Top Social Networking Sites For The Over 50s

 

Social Media icons Many people don’t know which way to turn when they hit a  problem. So having the support of an online community can be  a huge benefit to over 50s.

There are a wide range of social communities with a huge pool of knowledge and support you can tap into. Here are a few of my favourites.

LivingBetter50

A magazine for women which has a huge range of articles from Health and Fitness to Retirement Living. You can contribute to the magazine by being a guest blogger or a contributor.

Sixty and me

Another women’s magazine which claims a global community of 150,000 women over 60. Topics include makeup for the older woman, senior dating, retirement planning, fashion for older women, senior travel, grandchildren and more

 

Gransnet

 

Gransnet, which is UK based, has several interesting features along with the usual topics. There is a very active forum, to which you can contribute, and there is also ‘Gransnet Local Sites’. This is a network of local sites, which point people in the direction of anything and everything of interest in their local area.

Myageingparent 1

Their strapline describes the aims of this site perfectly…..’Helping You To Help Them’ There is all kinds of advice on ways to help the very elderly, which is very useful if you have aged parents. As well as being able to win prizes, you can also advertise your offering on this site.

Betterafter50

Women’s magazine edited by US bloggers, Ronna Benjamin and Felice Shapiro. There are all of the usual topics you would expect, as well as a wide range of articles. You can contribute articles and advertise on BA50.

 

Mabels.org.uk

 

UK based site with a range of topics….Health, Mobility, Finance, Leisure, Travel, Dating plus a forum and numerous articles. The style is rather old fashioned.

Silver Surfers

Probably the UK’s leading site for the over 50s. As well as the usual range of topics, Silversurfers has several unique features including ‘Speakers Corner’, ‘Polls’, ‘Articles’, ‘Offers and Discounts’, ‘Travel Offers’, ‘Social and Friendship’, ‘Silvercard’, ‘Prize Draws’ and ‘Best of the Web’.

 

Uni of Third Age

 

The University of the Third Age is not an online social networking site per se, but nevertheless offers a way of meeting like minded people face to face rather than on the internet. It is a learning cooperative of older people, which enables members to share many educational, creative and leisure activities. Members, through sharing their knowledge, skills and experience, learn from one another.

 

Mean Queen

 

This is an extraordinary site, compiled by the self styled  ‘Mean Queen’, aged 66. She was originally a Heavy Goods Driver until she retired aged 60. In her words ‘This is my journey from frazzled alcoholic to a relaxed happy pensioner’. On retiring she started writing her blog, which revolves around her main interests……extreme frugality, crafts and walking. It is a daily dairy telling us what she has been up to with many money saving tips along the way.

 

Third age

 

Another UK based site mainly concentrating on the health and welfare of women over 45. Topics include ‘Health A-Z’, ‘Living Well’, ‘Food’, ‘Fitness and Family’

I hope you can find these sites useful.

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Affiliate Marketing – Introduction

Affiliate Marketing 2Affiliate Marketing is the only certain way of making money online. The concept of Affiliate Marketing is simple…..you market a company’s products or services and, in return, you are rewarded with a commission, which is normally a percentage of the selling price.

 

 

Affiliate Marketing offers several huge advantages….

  • You do not have to pay for, store or dispatch the product you are selling.

  • You can market the product using the marketing tools provided by the affiliate company.

  • You are guaranteed to receive payment (as long as you deal with a reputable company)

You may think ‘It sounds too easy to be true’ and you would be right! There is a lot of ‘know how’ which you will have to learn before you are successful.

Now for the good news….there is a Company who provide that know how and offer a huge amount of support. Wealthy Affiliate (WA), which was founded ten years ago, provides excellent Training, Marketing Tools and Support.

Take a look at the Success Stories of members of Wealthy Affiliate.

A 7 day free trial enables you explore what WA has to offer. On becoming a Premium member you will have access to….

