Consumer Electronics Help Blog The Weight Away

Similar to sites such as Price Grabber and Consumer Search that offer their customers advice and support in buying consumer electronic products, diet-oriented blogs are becoming increasingly popular as well as effective in creating a support network for people trying to lose weight. CBS’s Hannah Storm reported on a possible correlation between blogging and weight loss in a morning news segment earlier this week (see video). Storm brought expert dietitian Kerri Glassman into the debate to share her thoughts.

The verdict? Blogging does in fact help in dropping the pounds. Glassman described how posting eating and exercise habits on a web site helps an individual maintain healthy weight loss and subsequently offers meaningful support to other bloggers (CBS NEWS). AOL’s blog that’sfit boldly backs up this premise, reasoning with it’s readers, “you know how we’re always telling you how you’ll be more successful at weight loss if you do it with support from a friend or family member? The blogging community offers hundreds of friends who are rooting for you” (AOL’S that’sfit).

As well as creating a support network for dieters, blogging about weight loss is advantageous in terms of the creation process itself. Maintaining a blog is similar to keeping a food journal; as that’sfit.com explains, “documenting what you’re eating and how much you’re exercising…helps you take an honest look at your habits and indulgences” (AOL’S that’sfit). Popular weight loss blogs include; SisterSkinny, DietBlog, 3FatChicksOnADiet, CrankyFitness and also DietBlog.net. In reading through these diet oriented blogs, it is apparent that they all succeed in offering a consistent non-objective and understanding voice of reason to an audience dealing with a sensitive and personal issue: body image.

Diet blogs offer support, advice, discipline, and…consumer electronics? AOL’s November 21, 2007, that’sfit blog includes a promotional post on November 21, 2007, entitled “Pedometers encourage losing weight, make great stocking stuffers”. The post clearly promotes the pedometer, proclaiming it, “the perfect holiday gift for anyone who has had trouble losing weight using multiple methods that never seem to work out” (AOL’S that’sfit). Another example would be www.LeanBlog.org’s August 25, 2007 post, with a headline promoting the Omron HJ-112 Digital Premium Pedometer; the entire thread is filled with consumer reviews outlining the advantages of this particular pedometer. A recent DietPower blog promotes a calorie counting computer software, called Calorie Counter and Diet Coach. Interesting how in this new trend of diet-blogging lies relative and underlying blogging about consumer electronics. Perhaps consumer electronics are the answer to everything, don’t you agree?

By Tessa Rudd -Account Executive – Advertising Media Division, Chitika Inc.

Chitika on Inc.com’s list of best services

Inc.com released their list of the top free services for generating revenue on your website, and chose Chitika | eMiniMalls best for promoting products.

The ads are relatively slick, and you get to decide what sorts of things are in them by choosing from 45 categories of stuff. Keep reading… 

As a Chitika publisher you have access to millions of products to display on your blog or website. Each eMiniMalls unit is loaded with helpful information for your readers, such as product descriptions, best deals to buy, and the ability to search for more products & information right within the unit – without having to leave your page. Inc.com article, “Clicks for Cash”

Learn more about Chitika eMiniMalls.

Cyber Monday Casts a Dark Shadow on Black Friday

“Black Friday” has traditionally marked the start to a frenzied holiday shopping season in malls and stores across the US. Recently, consumer and retailer attention has been shifting from the traditional Friday after Thanksgiving to the following Monday. Not only has the day of the week changed; as more and more consumers have turned online to shop throughout the year, holiday shopping trends have also shifted in this direction as well.

Entitled “Cyber Monday” by the National Retail Association, this special Monday marks the first big online-shopping surge for merchants. Online retailers have responded to the occasion by hosting one-day sales events as well as by offering special promotions. As market trends has dictated growth from recent years, 2007’s Cyber Monday succeeded in topping the record high for online shopping in a single day, with a total of $733 million reported revenue made online (comparison). According to a Reuters report, “Cyber Monday traffic increased 26% in 2007 as compared to 2006” (www.reuters.com). ComScore added that the number of Cyber Monday 2007 online buyers increased 38% compared to online traffic stats from 2006 (www.comscore.com). ComScore measured an 84% jump from the daily online spending totals, calculated from the preceding four weeks.

