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Hidden... In Plain Sight....

So have you ever thought what your life would be like if you had to enter the Witness Protection Program?  Or what would be going on in your present life if you left?  What would happen at your job?  Your school?  Your neighborhood?  If you had to enter the Witness Protection Program where would you end up?  Would it be another city? State? Continent?  What would your name be?  What if it ended up being something like Ima Hogg, Dan Druff or even Anne Chovy?!  Eek!!

You can actually talk about what you think your life would be like in the Witness Protection Program and get paid for it!  How, you ask?  (I thought the same thing when I heard this sweet deal.)  There is an Opportunity in SocialSpark right now titled, 'Hometown Hiding' which requires you to create a post about the U.S. city you would choose to relocate to if you had to be moved as a part of the Witness Protection Program.  Also, there are some other Opportunities out there about this concept and this awesome new show In Plain Sight (go here to see them all).  You should really check this out - a fun concept and you get paid to do it!  What could be better?  (Maybe entering the Witness Protection Program and getting relocated to Hawaii?  Just a thought...)

If you want to imagine this even further you can check out the new USA Network original series, 'In Plain Sight' Sundays at 10/9c.  The star, Mary McCormack portrays Mary Shannon, a US Marshal who works in the witness protection program - wonder what her job is?  She hides her witnesses... in plain sight.  I wonder what you need to put on a resume for a job like that?

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SocialSpark & the IZEA Sales Team

Many Advertisers are clamoring to try SocialSpark out- and we couldn't be happier!  We certainly want to make sure that we are available to help with any questions.  So, before I go on, let's recap the ways you can get help in SocialSpark:

1. You can watch the Tutorials here.
2. Clicking on Help will send you to the Customer Love page, where FAQs and glossaries await!
3. The Boards are a great source, too.

Great- now for a more specialized kind of help.  Our Sales team is always available to assist with campaigns.  While signing up for an account, even, the Activation screen, after you have confirmed your account, will present you with information to email the Sales team.  Additionally, when you are filling out your information, you will note a checkbox that you can click, if you would like our team to get in touch with you.  Be sure to enter your phone number, and extension, if applicable.

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Once you are paired with member of our Sales team, we can better evaluate how to take on your project and how SocialSpark best fits your needs via a proposal.  Drumroll, please!  This is where I come in.  Typically, proposals are a way to show you, the Advertiser, exactly what our system can do- and believe me, it can do a lot!  But, when I create a proposal, I try to present a variety of topics (Opportunities) that both promotes your product/service and engages the blogger to create genuine content for you.  After all, that is one of the beauties of SocialSpark: continuous conversations and relationships between Advertisers and consumers.

So, here for you, is a sample proposal- along with some notes: PDF Sample Proposal

Sparks & Blog Sponsorships in SocialSpark

Today's task is going over creation of Blog Sponsorships and Sparks!  I will try and not be as long winded as I was for Sponsored Opp Creation, so here we go!

Let's start with Sparks - Sparks are free Opps created in the Marketplace.  You may ask, what's the point of a Spark?  There are many benefits for both the Advertiser and the Blogger. 
Blogger:
- If you are new to blogging, or sponsored blogging, these are great ways for you to start to learn how to accept an Opp and create a Sponsored post. 
- If you've been blogging for a while and have some writers block it could help 'spark' your imagination and get your creative juices flowing again!
Advertiser:
- You can get used to creating Opps and figuring out what information you need to provide to the bloggers to fulfill your expectations
Both Blogger and Advertiser:
- You can learn how to use SocialSpark.  There is so much information and so many things to do within SocialSpark that a 'Spark' will help you familiarize yourself!

Ok, onto creation of a Spark.
Step 1: Setup
This is the EXACT same as Creating a Sponsored Post Opp just slightly shorter!

Step 2: Your Spark
Again, pretty self-explanatory; Title, Short Description and Full Description.  The only thing that might slow you up on this Step is number 3, BlogYouBack.  Sparks are free and provide no payment to the Blogger. You can choose to keep it free or provide incentive by selecting the BlogYouBack™ feature. If you select BlogYouBack™ you will need to write a reciprocal post for the blogger who posts about you. SocialSpark does not monitor, police, or enforce activity surrounding BlogYouBack™; they are strictly on the honor system.  Please realize you must have blogs added to SocialSpark to have this feature accessible.

