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White House Gives TikTok Till September 15th to Sell its Business: Here’s What You Need to Know

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white house gives tiktok till september 15th to sell its business heres what you need to know
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What an eventful weekend for the team at TikTok HQ.

To recap the current situation – earlier this month, following the Indian Government’s decision to ban all Chinese apps, including TikTok, in its nation amid ongoing border battles with Chinese forces, US President Donald Trump said that he too was considering banning the app as part of punishment for the COVID-19 outbreak.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later clarified that the Government was indeed considering banning the app, but less so as a form of punishment, and more due to concerns that it could be used as both a surveillance and propaganda tool for the Chinese regime. That concern is not unfounded, with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance having in the past worked with the CCP to moderate anti-government content and distribute pro-China material within its apps. 

TikTok has been under investigation on this front for some time, and two weeks after the initial suggestion of a possible ban by President Trump, the US House of Representatives voted to have the app banned from all Government-issued devices, due to the same concerns. TikTok is already banned on all military-issued devices in the US, UK and Australia because of its potential for data tracking.

And then, last weekend happened.

On Friday, reports emerged that Microsoft was reportedly considering an acquisition of TikTok in a bid to separate the app from its Chinese ownership, and quell the ongoing questions about its data-sharing obligations to the CCP. Then late Friday evening, when speaking to the press on Air Force One, President Trump said that he would be moving to ban the app in the US, likely within days.

That set off panic among TikTok creators, with downloads of alternate video apps spiking, while conspiracy theories about the Trump administration’s motivations for a ban flooding the app. 

Was Trump serious? Could he actually institute a ban?

It’s difficult to say, on both fronts, but in theory, he could sign an Executive Order banning TikTok. There are legal complications within such a ruling, and any ban on the basis of potential surveillance or data-gathering would likely extend to all Chinese-owned apps, including WeChat and others (which the White House alluded to on Sunday). But yes, the ban threat could well be real – though speculation has been that Trump was merely using this as a push, at this stage, in order to force ByteDance into selling the app to a US-owned company.

And that does look to be what’s happening – on Sunday, Microsoft published an official statement which both confirmed that it is seeking a buy-out of TikTok, and that it had also arranged with President Trump to continue explorations of a possible purchase of the app.

As per Microsoft:

“Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020. During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President.”

Trump has since reiterated this deadline, telling reporters that:

“It can’t be controlled, for security reasons, by China – too big, too invasive – and here’s the deal: I don’t mind if, whether its Microsoft or somebody else, a big company, a secure company, very American company, buys it. It’s probably easier to buy the whole thing than to buy 30% of it because they say ‘how do you do 30%?’, ‘Who’s going to get the name?’ The name is hot, the brand is hot. Who’s going to get the name? How do you do that if it’s owned by two different companies? […] I suggested that [Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella] can go ahead, he can try. I set a date of around September 15th, at which point it’s going to be out of business in the United States, but if somebody, whether it’s Microsoft or somebody else, buys it, that’ll be interesting.”

So Trump has said, clearly, that TikTok has till September 15th to become American-owned or it’ll be banned.

There are various nuances within that statement. What if TikTok becomes British-owned instead, for example, while Trump has also left the door open for any other players to step in with takeover offers for the platform, aside from Microsoft.

Trump also noted that:

“A very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States, because we’re making it possible for this deal to happen.”

Which is not legal, nor constitutional, according to various experts, so it seems like an element that will likely be overlooked. But the bottom line is that TikTok is fine, for now, and it’ll be re-assessed within six weeks.

Here’s a look at some of the key questions about the potential sell-off, and the future of the app.

Will TikTok eventually get shut down?

It seems unlikely. The platform itself is worth, according to some estimates, around $50 billion, and if the option is either to sell it to Microsoft – or someone else – for anywhere close to that amount, or lose out completely, you would expect a deal to get done, one way or another. That seems the most likely outcome, though it’ll be interesting to see if any other suitors emerge that might be a better fit, with TikTok not really meshing with Microsoft’s overall product suite.

Then again, Microsoft, buoyed by its success with LinkedIn, may see this as it’s time to step into social, and with the additional advertising potential and user data it can attain through the acquisition, it could better position the tech giant to go head to head with the Google’s and Facebook’s of the world moving forward. This could be a major, solidifying move for the company – or it could fall flat, like most of Microsoft’s other efforts when stepping out of the enterprise tech space. But given TikTok’s popularity, seeing it become a total flop would take some significant missteps.

Could Facebook look to take it over?

Maybe – though you have to wonder whether US officials would allow Apple, Facebook, Google or Amazon to acquire yet another significant tech platform, given the four of them appeared before a senate hearing into possible antitrust breaches just last week.

That would appear to go against the whole concept of the hearing – which may be another reason why Microsoft feels emboldened to step in now. It seemingly has to be one of these five that moves to buy out the app, and with four of them under a cloud, the negotiations could be fairly short.

Should you reduce your reliance on TikTok?

Well, yes – but if you’re reliant on any platform, you need to consider the fact that you don’t own that space, and it can be taken from you at any moment. The potential of a TikTok ban is another reminder that you’re operating on ‘rented land’, and the rules can switch, so you do need to diversify your digital presence and remain wary of stacking too much emphasis on one or the other.

Will Instagram’s ‘Reels’ now take off, when Instagram releases the TikTok-like option to US users next month? 

I would say that’s a pretty safe bet, even if TikTok is bought out, because top creators will be looking to reduce their potential exposure and maximize their revenue potential. And if Instagram can offer better ad options, along with a similar, TikTok-type experience, it seems likely that Reels could catch on. Which is probably another consideration that any suitors need to consider in their offers for TikTok.

What about other options – like Byte, from the makers of Vine?

It’ll still be a significant challenge for any other players to take off, especially with the established revenue generation options available on YouTube and Facebook/Instagram.

Byte has pledged to pay top creators, and it’s even been making light of the TikTok/Microsoft news on Twitter.

But the challenge, which even TikTok faces, is building a sustainable eco-system for payments that can compete with other options. That, essentially, requires significant scale. TikTok is probably close to reaching the key threshold on this, its competitors are a distance behind.

I would expect that Instagram will be working to get Reels out as soon as possible, and that it’ll be looking to offer more contracts to TikTok creators in an effort to sink the app while the chips are down. The deep pockets of Microsoft could help to negate this, which means Instagram needs to push on this now, and TikTok has to hope that it can clarify a deal quickly in order to assure them that it will be able to offer payments long term.

Overall, this feels like an inflection point for TikTok, either way. The challenges before it are significant, and even if it’s sold off, it’s future is not certain. 

And then also, what does the Chinese Government think of this, the US President essentially bullying a Chinese company into selling an element of itself to an American business? 

You can’t imagine that sitting well with the leaders in Beijing.

It could be an interesting six weeks. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024

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Make money blogging

 

Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.

Conclusion:

Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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