A Comprehensive Range of Written and Video Tutorials

Unlimited Hosting

Unlimited Domain Names

Unlimited Technical Support

Many thousands of Affiliates are willing to help you at any time

 

Creating a successful Affiliate Marketing business is achieved in the following three simple steps….

 

Choose a niche subject or product

Build a website

Attract visitors

 

I recommend that you join Wealthy Affiliate as a free member……you’ll soon appreciate what a huge amount they have to offer.

Don’t forget to request your free ebook ’20 Ways to Supplement Retirement Income’  by completing the subscription form in the right hand sidebar

 

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Boost Retirement Income Using Twitter Lists

 

How To Build A List

 

Twitter lists are a great way to drive traffic to your site and hence increase your retirement income.

Twitter bird singingAssuming that you already have a Twitter account, just go to your homepage and click on your avatar. On the dropdown menu click on ‘Lists’.

On the right hand side you will see ‘Create New List’. The next step is to give your list a name and describe the aim of the list. The description is important, especially for public lists, as a few enticing words will encourage people to sign up to your list.

Go to Google and search some keywords related to your niche marketplace. Then compile a list of market leaders in your sector.

Return to Twitter and enter the name of each market leader in the search box. The next step is best illustrated by an example.

My niche is ‘retirement’ and one of the market leaders in the sector is ‘Saga’. Once you have accessed Saga’s Twitter page you will see ‘Lists’ in their menu bar. At the time of writing they have eight lists. Look down the lists and select one that is relevant, in this case ‘Influential Bloggers’.

If you sign up to a list you will be able to open a timeline of tweets just from members on that list. By becoming a subscriber you can follow  the lists without following individual users of that list.

You cannot send your tweets just to specific lists. 

The Benefits of Twitter Lists

Twitter - group of birdsHaving your competitors and the leaders in your market place in one powerful list has several advantages….

  • It enables you to access their tweets and offers very rapidly.

  • You can see how they interact with their followers.

  • It enables you to keep abreast of news in your marketplace

  • You can readily interact with key influencers in your industry by commenting and retweeting

  • If market leaders in your sector like your tweet they may retweet it to all of their followers. This is the most powerful benefit of using a Twitter list.

I hope you have great success with Twitter lists.

PS I have written two further posts on Twitter which you may be interested in reading.

Tweeting and Managing Your Twitter Account

Generate An Avalanche Of Traffic Using Twitter  

Don’t forget to request your free ebook ’20 Ways to Supplement Retirement Income’  by completing the subscription form in the right hand sidebar

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Affiliate Marketing Part 1 – Choose A Profitable Niche

Parcel - Present

Choosing a profitable niche is probably the most important decision you make when setting up an affiliate marketing business. There are two ways you can go. ….you can either select a product sector which you are interested in (the long term option) or you can choose a niche product which is flying off the shelves at the moment (the short term option).

Look for a product which is already selling well with a good Return On Investment (ROI). It certainly helps if you are conversant with and enthusiastic about the product, which at the end of the day has to sell and make a profit.

An excellent guide to the popularity of a product can be found on sites like Amazon, eBay and Argos. Look for ‘Today’s Deals‘ on Amazon, ‘Today’s featured collections‘ on eBay and ‘Featured Products’ on Argos. Don’t try to sell products where you are likely to encounter huge competition.

You might also consider promoting products which are popular at certain times of year, like Christmas, Easter and Halloween. …..or concentrating on special occasions.

A site called DMOZ lists a huge number of internet based topics. You can drill down into a specific market area and discover much smaller niches.

Don’t procrastinate over which niche market place you are going to enter….just do it! Your first campaign will teach you a huge amount, which will stand you in good stead when launching subsequent campaigns.

clickbankThere are a number of affiliate marketing program providers who act as middlemen between the supplier of the product or service and the affiliate marketeer. Here is a list of leading facilitators….

CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction)

Clickbank

Share-A-Sale

So after some research you have found a group of products, within a marketing niche, which you wish to promote. Now you have to find a business which licenses affiliates to market their products within your niche. You must also determine whether the commission they are offering is sufficient recompense for all of your hard work.