Step 3: Promote
This is where you would put in the information about Advertising your Spark in the Marketplace. 
1.) Add an image: You can upload an image here that will be displayed throughout the Marketplace.  Again, this image can only be a JPEG, PNG, or TIFF and can be no bigger than 2MB.

2.) Listing Upgrades:  You can have your Spark be listed either with bold font or highlighted in the Marketplace listing.

3.) Feature Upgrades: This is REALLY cool!!  You can pay a little extra and have your Spark as the 'Featured Opp' on the Marketplace Homepage!

4.) Search Tags: Here is where you would enter relevant search tags so if someone searches keywords in the Marketplace they will come across this Spark.  For example, if we're creating a Spark about toothpaste we could use Search Tags like 'toothpaste', 'teeth', 'dentist', etc.  (Be sure to separate each of your Search Tags with a comma.)

5.) Channel: You can also search Sparks by channels to help you find more of a niche Opp.  This is where you would put what channels you would like your Opp to appear on - you can choose up to 2 and should be relevant to what your Opp is about. 

If at any point you need to go back and make any changes you can click on the 'Previous' button and go back to a previous step.
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Step 4: Review and Launch
This page goes over everything that you have just done in the creation process.  You can review anything you have created.  Please realize that you CANNOT delete nor edit an Opp(again, may want to say Spark) once you click 'Sumbit'!!!!  Once you create a Spark it's out there for good!!

That's how simple and easy creating a Spark is!!

Now onto Blog Sponsorship Creation:
Step 1: Setup
Everything is the same in this Step as it is for all other creation EXCEPT you have the option of Sponsorship Type (number 3).  Here are your 2 options:

Blog Welcome with Sponsorship Bar - this is a regular display ad on blogs, also called an interstitial.  Bloggers are paid on a per day basis. When readers visit the blog, they are welcomed with this ad that is displayed for 10 seconds.   When minimized, it stays on the bottom of the screen as a persistiant ad bar - if a user scrolls, the bar is always in plain view.  This is what you would see when you visit a blog with the Blog Welcome:
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Sponsorship Bar Only
- This would be the persistent ad bar that is always in plain view at the bottom of the browser window. 

On to...
Step 2: Your Sponsorship
The fun part of this step is that you can choose to include either a Sponsorship Image, 3rd Party Ad Tag or Video Embed Code.  Although, you cannot choose all 3, you must pick only 1.
In this Step, you also include the Title, Short Description, Text, Informational Link and Sponsorship Credit.  Sponsorship Credit is what will show up on the header of the Ad unit - basically, if I create a Blog Sponsorship it will look like 'This Blog is Sponsored by Crystal'. 
At this point you can click on the 'Preview Sponsorship' button to see what it will look like.

Step 3: Targeting
In order to not repeat myself I'm going to skip over explaining the Targeting again because it is the EXACT same as Sponsored Post Opp Targeting which I have explained in this post.

Step 4: Set Pricing
Here, you would set your Budget per day as well as the Offer Range Per Sponsorship.  There is also a line in this Step that gives you the Average Offer per day today - cool huh??

Step 5:  Promote
We tried to make this as easy as possible because this step is the same as Sponsored Post Opp creation and Spark Creation (check out Step 3 from above where I explain Spark Creation to get this information).

Step 6: Review and Launch
This page will go over all your creation details, as well as finances for this Blog Sponsorship.  This page also lets you pick which credit card you have on your account that you would like to use! 

TADA!!!! Finally we have reached the end of this Trilogy of Creation in SocialSpark!!! 

As always, please remember if you ever need help you can always go to the 'Help' tab on the top right of your screen and submit a ticket to Customer Love - we're always here to help you as much as we can.  Also you can always access the Advertiser or Blogger FAQs from the 'Help' tab and get additional information.  Finally, remember you can always contact the Account Management Team at Accountmgmt [at] Izea [dot] com if you need assistance in creation - we'd be more than happy to help you out!

