Archive for the 'Business Services' Category

Why You Need an External Hard Drive

January 10th, 2019 | Category: Business Services

Summary: Purchasing an external hard drive can add much-needed space to your computer.

If you are a student working on a research paper or a video editor putting a rough cut together for a client, you know just how important it is to keep your files safe. Your computer has a hard drive built-in but there are reasons why you should invest in an external drive.

More Space

Although your computer has a hard drive already built-in, you may eventually find yourself running low on space. Most desktop computers and laptops can have their storage expanded but an external hard drive could give you some more freedom. A small hard drive you can toss in your backpack or leave on your desktop can drastically increase the amount of photos, videos, documents, and projects you can keep on you.

If you shoot a lot of videos, you could find yourself regularly creating gigabytes worth of footage. Rather than filling up your built-in hard drive, you could buy an external one that you use only for video projects. This approach can help you work with large files on your laptop, your desktop, and any other computer.

An Additional Backup

The last thing you would want is for all of your important files to suddenly disappear. You have likely heard horror stories of laptops getting stolen, people accidentally spilling water on their computer, or computers suddenly dying. There are a number of different cloud services you can use to save files but it never heards to have an additional backup. A hard drive purchased specifically for backups can be justify in a safe at home or any other secure location.


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Buy-Side Platforms 101

February 27th, 2015 | Category: Business Services

Do not rely on a single source of traffic, because that will only grow your campaign so far. You will find your creative will wear out its welcome, your brand will saturate the marketplace and dilute itself, and the strength of your campaigns will decrease.

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Instead, utilize a buy-side platform to deliver highly targeted traffic from a wider range of sites. This expanded inventory typically offers lower bids, targeted traffic and the chance to increase conversion rates.

Targeting Basics

If you’re looking to target by more than just interest, a buy-side platform can offer you the ability to micro-target base on almost any characteristic of your audience. If you want to bid on mobile traffic, you bid on service provider or device. Desktop ads can be shown to people using a specific browser. You can even target by location, sometimes getting hyper-local by city or town.

If you manage your campaigns and take advantage of this precision targeting, you will see greater profit margins and higher volumes of traffic.

Why Real-Time Matters

When you bid on a buy-side platform, you’re bidding on real-time traffic. This means that your campaign goes live and begins collecting data the moment everything is finalized. Check your analytics to be sure the campaign is receiving traffic, and then monitor bids to be sure you’re not getting outbid and losing traffic. You can also begin to make some guesses at what people might be doing upon viewing your landing page by looking at bounce rate and the time spent on a particular page.

This is also excellent for experimentation because you can see if your changes are improving performance within a few hours instead of a few days.

Conclusions and Takeaways

When you have control over your campaigns, you’re able to run tests and scale campaigns according to your own strategy. Market research will teach you which bids are most important, and you’ll learn more about targeting as you begin to collect data about your market, but you can deploy changes and see results quickly.

If you are in a market susceptible to changing trends, working in real-time is essential. If there is a delay in reporting, you may think you’re bidding on great placements only to discover the fad has passed. Buy-side platforms offer greater control over your campaigns and immediate data.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is a digital marketing expert with roots in the industry that trace back to the early 2000s. Ted Dhanik is the co-founder and CEO of engage:BDR. Learn more about Ted Dhanik when you visit engage:BDR.

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Simple Tips to Give Your Mobile Advertising a Boost

January 20th, 2015 | Category: Business Services

Mobile advertising is a game of immediacy, but you can micro-target for extremely specific use cases. Data is the king of mobile. When you purchase mobile traffic from an ad exchange, you are buying from a wide array of traffic sources and networks. The data you have about your target market should inform every decision you make. You can quickly find yourself over spending to accumulate data you can’t use. Use these simple tips to give your campaigns a boost without over spending.

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Pay Attention to Details

You should know what time of day you tend to get the most conversions, and note days of the week too. Pay attention to the frequency that your ads are shown to users, and be sure that you’re not diluting your brand in pursuit of a conversion. Train yourself to notice bounce rates and to notice when your traffic or conversions start dropping off. This could be a sign that your ads need to be rotated, or your creative is getting stale.

Theorize and Test

Don’t make a change without having an end game. In the beginning, your goal is to figure out what works about your ad and how you can optimize your traffic to achieve maximum conversions. Once you understand what your audience wants to see, try something new in a different ad group. The most common place to start is with the headline, which is typically packed with benefits and keywords. An easy test to run is to add your keyword into the headline and see how it performs. The assumption is that users looking for that keyword will respond to your ad because it contains the keyword. Once you have found that users do or do not respond to keywords, you can test this theory with other keywords or move on to other campaigns.

