Using QR Codes to Make Money with Mobile Marketing

Quick Response Codes, or QR Codes for short, are those funny looking little black and white squibs that you see on subway signs, magazine advertisements and lots of other places these days.

QR Codes are a variation of the bar code – also known as the Universal Product Code (UPC) – which has been used since the 1970s at retail checkout areas. Bar codes also are commonly used for inventory purposes.

QR Codes were first used in 1994, when engineers at a Japanese factory owned by a subsidiary of Toyota wanted to create a three-dimensional version of the bar code that could hold exponentially more information and that could be decoded at faster speeds. The first QR Code was used to control the inventory of automobile parts as they moved through the manufacturing process.

How QR Codes Work

Unlike UPCs – which are mechanically scanned by a narrow beam of light – QR Codes are scanned as a two-dimensional image by a semiconductor image sensor. This image is then digitally analyzed by the processor the scanning device.

The processor detects the three distinctive squares at the corners of the image, and – with the help of a fourth smaller square in the fourth corner – automatically converts the image into a standard size, orientation and angle of viewing. The tiny dots are then converted into binary code, which is matched against an error-detecting code.

The binary code can represent anything, such as text or an image, but in most cases it is a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), or an Internet address.

Uses and Benefits

Anybody with a mobile phone or tablet can scan a QR Code. Scanning apps are free and can be downloaded instantly on iTunes, Google Apps, the Android store and elsewhere.

Other apps let users generate and print their own QR Codes for others to scan and be diverted a device to a URL, eliminating the need to the user to copy down and type in a web address.

QR Codes are used widely in advertising. But they also can be used by online marketers to promote offers and to send traffic to web pages. Other uses for QR Codes include:

  • Visiting a Google+ or Facebook profile
  • Showing your branding on textiles such as t-shirts or bags and other articles like mugs
  • Checking in on recommendation services like foursquare
  • Using QR codes in blogs
  • Playing a YouTube video
  • Easily installing an app from the App Store or Android Market
  • Sending a predefined short message (premium services)
  • Sending a Tweet with your content

Mobile Marketing Uses

QR Codes are most frequently used for mobile marketing. They are supported by Google’s mobile Android operating system; in iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod; on BlackBerry devices, on the Windows Phone, and even on the Nintendo 3DS.

Once scanned, QR Codes can use a URL to lead users to website where they can view useful content. This can include expanded product information, locations and store hours of the places where the product can be purchased, and even links to buy the product right away.

QR Codes also can be used for mobile tagging. This is when you capture the reading device’s phone number and automatically send an email or text message either right away or at some predetermined future time. Mobile tagging also can launch a sequence of email swipes designed to build excitement and encourage brand loyalty.

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How to Use Content Syndication to Expand Your Online Business

One great way to drive more traffic to your web pages is by posting content you have created on other people’s web pages or on article syndicators. These are sites that collect articles from all over the web and index them in one location so that they can be found more easily by people searching online for specific topics.

If you post your content anywhere, always make sure it includes several backlinks that lead back to your home pages so people who found your content interesting and helpful can find more content that you have created. Post your content on your own blog site or web pages, as well as posting them as guest blogs on other people’s blog sites, as freestanding articles, and as submissions to article syndicators and social bookmarking sites.

Double the value of your content by breaking your blog posts or articles into smaller chunks and send them out over social media as either Twitter “Tweets” or as Facebook status updates. Also include a link to your web page with every posting so that you can lead people back to your page.

Benefits of Content Syndication

Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo are constantly crawling through the Internet looking for new content that they can index and rank on their Search Engine Rank Pages (SERPs). One of the ways they assign value to your web page is by the number of backlinks it includes. If your web page has links from a lot of other web pages – especially pages the search engines considers “authoritative” — then it will be ranked higher by search engines.

Links from authoritative or “expert” sites – such as those that are a leading authority on whatever niche your content happens to be about – will increase its ranking dramatically. Search engines want to point their users to sites that are going to give them the most helpful, accurate information. If you can get your content to include links from such sites as About.com, eHow.com, Wikipedia and others like those, your rankings will increase and you may even wind up on the front page.