SocialSpark Sponsored Opp Creation #2

Hey All!  I hope you rested up after that long post I created yesterday, maybe did some carbo-loading... Do people even do that anymore with the whole Atkins/South Beach diet things?  Or are those not cool anymore?  Anyway, back to the real reason I'm doing this post - we need to go over the remainder of Sponsored Post Creation in SocialSpark.  Be prepared, this post might be long as well because there is still a ton of information we need to go over, so if you need a snack or coffee or something, you might want to take a break now and get that... I'll be here when you get back...

Okay, now where did we leave off yesterday?  If I remember right we got all the way through Step 3: Targeting.  So it looks like we're on to Step 4: Set Pricing...
Pricing is a little tricky in SocialSpark at first glance, but if you reference Carri's post from a few days ago, 'Dynamic Pricing', she goes over it quite nicely and Tina will be posting much more in depth for the Advertiser's in a few days.  Because of this I won't be redundant, I'll just tell you to keep an eye out for Tina's post as she'll be able to walk you step by step through the pricing - you know, she's got a college degree in Finance so she must understand money and financial stuff somewhat - right?! Well, hopefully ;)

Now we can move on...
Step 5: Disclosure and Tracking Links
In SocialSpark we require all posts to have a Disclosure Badge so the readers know these posts are sponsored, so therefore Step 5 is very important!
Number 1 basically goes over the Disclosure Badge itself; who the post is sponsored by (YOU!) and what you would like the Badge to link to (YOUR SITE!).  The last thing in this section is the BubbleAd you can require for an extra $5.00.  For those of you that don't know what a BubbleAd looks like here you go:
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As you see, if you hover your cursor over the Disclosure Badge another AdBubble will pop-up with all sorts of information and even some additional links!!
Number 2 and 3 in Step 5 work together like peanut butter and jelly (can you eat that on the Atkins diet?? Sorry...) - Number 2 asks if you are going to require the bloggers to include a link in their posts, while Number 3 asks you what that required link and anchor text are.  In SocialSpark you can use up to 10 different links and anchor text.  Once you add a link click the 'Add link' button if you would like to add more links/anchor text.

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** Please note, if you are not requiring the bloggers to include a link you do not have to fill in Number 3.   

Look at that - we're already done with Step 5 - click 'Save and Continue' and let's keep going! :)

Step 6: Promote
This Step is all about promoting your Sponsored Post Opp within SocialSpark.  Let's go through each section individually to make this part easier...
1.) Add an image: You can upload an image here that will be displayed throughout the Marketplace - this is FREE, yes FREE, for Sponsored Post Opps.  Again, this image can only be a JPEG, PNG, or TIFF and can be no bigger than 2MB. 

2.) Listing Upgrades:  You can have your Opp be listed either with bold font or highlighted in the Marketplace listing.

3.) Feature Upgrades: This is REALLY cool!!  You can pay a little extra and have your Opp as the 'Featured Opp' on the Marketplace Homepage!

4.) Search Tags: Here is where you would enter relevant search tags so if someone searches keywords in the Marketplace they will come across this Opp.  For example, if we're creating a Sponsored Post Opp about toothpaste we could use Search Tags like 'toothpaste', 'teeth', 'dentist', etc.  (Be sure to separate each of your Search Tags with a comma.)

5.) Channel: You can also search Opps by channels to help you find more of a niche Opp.  This is where you would put what channels you would like your Opp to appear on - you can choose up to 2 and should be relevant to what your Opp is about.  The channels in SocialSpark include:
Auto, Charity, Entertainment, Family, Finance, Men's Interest, Real Estate, Shopping, Small Business, Technology, Travel, Women's Interest

Okay, let's do another example here - If I created an Opp about the newest Children's 5-Speed, Electronic Toothbrush (I'm not sure why I'm hung up on dental hygiene today), what channels would I choose?  Yup, maybe family and technology... you could even make a case as to why I could put it in shopping.  Again, it doesn't have to be perfect, just another avenue of searching for your Opp in the Marketplace!