Location Targeting

Mobile campaigns tend to be highly specific to a certain location. Sometimes, the offer is only valid at that location but more often than not it’s a question of where your target audience lives. Mobile tends to work best when it can service the user before a brick and mortar store, or when it offers a lower price than a brick and mortar store.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the co-founder and CEO of engage:BDR, and is active in the Los Angeles startup incubator Start Engine. Ted Dhanik has used display advertising to launch brands, build leads and increase sales. Contact Ted Dhanik online when you visit engage:BDR.

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The Importance of Images in Advertising

December 11th, 2014 | Category: Business Services

Text ads are everywhere. We see them all over search, and all over sites within content. It might seem like text is everything, but images can add a lot of context that text cannot. Research shows that our brains process images differently than text, which is why so many brands incorporate image and text. Nike, Apple and even Chase Bank all incorporate some image with their text.

You should aim for the same effect in your own messaging, and it’s easy to achieve if you have a good eye for what pairs well. Here are some tips to help you utilize images in your mobile and banner advertising.

Tell the Customer What to Do

Be bold and tell your customer exactly what you want them to do. Do it in a button, where they can clearly see what they are supposed to click. Strong colors like green or blue are good, but red is not. After all, you don’t want the customer to stop do you?

Also, tell customers what to expect in your call to action. Are customers downloading a report? Use “Download Now” as your call. Same with “Learn More,” “Apply now” and “Find Savings.” These calls are far more effective than “Click Here.”

Try New Things

Start with an ad that is fairly close to something your competitors run, then work on adding your own spin. This is all part of competitive research and you will find that what works for your competition will not work for you. Human pictures can help make your products more relatable, while the product itself can be a valuable sales pitch. Apple, for instance, rarely shows real humans wearing their products. The emphasis is on that iconic white. Test these new ideas in separate ad groups and track their results to compare with your top performers.

Include Data on Pricing

It’s a misconception that customers don’t want to see the sales price. You can use a colored burst to highlight the cost, or you can look for other methods to lower the price without changing what the consumer pays. Try subsidizing shipping costs to your local area or offering a coupon code to people who click your ad. Testing will be crucial here, so that you can maximize your returns.

Keep it Relevant

Relevancy to the consumer is still your number one goal. Every element of your ad should be designed to get the customer clicking on something that will bring them closer to a point of action.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the CEO and co-founder of the Los Angeles based advertising company, engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik helps business owners run engaging ads on the Web. Find out how to use display advertising to generate business leads with tips from Ted Dhanik.

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How to Buy Targeted Traffic

November 17th, 2014 | Category: Business Services

When you want to market a product or service, the fastest way to get started is through display advertising. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you try to run too many campaigns. It’s best to find a product that has a good conversion rate and try to run a campaign with it. From beginning to end, here are some tips designed to help you run your first ad campaign.

Talk with an Affiliate

Before you sell your own product, try to sell someone another prooduct that is more established. Selling an affiliate product through ad exchanges will teach you the fundamentals you need to get a campaign running, and to make some money with it. Speak with an affiliate representative and ask them about campaigns that have a strong conversion. Get a feel for the kind of audience you should target, but be prepared to do your own research on the topic.

Competitive Research

You want to start your basic research with some searches about your product, and the ideas related to it. Let’s say your product is a job website. You’ll want to learn what kinds of websites the unemployed are looking at, what they are reading, and anything you can about their aspirations. Knowing, for example, which job market is hottest at any given moment would help you hyper target your searches and learn even more about your market. Once you’ve gathered some data, set up a campaign with an ad exchange.

Your First Banner Advertising Campaign

Ad exchanges sell traffic directly to you, and they let you segment that traffic based on the observations you made during the research phase. You should have some ideas on keywords you want to pursue, demographics you want to target and which campaigns you want to run. Try to limit your campaigns so you can manage the results.

Record everything you can about the campaign, including how many visits your landing page receives and how many conversions you acquire. Also note the time of day that your site experiences the most traffic, and anything else you think may be relevant. Data acquisition is an art, and it’s not always clear which points will be most valuable when you begin a campaign.

Analyzing and Scaling

Getting your campaign working, and producing good conversion rates at a reasonable cost, is a matter of fine tuning the traffic settings and advertising models you have. Try varying your keywords, adjusting for location and other variables that might help eliminate traffic from viewers who don’t want to see your ads.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the co-founder of engage:BDR, where he oversees strategic marketing and sales for the company. Ted Dhanik began his career with and, where he sold engaging ads. Ted Dhanik has a degree in business administration from California State University Hayward.