A Company who can provide answers to both of these questions is Clickbank. Once you have signed up as an affiliate (not as a vendor) click on ‘Marketplace’ in the toolbar. You will see that Clickbank has an extensive ‘Knowledge Base’ and a guide on ‘How to Find Products To Promote’.

YogaAs a example, say you were interested in promoting Yoga. Click on the ‘Health and Fitness’ category in the left hand sidebar and a range of subjects will appear including Yoga. Having clicked on ‘Yoga’ you will see a list of subjects on yoga. Say we look at ‘Yoga For Healing’ by clicking on the title. You can see it has sample videos, excellent testimonials and even a free ebook. The product itself is selling for $97. The average amount an affiliate earns is currently $26-65.

Clicking on ‘Stats’ gives you a lot more information about the performance of this product in the marketplace. By clicking on ‘Promote’ you will generate a unique affiliate link (Clickbank call it a ‘Hoplink’)  which enables you to promote the product wherever you wish.

Wealthy Affiliate covers this subject in much greater detail so I recommend that you take up their offer of a free account.

There are two further parts to this series on Affiliate Marketing which you can open by clicking on the following links

Part 2 – Create A WordPress site

Part 3 – Promote Your Site

Don’t forget to request your free ebook ’20 Ways to Supplement Retirement Income’  by completing the subscription form in the right hand sidebar

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Part 2 – Create A WordPress Site

WordPress LogoThere is no better way of building an online presence than through creating a WordPress blog.

 

So where do you start?

The best site to use to create your blog is WordPress.

A guy called Quentin Watt has recorded three You Tube videos which show you how to install WordPress.

Once you have decided on the product or service you are going to promote, you have to choose a domain name, which should include words which are relevant to your niche.

The most searched keywords relating to your niche can be found using keyword research tools. For Google Adwords you will have to create a Google account if you haven’t already got one.

 

Google Adwords

and

 

 Jaxxy logo

 

The next step is to register your domain and to arrange for your site to be hosted. There are countless companies offering these services, so the marketplace has become very competitive. As there is nothing to choose between the leading companies on price, it comes down to comparing the amount of support each offers. On this basis I have no hesitation in recommending…..

Hostgator logo 2

They provide a video tutorial on installing a WordPress blog and also a Live Chat support service.

  • Once you have registered with HostGator, click on the ‘register domains’ tab. Enter your proposed domain name in the ‘Find a Domain’ field. It will search to find out whether you have chosen a unique domain name and give you alternative suggestions. Register your domain.

  • Now click on ‘Hosting’  —> ‘Choose A Plan’

  • If you are just starting out and have a single domain, choose the ‘Hatchling Plan’

  • Whilst on this page scroll down to ‘WordPress Hosting’. The short video tutorial shows you how to use ‘Quick Install’ to install your domain on WordPress.

  • Click on ‘Sign Up Now’ to purchase your Hatchling Plan.

  • Return to the video tutorial mentioned above and follow the instructions to set up your WordPress blog

One of the great features of WordPress is the huge number of plugins, which greatly enhance and extend the functionality of your blog. You will find the best plugins here….

Best WordPress plugins

If you Google ‘Best WordPress Logins’ you will find loads more.

Now that you have got your WordPress site set up, you should work through the headings on your dashboard, which are self-explanatory.

For more information and support I recommend you open a free account with Wealthy Affiliate.

You may wish to move on to the last article in this series Part 3 – Promote Your Site 

 

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Increase Your Conversion Rates

Converting at rugby

You can have the best looking website in the world but if it does not convert visitors into customers it is a waste of time and money. To ensure you achieve the optimum conversion rates from your digital marketing strategy, you may like to consider the following five crucial factors.

1. Optimize Your Landing Page

Many people drive all of their traffic to the home page…..this is a big mistake. Instead you should drive visitors to the page which is most relevant to their online search. These landing pages should link to the visitor’s online search query.

