase revenue; advertiser’s competitors who want to cost them money)

Don’t attempt to sign up for adverts in case your site is “work on progress” state

Affiliate schemes

In affiliate scheme webmaster promotes another company’s products. The webmaster is rewarded when customer buys a product (reward- flat rate or %)

Brings together the merchant, the publisher and the customer.

Customer is attracted via:

Banner aids, text links, widgets, feeds.

Often a cookie is installed so that when customer buys the product even after 30 days, you will get the reward.

If your website is global, Ad Management Software is handy!

Comission Junction –

ClickBank –

Other revenue generating ideas

Sponsored blog posts –

Job boards –

Donations – donations by PayPal in return of good useful content

In-text advertising –

(advert pops up when you hoover over it)

 Posted by at 12:01 am