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How to Leverage Market Data to Write Better Copy

October 17th, 2014 | Category: Business Services

You never want to start copywriting on a blank slate, which is the fastest way to fail. Your ideas are great, but they lack the universal appeal you need to really break into display advertising effectively. Marketing copy is all about capitalizing on trends and keywords related to your industry. Searching for what’s already out there helps you identify what problems your audience faces, which helps inform your banner advertising. With these tips, you’ll never find yourself at a shortage of material for copywriting.

Surf Social Media

Begin with a few glances at some related pages on social media. Look for what customers are talking about on these business pages, and the kind of content being posted in the first place. Social media pages are public, so you can learn a lot about how customers interact with brands in your industry. You can also mine social media to figure out what people care about. Pins from Pinterest, Likes from Facebook, and Retweets from Twitter all send signals that your audience is interested by something. Don’t ignore those signs.

Combine Data You Already Have

All of that voting and pinning and liking is happening at a grand scale every day, and you’re sure to find some correlations within your own data sets. Through Analytics, you have a deeper understanding of what customers do on your pages. Look for keywords from social media, and then compare what people are discussing to the most popular pages on your site. You will find ways to inject some of that discussion into your own display advertising, and redirect customers to the proper parts of your site.

Marrying Data and Creative

What you learn about your customers and their challenges should help to inform your banner advertising. You should be highlighting key benefits that solve their problems, and you should be using colors and images they are familiar with. You may also learn more about them as a demographic, enabling you to target with more precision. Try to restructure your planning such that you incorporate the research process into choosing creative and buying traffic.


There is no point in trying to force messaging on your customers. They aren’t likely to respond, and retargeting will just bother them. Instead, try to let your market research inform the copywriting that you do, and focus on addressing user concerns in more direct language. You will find that your money will be better spent focusing on what your audience wants, instead of playing a numbers game.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the CEO of Los Angeles based direct marketing company engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik is focused on creating amazing ad campaigns for mobile and desktop, with an emphasis on lead generation. To reach Ted Dhanik, follow his blog or contact engage:BDR.

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Engaging the Right Audience with Your Ads

September 22nd, 2014 | Category: Business Services

Engagement is all the rage in Internet marketing, especially when companies like MasterCard talk about how to measure it and why it’s important. Engagement is reaching the right people, and motivating them to do something. Today, you have more opportunity than ever before to reach market segments on a micro level.

Geographic Targeting

Targeting users by location is a huge boost for local business, especially those who rely on mobile. Mobile users are more likely to buy, and banner advertising aimed at their location can boost sales. Geo-targeting also helps eliminate a state where your offer may not apply, which is common in affiliate and lead generation campaigns.

Demographic Targeting

Targeting by gender, age, and income level are all possible now thanks to greater amounts of data on users. Companies like Facebook have helped to catalog and crunch data, and those practices have filtered down to many buy-side platforms offering better quality traffic at a fair rate.


Marketers now have a second chance to reach users at a fraction of the cost. Retargeting looks at users who have viewed your website or your display advertising, and reaches out to them specifically. Advertising needs repeat views to sink in, and retargeting allows marketers to reach these segments alone.

Final thoughts

When you micro-target your audience, you remove all of the irrelevant page views your campaigns can accumulate. That immediately cuts spend, and should raise the overall response rates of your campaigns. If you’re unsure of a new segment that you’re targeting, try opening a new campaign to test that variable.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is an Internet marketing thought leader, and CEO of engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik began his work with and, learning the secrets to banner advertising. Find out how to generate leads through Internet marketing tips from Ted Dhanik.

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How eBay Got its Start

August 21st, 2014 | Category: Business Services

This article was written by Phin Upham

Pierre Omidyar founded AuctionWeb in September of 1995. The company was based out of San Jose, and it was part of a larger group of sites that Omidyar was managing for personal reasons. Omidyar was amazed when his first item sold: a broken laser pointer that went for $14.83. Omidyar even went so far as to ask the bidder if he realized that the laser pointer was broken. The buyer claimed he collected broken lasers, odd, but it was enough to motivate Omidyar to pursue his creation.

Omidyar had the company’s PR team fabricate a rumor that AuctionWeb was created to help his wife sell Pez dispensers. This was an elaborate ruse meant to compensate for the fact that the media didn’t find his actual motives all that interesting.