Benefits of Syndicating Your Content

Other authority sites include sites that end with the suffixes .edu and .gov. Post content in forums on educational or governmental websites and include links back to your web pages and usually it will instantly increase your page ranking on search engines. Not sure where to go? Just target any site that people would naturally go if they had a question about something having to do with your niche.

Benefits of syndicating your content on authoritative sites include:

  • You can siphon “authority” from established websites.
  • You can build premium backlinks that will remain intact
  • You can position yourself as a respected expert in your field
  • You can generate traffic to your website instantly.
  • You can build a reputation as an authority in your niche.

Where to Syndicate Your Content

An easy way to find authority sites related to your niche is to type in any of these following keyword strings along with your niche keywords:

  • “Guest Bloggers Wanted”
  • “Contributors Needed”
  • “Submit Guest Post”
  • “Accepting Guest Bloggers”
  • “Submit Content”
  • “Submit Article”

Another way to find guest blogging opportunities is to use “inurl” keyword searches which will search online blogs for specific search terms. These look like this:

“inurl:guest-blogging-guidelines” or

“inurl:guest bloggers”.

Top Content Syndication Networks

Some content syndication networks are devoted to specific niches. For example, if you work in Internet Marketing, you could submit your content to one of these sites:

http://www.BizNik.com/

http://www.SmartBlogs.com/

Expanding the scope and stretch of your offers through syndicating your content on as many channels as possible is essential for driving maximum traffic to your offers.

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Building Your List with Guest Blogging

Websites need traffic, and blogs are no different. People who write blogs are constantly seeking new ways to improve traffic to their websites. Some ways to do this are through advertising, using Search Engine Optimization (SEO), syndicating articles, and submitting posts to authoritative sites, such as eHow.com and About.com.
But all these take time, cost money, or both.

So an increasing number of Internet marketers are turning to guest blogging as a way of driving traffic to their own landing pages. Guest blogging is when you write a blog post and offer it to an established blogger to post on their blog. While this arrangement doesn’t cost either party any money, it can be hugely beneficial to both.

So why would you want to write on somebody else’s blog for free? And why would an established blogger want to publish your blog on their website? The answer to that question
is easy: Traffic.

Win/Win for Blogger and Guest

Guest blogging benefits both the blog’s host and the person writing the guest blog. For the guest blogger, posting on an established blog in their own marketing niche can lead to a lot of interest from the host blogger’s readers. If the guest blog provides high-value content, readers are going to want to learn more about the guest blogger.

For the host blogger, allowing a guest blogger to publish on their blog allows them to provide high-value content to their readers without having to do anything themselves, so they can enjoy the same level of traffic without having to work for it. They also enjoy the benefits of having a loyal following of readers while getting to take a day off from researching and creating original content.

Creates New Backlinks

Another benefit of guest blogging is that it allows guest bloggers to obtain new backlinks to their landing pages. Readers who find the content of their guest blog to be valuable will follow links in the “About the Author” box or another place in the guest blog back to the guest blogger’s landing page.

This also increases the value of the landing page in the eyes of the search engines – such as Google, Bing and others – especially if the host blog is considered to be an authoritative site. This increases the page ranking of the landing page on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for its niche.

Google and other search engines want to provide value and importance to websites which have a lot of links from authoritative sites. They distinguish these websites as reliable and trustworthy, so they rank them at or near the top of the SERP for their niche.

Selecting Guest Bloggers

Established bloggers need to choose who they allow to write guest blogs on their pages carefully. Because their readers are frequently returning to their blogs, they have a responsibility to their readers to provide high-value content that their readers can use in their everyday lives. So they need to make sure the guest blogger is both qualified to write on their blog and is going to give their readers useful information.

If the host blogger is not familiar with the guest blogger, they can research their reputation by checking with other writers in their community and networking. The host blogger can also ask the guest blogger for credentials that qualify them to write on their blog page – such as academic degrees, job experience, or relevant life experiences. They also can ask for links to previous guest blogs.

Overall, the advantages of guest blogging are numerous for both the host blogger and the guest blogger.

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