Online retailers are aggressively capitalizing on the influx of consumer attention in online shopping on Cyber Monday. In the article, Online Holiday Shopping Season Kicks Off, www.npr.com reports, the number of retailers hosting online deals on Cyber Monday has surged to 72% from 42% in just two years (www.ap.google.com). Executive director of Shop.org describes, “the number of retailers offering free shipping with no conditions, such as a minimum purchase, has jumped to 41.4 percent from 36 percent last year” (www.ap.google.com) Amazon.com headed the race in terms of where consumers are shopping online, being named 2007’s Top Website on Cyber Monday. Amazon.com received an impressive 10 percent of the traffic out of the Top 100 retail websites. Compartmental and Target.com came in as second and third in terms of traffic ratings (www.reuters.com). The Nintendo Wii was the top product purchased this Cyber Monday, being sold at a premium online (www.comparisonengines.com).

Chitika.com sustained these Cyber Monday market trends, using yearly traffic growth statistics, reporting 25% increase in traffic between Cyber Monday, November 26th, 2007, and the preceding Monday, November 19th, 2007. Compared to 2006 in which Chitika reported a 13% increase between Cyber Monday November 27th, 2006 and the preceding Monday November 20th, 2006. Black Friday is clearly being phased out by its online counterpart. The numbers and trends tell it like it is; perhaps next year consumers will spend the Friday after Thanksgiving away from malls and instead spend the following Monday shopping with eMiniMalls. Furthermore, why stand in lines when we have Linx!

By Tessa Rudd -Account Executive – Advertising Media Division, Chitika Inc.

Covering your traffic for 25,000 miles

Chitika’s Supported Traffic Map  

For over 5 years Chitika has been monetizing traffic for thousands of publishers from all over the world. As we work hard to continually to expand this list, we cater to publisher needs in other ways such as offering multiple ad products that are all unique and can be customized in almost any way.

Chitika currently supports traffic from the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, UK, US… with more to come! This is important to our publishers with international traffic who enjoy extra revenue.

Did you know that with our geo-targeting, the eMiniMalls on your pages will display products catered to visitors viewing your website from other countries? Pretty neat huh? You can view the product variance for your keywords using this tool.

By Karla Escolas CRM/Marketing, Chitika, Inc.

YOU CHOOSE! Chitika’s Next eBook

Chitika has released two great blogging resources this year; the first was in April 2007, where 30 experts took over The Chitika Blog for 30 days posting a new post each day and sharing their blogging wisdom. These expert posts make up our free eBook “Deep Secrets of Successful Blogging” which to date has been read by over 5,000 publishers. Our second successful eBook this year was released at the beginning of this month – “Using Chitika with Google -Expert Advice”. Five publishers gave us their most effective Chitika and Google ad combinations. This eBook has already been read by over 700 publishers in just under a month.

SO WHAT WILL BE NEXT? We want your help choosing what our next publisher-inspired eBook will be about! Submit your topic choice(s) in a comment or email me at karla(at)chitika(dot)com & get a chance to be part of our next successful eBook that will be enjoyed by hundreds (possibly thousands) of bloggers!

Is Read/Write Web’s Alex Iskold Questioning the American Dream?

  

By: Tessa Rudd

“Who says there’s no money in the blogosphere”

Alex Iskold’s argument in the article,“There’s No Money in the Long Tail of the Blogosphere”, questions the very principle of the American Dream. The American Dream ratifies that each and every individual within an ecosystem will benefit from a universal power structure: This ideology parallels the long tail sales model that Iskold attacks. In associating the long tail sales model within the dynamic of the American Dream, I will start by outline the similarities of being a citizen of the US and being an individual operating within a long tail sales model.

As a citizen of the US enjoys the rights and opportunities outlined by the American Dream ideology, a long tail individual enjoys the benefits of being part of this greater economical marketplace. Each long tail player, independent of their self-determined economic success within, shares the privilege of making more money being in the long tail than if they were not. I agree with some overlying elements of Iskold’s argument, including the statement that, “the future of business is to sell less of more,” (Iskold, 2007) and also his remark that an increasingly number of people are blogging to make money. However, I feel Alex overlooks the irrefutable benefits of this dynamic long tail sales model in terms of its importance in setting an equal playing field, or marketplace, in which commerce engages. Herbert Spencer in his 1864 study Principles of Biology manifests his theory ‘survival of the fittest’; describing an innate quality in human nature to succeed, or “struggle for life,” (Herbert Spencer). Spencer’s widely accepted principle can be applied to Iskold’s account of individuals in the collective long tail sales model. Iskold argues, “money is to be made by leveraging the collective long tail, however, making money while being part of the long tail is very difficult,” (Iskold, 2007). I refute that while making money in the long tail may be cited by Iskold as difficult, it is human nature for these long tail individuals to exert self-determination to rise to the top.

