Archive for the ‘How To…’

Good CTR…or…How to Make Lots of Money…or…Don’t Advertise Here03.02.13

Most mobile ad networks don’t really give you much information about placements – meaning – you don’t know where your ad is showing. Even networks that DO allow you to see where you’re advertising end up putting your ad in the worst placements – until you catch them and put an end to it.

And here’s the thing about bad placements: they can have REALLY GOOD CTR (click-through rates).

Like today – when I downloaded an app called “My Baby Piano” so my 7 month old son Jacob could do…something with my phone other than put it in his mouth.

Cute app. There are three small buttons on the top left (obviously made for an adult’s fine touch) – keyboard, music and drums…and then one single scale, C to C, multi-colored, with smiley faces on top.

And while it’s nice-looking and cute…it’s flawed in two ways.

First, it’s obvious the developers didn’t spend much time making the app – or didn’t care enough to make it work right. There’s a large enough delay between your keystrokes and the sound that you can’t possibly play to the beat.

And second…there’s a little space at the top right where ADS keep rotating. Yep, ads. And if you know babies, you know what they do – they hit the screen. EVERYWHERE.

There's only one purpose here...and it's not to play music.

There’s only one purpose here…and it’s not to play music.

Good CTR (and no conversions).

And it’s obviously what the app was built for. So, here’s how to make lots of money really fast: build an app for babies, make it free, make it look cute, make it semi-functional (shouldn’t cost you more than $500 to get it made, just your time if you’re a programmer), and place ads on it.

Heck, place interstitial ads that pop up every few minutes. They’re guaranteed to get clicks (or rather, drool-handed).

I told Donna about my idea, and she thought for a second and said, “You know what? Someone should make an app that blocks certain keys on your phone from working.” (on my HTC Android phone, there are three touch-sensitive keys on the bottom).

But something like that means you have to CARE. You have to care enough to raise money and build the app. Or if you’re a programmer, you have to care enough to spend time building it.

The programmers of “My Baby Piano” obviously had other things in mind.

Not a bad idea, if you think about it.

But just don’t advertise there.

Got any ideas for a good baby app? 😉

Posted in How To..., Making Moneywith 41 Comments →

Screen Capture Resources07.07.12

Screen captures are a daily thing for me. They’re part of what I do online. I regularly snap “still shots” of portions of my browser or desktop, and often record walk-through videos that take anywhere from 30 seconds to 20 minutes – as well as webinars and meetings of up to 2 hours!

I use short videos to let my outsourcers know how to do something, step by step. I use screen shots to show my web designers what I’m expecting them to create, or to adjust. I also use them to show clients their rankings in Google. And I use video recording software to record, and edit training programs.

I use (and have used) a large variety of tools for these purposes.

FREE TOOLS

  1. screenr.com – record 5 minute videos. This is a web-based, java-based tool. Great for walking someone through…anything!
  2. Jing, from techsmith. This one’s going away soon, but is still available at the moment. You download & install it to your computer. On a PC, you get a little sun that pops up on top. On the mac, a little icon on your top bar that you can access to record or take screenshots any time. Videos are limited to 5 minutes, and you can upload them for free to a screencast account. Very similar in function to screenr.
  3. Any of the paid tools below, most of which have trial versions (for 30 days or so)!

PAID TOOLS

  1. Jing, from techsmith. The upgraded version allows you to store more on screencast.com, and also to download an MP4 version. But don’t pay for this – it’s going away soon!
  2. Snagit, from techsmith – this is the upgraded replacement to Jing. It costs $50 and in my opinion is well worth it! You can record any length videos, take screenshots, and also edit the screenshots by adding arrows, words, and more. This is my daily-use screen capture program. To edit videos, you can export them to Camtasia.
  3. Camtasia – also from Techsmith. I use a Mac, and have the Mac version. There is also a (much more expensive) PC version, which does a bit more. This is only if you’re really serious about your videos. You can record & edit videos of any length (for instance, an hour long webinar), cut/paste video or sound, add images, add text, create transitions & animations, and more! This is my go-to program for video editing, or the occasional recording of a PowerPoint presentation.
  4. ScreenFlow. This is a Mac-only product and is available in the Mac APP store. I often use ScreenFlow to record long webinars. It records the entire screen, and then allows you to cut out the portions you need. I never quite figured out how to edit effectively using ScreenFlow, so I generally record with it and edit later with Camtasia. The one feature ScreenFlow has that’s missing from Camtasia is the ability to record the computer’s audio. So when I’m doing webinars, it can record other people talking – not just me on my mic.