The site was just a side project until he was asked to upgrade to a business service by his internet service provider. The change in cost is what forced him to seek out a method to monetize the site. Omidyar hired his first employee specifically to process all of the new checks that would come in as the site grew.

Omidyar formally changed the company name to eBay in 1997, after a merger that allowed the company to sell plane tickets. eBay came from Omidyar’s consulting group: Echo Bay, but the name was already taken by a gold mining company. He shortened it to eBay and found the domain was not taken.

When eBay went public in 1998, Omidyar and his partner became instant billionaires.

Phin Upham

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Twitter page.
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How to Fail at Online Advertising

August 07th, 2014 | Category: Business Services

No one wants to fail at their job, but tons of people start and fail at affiliate marketing every day. Most of these are fly-by-night efforts that were never destined to success, but some affiliates will pour thousands into a campaign hoping to make it work. Stop paying to learn what the experts already know. These obvious flags are guaranteed to turn your campaigns into failures, so avoid them to reap rewards of your work.

Automate Too Quickly

As recently as a few years ago, “set and forget” was the affiliate mantra for display advertising. There was a time when you could tweak your campaigns to get just the right settings before you sat back and watched the numbers roll in. This is not so true today. You can no longer rely on your targeting settings to remain effective, because other advertisers bid for the top spots in your area. You can no longer rely on your bids beating competitors, because advertisers are constantly fighting for the top position and will push your ads further down the page, if not entirely off of it.

Trying to automate your campaigns too quickly is the fastest way to fail. Instead, look for what you can automate, like the time of days your ads run, and try to take the stress off of your own workload.

Advertise Without Researching

Affiliate marketing is built on research. The more data you can assemble for your banner advertising, the more likely you are to hit your target and score a conversion. One of the biggest reasons that affiliates lose money is a lack of research. You need to know your core market for the product you’re selling, and any details you can glean about them. Learn about where they shop, what their income levels are, and what problems they deal with. You should also have a sense of what works in your niche, so you have some copy in mind when you design your ad.

Never Push Boundaries

If you don’t try to change up your advertising content, you’re bound to fail. Content marketing has been around for a while, going all the way back to vintage magazines and pamphlets from the Victorian period and earlier. If you try to rely on the same ideas, or in some cases the same content, you won’t be able to attract new attention. Your landing page should be specific to the buyer’s needs, which automation can’t account for.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is an expert in mobile, video and display advertising. As the co-founder of engage;BDR, Ted Dhanik manages business development and builds leads. Found out how to build successful campaigns with tips from Ted Dhanik.

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Copywriting Basics for Display Advertising

April 11th, 2014 | Category: Business Services

This article was written by Ted Dhanik

Copywriting is not a primary concern for display advertising, but it should be. Effective copywriting can be as simple as choosing two words to adorn your banner, or it can involve more complex messaging. Banner advertising makes this practice tricky because it’s difficult to tell when your writing is too much. With a text ad, you know how many characters to work with, but banner ads rely much more on visual aspects.

Here are some of the basics of copywriting for display advertising. Use them to improve your messaging and increase your conversions.

Headline Tips

Because the headline is the first thing the user is likely to see, it’s important that you pack it full of the essentials. Your headline should, at minimum, include the keywords that you used and a brief proposition or sales pitch. Typically, the pitch comes in the form of a question that is on the user’s mind. If you were gathering leads for a hardware store, for instance, you might want to include a question about reliability or price.

You should also include the keywords that you’re bidding on. The idea is that a customer searching for those keywords would probably be more drawn towards your ad if the text featured that keyword.

Body Copy

Banner advertising also has body copy, although this might be the most minimal effect. On the banner itself, you only have so much space to work with. You must fit only the most important keywords into your ad text, arranging that text around the colors in your image. Design know-how will come in handy as you position your text. Remember that a banner is not a text ad, and too much text can make the picture feel cluttered. Less is more with banners, so don’t scare your users off with a complex sales proposition. If it’s more than a few words, save it for your landing page.

Facts and Figures

If you can, include some facts to bolster your point. A good place to start might be the national average in savings that a new client can expect when using your product. If you have figures handy that suggest that number, you should use them in your ad. You can also quote the number of users you have or some other relevant statistic.

Final Thoughts

The most important thing to remember when you’re practicing good copywriting is to keep it relevant and enticing. You should always try to get your point across in the fewest possible words, but it’s important that you include keywords that entice the user to click your ad for more information.

Bio: Ted Dhanik has helped big brands like MySpace to launch online. With over fifteen years of sales experience, Ted Dhanik understands direct marketing. To learn more about copywriting for direct marketing, contact Ted Dhanik.

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