In terms of business, the long tail cultivates a marketplace on which these individual players have equal opportunity to succeed, and as Iskold emphasizes, make money through self-motivated enterprise. Expanding on my argument that individuals within the long tail have a natural ambition to rise to the top of the marketplace, I introduce the idea that the long tail itself emulates the principles of the American Dream. American Dream is commonly defined as being, “the opportunity and freedom for all citizens to achieve their goals and become wealthy and renowned if only they work hard enough,” (American Dream). Throughout the history of the US, this American Dream enticed immigrants from other countries and economic systems to jump into the melting-pot, not because it promised prosperity but because it allowed a chance for prosperity. This image of the American Dream, along with the theory of a melting pot of immigrants in the US, advertises equal opportunity in terms of political, social, and economical rights unto all citizens; therefore encouraging a valiant fight for one’s own prosperity in terms of hard work, independent of a rigid class structure. Importantly, and in keeping with the melting pot paradigm, prosperity is fluid; the balance of money in any marketplace is always changing hands.

In response to Iskold’s 80/20 Rule, I contend that the “power law” is common wisdom, but as the rich strive to get richer, the poor are also striving to get richer; the ratio of rich to poor is ever-changing and evolving. Such is the basis of human nature. The long tail sales model empowers a vibrant marketplace, similar to the age-old notion of the American Dream, where this fluid power struggle can justly operate. Iskold offers the example of Amazon.com, “a substantial subset of the book sales for the largest online retailer comes from obscure books,” obtained through a collection from numerous online partners (Iskold, 2007). I question; Would these online partners have the ability or success in selling books, no matter what the bulk may be, if it was not for long tail platform that Amazon.com establishes? The Amazon.com sales long tail enables an equal marketplace, giving these “obscure books” a chance to sell where under non-tail circumstances they would not. In referencing the blogosphere as being a long tail sales model, Iskold describes a “Traffic Problem,” stating the obvious fact that in order for bloggers to make money, “they’ll need more than good, original content—they need traffic,” (Iskold, 2007). Similar to the Amazon.com example, the blogosphere enables a marketplace in which bloggers are given an equal platform in which they may execute self-determination to create content that attracts traffic and thereby earn revenue. Iskold further attacks the facility of the blogosphere in his remark, “the long tail of the blogosphere is huge so any individual blog is not easily discovered,” (Iskold, 2007).

I contend that the prosperity, or economic balance, achieved in the blogosphere is fluid and ever-changing, in keeping with a rags-to-riches model within the American Dream ideology; the power to make money lies within the self-determination of the blogger. Examples of bloggers who have successfully risen to the top of the power structure within the blogosphere invalidate Iskold’s “traffic problem”. Artist Lilly Allen used MySpace.com as leverage to promote her music; Allen went from an unknown artist to becoming a major recording artist, selling millions of albums across the globe. Allen made a name for herself entirely through self-promotion on the blogosphere. Another example would be the blog site, www.unwiredview.com which went from scoring an Alexa rank of over 700,000, meaning very low traffic to the site, to scoring 48,565, a high traffic number, in under one year.

Our Sr. Account Manager, Ryan Travis describes his client UnwiredView.com’s success, explaining it now has a, “kick-ass rank”. Sorry Iskold, but there is money in the long tail sales model, but just like everything else in society, you have to fight to achieve power in this economical balance.

By Tessa Rudd -Account Executive – Advertising Media Division, Chitika Inc.

Obsessed with your every move now available on Myspace

  

By: Karla Escolas

“I am away from my computer right now”

Facebook’s controversial privacy issue regarding friend’s “news feeds” has made its way to Myspace. For over a year users have been able to view details about the recent activities of their friends: who is friends with whom, messages left on each other’s walls, etc. The first time I saw this I thought, “I wonder what this says about me?” Well, if you’ve logged into your Myspace account today you were probably prompted with an alert that you can subscribe to keep up-to-date with about 40 of your friends’ every move, including when they update their page, add new photos or music & post blog entries. The good thing about this is Myspace actually informs you of this and gives clear instructions on how to opt out of it. Facebook has never asked me if I wanted this removed, and although you can go into your preferences and change it, I found it a bit of a pain to actually do it.