Can you believe it?!?  We're on the last Step!!!
Step 7: Review and Launch
This page is a summary of everything you have done in the last 6 Steps.  It will go over just about every decision you made as well as your Opportunity Charge Specifics (a breakdown of how much the Opp costs) and Payment Information (which credit card on file you would like to charge for this Opp).  This is a great page to make sure you have everything you want done for the Opp.  Read over it carefully and make sure you have done EXACTLY what you intended to do because remember, you CANNOT EDIT A LIVE OPP!!!!!

All that's left to do is click 'Submit for Launch' and it's off to be manually approved by a member of our awesome Customer Love team. 
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If your Sponsored Post Opp is approved it is then sent out live to the bloggers in the Marketplace, or if something is not quite right it will not be sent live and you will receive a message in your message center letting you know what's wrong with the Opp.  This message will also include how to go back into your account and make the edit so it can be approved and sent out to the bloggers! :)

See, like I said yesterday, easy right?  Well remember if you ever come to a step you're not quite sure about you should look for the question marks you can click on to give you more information.

Also, like Karen mentioned in her post, you can always go to the 'Help' tab and submit a help ticket to Customer Love and we will be able to help you in creation!

I hope this gives you guys some more information on Sponsored Post Opp Creation in SocialSpark.  Remember, if you ever need help in creating an Opp, Tina and I are always here to help - you can reach us by sending an email to accountmgmt [at] izea [dot com] and we'd be more than happy to help!  Good Luck!!!

SocialSpark Sponsored Opp Creation #1

Creating an Opp can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task, although in SocialSpark it's a very easy thing!  SocialSpark basically walks you through Opp creation step by step.  Also, as Karen mentioned in a the recent post, Customer Support in SocialSpark, there are question marks located all over Opp creation that you can click on to give you more information about what you are required to do!

Now I'll walk you through Sponsored Post Opp Creation in SocialSpark (I'm going to apologize now because this post is going to be VERY long - Sorry, but hopefully it helps)...

Step 1: Setup
- The first really cool thing in SocialSpark is the Advertiser's ability to clone a previously launched Opportunity!  This is exciting news because if you have a previously approved Opp that performed well and you would like to recreate it all you need to do is go to Section 1: Set Up and choose 'Clone Launched Opp'.  Then click on the drop-down menu and select the Opp you would like to clone and tada!  You have the EXACT same Opportunity.  The system will fill in all the fields automatically for you!!  How exciting!!!
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- If you don't want to recreate an old Opp you can Create a New Sponsored Post Opportunity. 
If you opt to create a new Sponsored Post Opp, here is how you would do so.  You would start out by naming your Opportunity - please realize, this is completely for your use (it will not show up in the Marketplace, it will only be seen on your account).  This can help you keep track of your Opps in your account, but it is not for all the bloggers to see. 

Second, you will see that you can assign this Opp to a specific campaign.  This will be very useful for our Advertisers that create Opps for several different products/companies.  You can assign certain Opps to certain campaigns.  This will help if you have 5 Opps for toothbrushes and 7 others for toothpaste - you can keep the toothbrush Opps together and the toothpaste Opps in another campaign.

Thirdly, you can track the buzz of your Opps.  You can enter up to 3 terms in this section to see how many people in the blogosphere are using those terms.  I would suggest using terms that are very relevant to your Opp to see how many people in the blogosphere are using that term.

Lastly, you can pick how you would like your Opp created.  You can opt to use a 'Quick Opp' configuration - this is where the system will set up your Opp for you based on Marketplace standards.  Or you can opt to control ever aspect of your campaign by selecting 'Advanced'.  This would give you complete control over all of the Opp creation.

Ok, Step 1 is now completed!  Be sure to click on 'Save and Continue' on the bottom right hand side of the screen to get to Step 2.

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Step 2: Your Opportunity
This is where the majority of the information to the bloggers is going to go - it's very similar to Opp creation in PayPerPost.  Let's go step by step to simplify this...
1.) Title of Your Opportunity - this is the title the Bloggers will see.  It is the title that will show up in the Marketplace.  Please realize this is NOT the same as the title from Step 1, which was the title that would only be seen in your account!!