Of course, there are many more free & paid products out there – but these are the ones I personally use (or in the case of Jing, have used). On the PC, you’ll find other software as well – but being a Mac user for the last 10+ years, I’m simply not that familiar with it! I’ve also used iMovie in the past to edit videos, but that’s usually when I’ve needed to show my face on the screen!

Oh – almost forgot. On the Mac, you can also easily capture a screenshot of any portion of your screen by hitting Command-Shift-4, and then dragging the mouse over the area you want to capture. You’ll know you’ve got it when it turns into little crosshairs. You can hit ESC to cancel. The screen shot will show up on your desktop!

Do you have a free, or paid screen capture or video recording software you like to use? Post it in the comments below!

 

Posted in How To...with 48 Comments →

Keeping Balanced – The Wheel of Life06.12.11

This is one of my favorite representations of the wheel of life.

Every time I do goal-setting –
Every time I start to feel a little lost –
Every time I just need some forward movement –

I look this thing up in Google images and go through it.

Wheel of Life

Wheel of Life

Here’s how to use it (or, here’s how I use it):

1. Print out the wheel (or re-create it on a blank piece of paper) with all its categories. The categories are:

-Physical Environment
-Business / Career
-Finances
-Health
-Family & Friends
-Romance
-Personal Growth
-Fun & Recreation

2. Without putting too much thought into it, just allowing your intuition to do some work, draw a line in each section that represents how you feel you are doing in that section of your life, from 1-10.

So if you’re feeling pretty bad about your romance, for example, you might put a 2 or 3 in there. And if you’re feeling pretty good about your health, you could put a 7, 8, maybe even a 10 there. Whatever your hand gravitates towards for that category.

Once you’re done, for effect, fill in the areas you’ve marked. The goal here is to have a nice, round wheel – but what USUALLY happens is…something a little more ‘rough’.

And what I often find is that when one area is especially low, it tends to pull all the other areas down with it.

Once I get a quick feel of how I’m doing, I like to write down some basic goals for each area. Nothing fancy – I just place a few “perfect” situations next to each category. Here’s what would make the family & friends category perfect. Here’s what would make ‘romance’ perfect. Get it?

Now, I’m the ‘semantic map’ type – so I like to draw lines coming out from each category, and to enter my thoughts there…but you might prefer to actually write down the categories in an outline. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you’re able to interact with it.

As an example, I might draw a line out of the ‘family & friends’ category and write “visit my sister at least twice a month.” For health, I’ve put things like, “do a free-standing handstand” and “drink green juice at least 3x per week.”

Your ideal situations might be very different (probably should be – I don’t know many other people who like blended greens and care whether or not they’ll ever do a handstand)…

wave

Wave

So the thing is, your life always goes towards balance, and it’s a sort of wave. It’s not 100% balanced all the time; instead, things go up and down. As an example, I might focus on my business for a month and really get my finances in great shape…but in the meantime, I ignore my family and that category goes down. So the following month I make an effort to focus more on my family…

A wave.

And even if you’re not doing this exercise, even if you’re not manipulating your balance – you’re naturally going to get more balanced – just in a very rough way.

Someone whose health might be at a 3 or below…will eventually get into a situation (i.e., heart attack) that FORCES them to stop, relax, take a break from work, eat better, spend more time with family…and for them it’s more like one of those huge roller coasters.

I get sick on roller coasters and prefer the kiddie rides 😉

roller coaster

Roller Coaster

And if you think about it, someone whose life is very well balanced – who has, say, an accident of some sort and ends up in the hospital…they’ll have an easier time getting well because of their existing health, support system of family and friends…and the ability to afford the hospital bills!

So…that’s pretty much it.

Print yourself a copy of the wheel of life, mark down where you feel you are at in each category (quickly, no thinking!)…then decide what would make each of the categories a perfect ’10’.

What’s next? Well, work towards that 10. You can write down a list of milestones you’d need to reach in order to get to the goal…or you might just keep them in mind. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get you moving in the right direction.

And remember – one really low category pulls the others down…and the opposite is true as well – one really high category can help pull the others up.

When you find yourself looking at an especially low number…do what it takes to improve it. You’ll likely notice improvement everywhere else as well.

…So instead of worrying about whether I’m going to get work done this week while I’m vacationing in Kauai, Hawaii – I’m just going to soak it all in, practice yoga every morning, snorkel every day, go hiking, explore, relax…and build up my ‘recreation’, ‘health’, ‘family’ and ‘romance’ categories.

And when I get back next week…I’m sure all the other categories will naturally rise up one level as well.

After you try the exercise, leave a quick comment here – did you notice anything interesting? Learn anything about yourself?

Here’s to balance!

🙂 Liane

 

Posted in How To...with 18 Comments →


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