New Myspace Friend Updates:  Although it’s not often talked about, Myspace and Facebook were not the first to give you an option to keeping up with your friends. If you use an instant message service like AOL’s AIM you could actually specifically inform your friends of your every move in your Away Message, such as “In the other room, brb”, “getting ready to go out, cell me!”, “upstairs back in 15”, etc. The obsession and with curiosity of knowing everything has always existed; it’s just that now we are less “in control” of it. After hearing about Facebook’s plans to possibly place your Facebook profile picture next to a product you purchased, a friend of mine said he didn’t even want to sign into his Facebook account again. Not because he often goes on secret shopping sprees but because it just seems like he has no control over what is being said about him.

Are our actions being over-publicized and is it out of our control? In case you were wondering, Chitika will gladly let you what we are up to. You can find out right here on The Chitika Blog and in our forum Chitika SPHERE. Feel free to subscribe; we don’t mind 🙂

Keeping tabs on your Chitika ad units

Tracking the performance of your ad units is important so you tell which ads are performing well; and once you see an ad unit not doing as well you can immediately make the necessary changes. The easiest way to track your ads is by using our Channel Management feature.

Naming You can create up to 1000 channels within each product code panel. Naming your channels based on what they are or where they’re located ensures you can easily make changes. Example: “468×180 on home page” or “Right sidebar unit”.

Channel Reports Once you create a channel you can view stats for each one. Login and click the “Reports” tab where you can filter your Reports. Here you can view a breakdown of a channel by viewing the stats from the past 7 days, the past month, or select your own dates. You can also save your stats by clicking the “Customize and save reports” link on your reports page to refer back to in the future You can also receive your custom channel reports via email. Once you save a custom report, you can schedule it with the “Report Channel Manager” under the Reports tab. Reports can be sent every day, once a week (on Monday), or on the 1st of every month.

LOGIN to set your channels or view your channel reports.

Product Passion vs. Product Promotion

  

By: Karla Escolas

“Share your experience”

We often receive questions from publishers asking if the label or header above their eMiniMalls unit is acceptable. One question you should ask yourself is, “Am I asking my readers to click on this, or am I simply providing a source for product information?” Let’s say, for example, techie-blogger Jimmy took a trip to California to visit his family for the Thanksgiving holiday and realized that, although he forgot to pack his laptop, his new Apple iPhone allows him to still check his email and keep up with his blog. Well, Jimmy could then decide to write a blog post about his new-found appreciation for his iPhone followed by an eMiniMalls unit; this to me is called “passionate product endorsement”. This would be a great way to incorporate Chitika | eMiniMalls with his personal experience in a way his readers could enjoy.

What would not be acceptable is an article about the iPhone followed by an eMiniMalls unit at the end, with a header saying “Click here for deals on the Apple iPhone”. This sounds more like blatant product promotion. There are many different & acceptable approaches publishers can take to displaying an ad on their pages. This user wrote a review followed by a box labeled: “Advertisement”. This is an acceptable way of labeling your eMiniMalls ad unit – this user is not asking or “incentivising” clicks on the ad in any way. Publishers should use different methods to labeling their ad space because no one way works for everyone.

So what has worked and not worked for you?

Chitika’s Holiday Shopping PPC Tools

eMiniMalls

More than just an ad on your pages, eMiniMalls provide helpful information including a product image and multiple merchant purchasing sources. Most importantly you can control what products are shown in your eMiniMalls, like this seasons hot holiday shopping items. Putting this unit on your page is easy- just paste a few lines of code. Apply Now!.

Related Product Unit (RPU)

The RPU is a close second to eMiniMalls when it comes to earning you revenue. Publishers love this ad unit because it doesn’t “look” like an ad, and it can be completely customized.

ShopLinc

ShopLinc is your own personalized storefront – perfect for the holiday shopping season. If you’re a Chitika user, your ShopLinc store has already been created for you; just login and click the “ShopLinc” tab.

ShopCloud

Use the ShopCloud to link to your favorite holiday shopping products or use one of our 44 categories to display products.

Linx

Linx has recently undergone an image/code panel makeover for the better according to our happy publishers. And yes, the new Linx can be used along with Google Adsense on your pages.

Owna

You can display hot products on your pages in one of 5 attractive skins (And don’t forget to add your own tag line!). Login and click the “Owna” tab if you’re a Chitika user. You don’t have to be a publisher to show this off on your site, but you will need to be a Chitika member to earn revenue from it, so sign up now!