2.) Opportunity Short Description - Pretty self-explanatory... I would suggest using something fun to catch the bloggers attention in the Opp title and short description - remember those 2 fields will be what is displayed on the Opportunity list so you want to put something there that will catch the Blogger's attention and make them want to take your Opp.

3.) General Requirements - Minimum words:  You can choose anywhere from 50 to 500 words.

4.) Opportunity Type - you can choose 1 of the 3 different types of Opportunities:
Standard: General Text Opp
Press Release Opp:  You would include a Press Release for the bloggers to copy and paste directly into their post for this type of Opp.
Video Opp:  Bloggers would be required to create a user generated video based upon your requirements in the Description.

5.) Multimedia Assets - You can upload an image that you require the bloggers to insert in their posts.  The files must be JPEG, PNG, or TIFF files and cannot be larger than 2MB.

6.) Opportunity Full Description - This should be the EXACT instructions of what you want the Bloggers to do in their posts.  Laying out exactly what the bloggers are to do will help you get what you want out of their posts (remember, bullet points are always helpful!)

7.) Informational links - these links are simply for the Bloggers to do more research!  They are NOT required in their posts!  (These are optional and do not have to be included in the Opp.)

8.) Third Party Ad Tag -  Now these tend to confuse Advertisers ALL the time.  You are to insert a bit of code in this box that the bloggers are to copy EXACTLY as you put it in and paste in their posts.  This can be a tracking image, video, additional link - whatever!  Just be sure it's code, not keywords or additional sentences.

Whew, now that was a ton of information right there - do you want to go on to the next step?  We can call a time-out and get some water if you need it?  No?  You're okay?  Alright we'll move on to Step 3 now...

Step 3: Targeting
Here is where you would choose the Blogs/Bloggers that are eligible for the Opp.  You can go to part 1 and choose from ALL the eligible blogs in SocialSpark.  If you choose the box 'All Verified Blogs' this would open your Opp up to EVERYONE in SocialSpark.  If you want to have a little more segmentation you would check the box 'Custom'.  You can then go through and choose from all the options below the 'Custom' box.  You can pick as many or as few as you want.  Please realize that this segmentation is the top 20% of Bloggers in SocialSpark.  What I mean by this is, if you choose 'Top RealRank' you would be choosing the Top 20% in our system.  The best thing about this is, SocialSpark will ONLY offer the Opp to those in the Top 20% based upon highest RealRank.

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You can also go to number 2 and assign the Opp to one of your Street Teams (Street Teams are Bloggers that you have gone ahead and added that you would like to open your Opp to).  Or you can go to number 3 and choose one of your Blog Rolls (Blog Rolls are specific Blogs that you would like to open your Opp up to). 

- Here's a good tip: If you want to create an Opp JUST for your Street Team or Blog Roll you would click on 'Custom' under number one and then deselect all the other boxes below custom - you would then choose the Street Team/Blog Roll you would like to open the Opp to. 

Finally, under number 4 you can choose what language you would like the Opp to be open to - In SocialSpark we allow both Spanish Advertisers and Bloggers; I know, how exciting!!!!

In Step 3 you can choose any of the segmentation you would like and there is a pie chart on the right hand side of the screen that will tell you how much of the SocialSpark blogging community you are opening up the Opp to.  The green would be the percentage eligible for the Opp while the red is the percentage that is not eligible.  This will change depending on what segmentation you select to give you a better idea of what percentage of the Bloggers you are going to be targeting for this specific Opp.

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I don't know about you, but I'm tired after this post.  I think this will be a good place to leave off for now.  Meet me back here tomorrow and I will go ahead and continue with the rest of the information about Sponsored Post Opp Creation.... until then have a great day!

DYNAMIC PRICING

SOCIAL SPARK IS LIVE!!!

The first thing I want to say is how proud I am to be working for a company that is on the cutting edge of social media marketing. We have come a long way even in the short time that I have been here. And now the questions about our new product are starting to pour in.