If you are creating your site using WordPress you can take a number of steps to ensure your visitor lands on the page best suited to the search they are carrying out. Firstly you should install a plugin called Yoast SEO. Now open one of your posts in WP Editor and scroll down to Yoast.

Take a look at the ‘Snippet Preview’ which shows you the text seen by a visitor when they search on Google using keywords you have written into your script. If you don’t change this text, or meta description as it is called, Google will grab the first couple of lines from your post trailing off after the first 160 characters. You have the opportunity of changing this text into a succinct summary of your post, whilst also encouraging the visitor to open it.

Now enter your most important keyword in the ‘Focus Keyword’ field. Yoast analyses how this word appears in your post and makes suggestions on where it should appear. SEO is a huge subject, which warrants several posts in its own right. However you may like to take a look at Search Engine Watch, which covers the subject in some detail.

Don’t forget to complete the tags for your post in the right hand sidebar.

To help improve landing page conversion rates, you should consider the following elements.

  • Highlight how you can resolve your customer’s problems.

  • Explain how you reduce buying risk…..how do you overcome the customer’s concerns regarding quality, cost, service…..

  • Communicate a clear online value proposition. Why should they buy from you rather than a competitor?

  • Have a clear call to action. Highlight what you want them to do next, such as going to a particular page or signing up for a newsletter.

  • Improve the layout. Improving the area ‘above the fold’ will always increase conversion rates.

Most people think about the design of their page before lead generation and conversion……actually the reverse should be the case. It is believed that half of conversion rate optimisation is about testing the design and layout of your site and making adjustments accordingly. The other half is about the message and words on the page.

2. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

More and more people are browsing on mobile devices such as mobile phones and iPads, instead of using traditional desktop computers. The majority of sites have not been mobile optimised, which means that navigating around a site on a mobile device is difficult and some content may disappear from the screen.

To check how your website appears on different screens, I highly recommend the free testing tool at http://mattkersley.com/responsive

Before you think about changing your website into one with a responsive design, it’s important to check what your visitors are using. The free software tool Google Analytics    www.google.com/analytics will show you the devices visitors are using to access your site. If you do have a mobile optimised website, think about using ‘click-to-call’ buttons instead of asking visitors to complete data fields for email addresses etc.., which can be awkward on a small hand-held device.

3. Nuture Your Leads By email

Email is a great way of keeping in touch with your contact list and selling follow up products. There are a lot of inexpensive and easy to use email systems such as

www.constantcontact.com/uk
 
and www.mailchimp.com

If time is an issue then a marketing automation system may be the answer. The dispatch of emails can be triggered by a certain action, or, if an email remains unopened for a given length of time, a new email is sent automatically with a different subject line.

Emails can also be set up to go out at key buying periods, which is ideal for a product that is used within a particular period of time. A reminder can be sent out with a discounted offer to try and clinch a deal. Critical success factors for this type of conversion tool are…….

  • Having enough opt-in email addresses to start with

  • Making sure customer journeys are carefully mapped

  • Finding the right software provider with a scalable system

  • Allocating a long term budget to sophisticated email marketing

Recommended providers you may wish to consider are Act-On, Hubspot, Pardot, Marketo and Eloqua.

4. The Importance of Ratings, Reviews and Testimonials

Ratings, reviews and testimonials increase conversion rates substantially. Research has shown that using reviews achieved 60% higher conversions and 82% more page views per visitor.

What is more products with recommendations generate 20% more sales than items without them. Google says that adverts with ‘seller ratings’ get a 17% higher click through rate (CTR) than the same advert without ratings. However, a website needs at least 30 reviews from the past 12 months to add Seller Ratings.

5. Test, Test and Test Again

Every website is different and to find the most effective approach you can use a tool like Google Analytics. They will identify the most important parts of the site and then A/B testing can be used to identify which layout and content generates the most conversions.

A/B testing involves creating two versions of the same page and then 50% of the visitors are taken to one page with the remainder visiting the other. Conversion rates can then be analysed to find out which page generates the most conversions.

Best of luck improving your conversion rates.

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