The new Dynamic Pricing has really caused a lot of questions. How does it work? Why does it work that way? Is this better for the advertisers or the bloggers? Well, I will do my best to address all of these issues here. I do have a finance degree so, as Crystal says, that should come in handy!

supply_demand How Does It Work?
It's simple supply and demand really. If there is more demand than there is supply, the price will change until there is equilibrium. If an Opp seems undesirable because it is offered at a lower price, no Postie will take the Opp. After a certain period of time, the price offered for the Opp will increase until someone takes the Opp. If a bunch of people rush to take the Opp (demand), then the price offered will drop back down. Advertisers choose the range they want to pay for each Opportunity.

Why Does It Work This Way?
We often had Opps that never filled in PayPerPost because they were offering a lower price for harder requirements (high word count, embedded pics, multiple links, etc). Advertisers simply did not know what to offer for certain kinds of Opps. We have added the dynamic pricing feature so that the advertisers will be able to offer a price range for every Opp. Therefore, the dynamic pricing system takes the guesswork out of pricing an Opp. Now, you simply offer a range.

Is This Better for the Advertisers or the Bloggers?
The answer to this question is .... BOTH. IT IS MORE BENEFICIAL TO THE ADVERTISERS AND THE BLOGGERS!!! Advertisers no longer have to worry about overpricing or underpricing an Opp. If it is over-priced, the price will drop to decrease demand. And if it is under-priced, the price will rise to increase demand. Bloggers now can decide if that 300 word Opp with four links and a pic is worth $5.50 to them. Or if it is worth waiting to see if the price will go up. Either way, the Blogger gets paid whatever they reserve the Opp for (as described in <a href="http://community.izea.com/blog/2008/04/dynamic-pricing.html#comments">Carri's Post</a>)

Just Remember: SocialSpark relies on Supply and Demand. If you have any questions about how this works, please send in a ticket by clicking on the 'Help' tab at the top right of your SocialSpark account.

Customer Support in SocialSpark

The word is out!  SocialSpark is live!!  We are all very excited to introduce you to SocialSpark, and help you along the way as you become familiar with the site!  There are several ways to find information throughout the site, so let's be sure you know them all. 

To start, you will most certainly find more information and more detail by logging in.  Go ahead and create an account if you haven't.  Once you have logged in and started moving around the site, you'll notice question marks (?) in several places, for example here:

Q1_3

and here:

Q2_5

Click on them!!  These will show you more information, and are located in places where we felt more explanation would be useful.


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Next up, there's lots of information under the 'Help' drop down in the upper right of any SocialSpark page.  You can quickly access the current most common questions from Bloggers and Advertisers via the FAQ's.  You'll find even more information by clicking on the word 'Help' itself.  This will take you to our Customer Support page, where you can look up SocialSpark Blogger Information, SocialSpark Advertiser Information, or even access our Glossary for help with terms unique to Social Spark. 

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While you're still on that Customer Support page, you can reach the Customer Love Team with any questions or concerns that were not yet answered in the information you reviewed.  Simply click on the Submit a Ticket option.

If you are moving through the SocialSpark site, and know you want to go directly to submitting a ticket to Customer Love, choose 'Submit a Help Ticket' from the Help drop down.

Have any suggestions of items to add to the Customer Support page?  Feel free to mention that in a ticket to Customer Love, or choose 'Submit Feedback' on the Customer Support page.

You will also soon have the ability to watch brief videos to help you through the site.  We have a couple set for release this week!  You'll find them on SocialSpark along the right side of the pages in your account.  Watch for this:

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Don't forget to check out the Boards for current customer discussions and useful tips from your fellow Advertisers and Bloggers.  Finally, watch here for additional Blog posts this week with more information on using SocialSpark.  Enjoy the site!!

Tips & Tricks for Creating an Opportunity

Sometimes creating an Opportunity ("Opp") in the PayPerPost Marketplace can be a daunting task. And yes, this is a basic function but one that will certainly determine the outcome of your campaign. So we've decided to put together a few tips and tricks to creating a successful Opp. Hopefully it will either be 1) beneficial new information for you, or 2) a great refresher for those Advertisers who have been with us for a while.

1. What exactly are you looking for? Ask yourself this question each time you're creating an Opp in the Marketplace. "Do I want buzz about my new site?" "Do I want bloggers to review a product?" "Do I want to consider product sampling via PostiePacks?" Having a predetermined, specific goal will allow you to clearly relay that information to the bloggers so you, in turn, will get the types of posts you are looking for.

In Section 1 of the Opp Creation page you will go through and give the main details of the Opp. Most of the requirements are self-explanatory but there are a few areas that consistently hang-up Advertisers:

PayPerPost Opportunity Overview - Step I

- Post type: There are 3 options: buzz, opinion and review. They are pretty intuitive -- if you want bloggers to review a product then choose review; if you want buzz about a new aspect of your site choose buzz; and if you want an honest opinion about a new clothing line then choose opinion.
- Tone: This is used in conjunction with post type. You can choose positive, negative or neutral. One very important thing to note: if you choose to have the blogger give their Opinions you MUST choose neutral. For true Opinions, Neutral is the appropriate tone. If the Positive tone is more important, you may choose Buzz or Review type posts.

2. The Opp Description. This is where you will describe what you want the bloggers to write about. There are a few key things to remember:
- Don't give the bloggers too much information. If you do they'll likely not visit your website and familiarize themselves with it. This is extremely important, particularly when you're looking for them to give their opinion.
- Be clear as to what you want, but do not tell the bloggers exactly what they should write. You want to give guidelines but not stifle their creativity. After all, it's their unique voice that you're looking for....
- Bullet points are always helpful. It gets your message across quickly, clearly and easy.

3. The next very important area in creating an Opp is Section 3, 'Targeting and Pricing.' Keep in mind the pricing for an Opp often correlates with the quality of the posts you get. For example, a $5.00 for a post with 5 links, an image and 300 words is not necessarily the most attractive opportunity. The more time-consuming and creative an Opp, the higher the payout should be.

PayPerPost Opportunity Overview - Step III

4. CATEGORIES! Categories can often be an issue for advertisers and bloggers alike. (The first "Tip of the Week" feature was on the importance of bloggers selecting the appropriate categories for their blogs.) Remember, the categories are what the bloggers choose for their blogs because it is what they write about. For example, from a blogger's perspective, if I have a blog about cooking I would choose the category 'Cooking/Cuisine.' When creating an Opp we normally select at least 3-5 categories to get the niche that is most relevant to what I write about. If you don't care as much about what categories the blogs will be on you can keep all categories selected and get a little bit of all the blogs from our Marketplace.

5. Linking. Before making your Opportunity live make sure and verify your URL is correct and your anchor text is spelled correctly. This ensures the Advertisers are giving the bloggers exactly what they want and the bloggers are, in turn, putting what the Advertiser wants in their posts. After all, as an Advertiser you don't want an Opp with a dead link out in the Marketplace, or a post that has anchor text saying 'dogs' and linking to www.cats.com!

PayPerPost Press Release OpportunityInterested in a Press Release Opportunity?

1. Please note when creating (or taking) a Press Release Opp, the Press Release that is included in the Opp MUST BE copied and pasted directly from the Opp into the blog post! So Advertisers, please realize, the Press Release should be an acceptable length. If the Press Release is 3 pages long it will likely not be approved because we cannot require the blogger to copy and paste that much material into their individual posts.
2. The Press Release must be an ACTUAL Press Release. Information about the Opp or what requirements the bloggers have should go in the Description, not the Press Release area.
3. This one is for the bloggers -- the minimum word requirement DOES NOT include the Press Release. For example, if the word requirement is 300 words and the Press Release is 200 that DOES NOT mean you only have to write 100 additional words of original content. You must still write 300 words of original content IN ADDITION to the Press Release.

If you have any questions about creating an Opp, feel free to use our new live chat feature. You can also visit the FAQs page for additional information. The "Advertiser Den" section of the IZEA message boards is also an extremely valuable resource for Advertisers. In fact, the first discussion thread in this section is titled "Writing an Appealing Opportunity for Bloggers."

** Special thanks to Junior Account Manager Crystal for concepting this post. **

Live Chat

We have rolled out a new feature to our Customer Support page, just for the advertisers.  This feature is Live Chat.  If you have questions regarding your account, setting up your opp, or anything else, feel free to reach out to our Account Management Team. 

You can access Live Chat by entering your account, and clicking on the Customer Support link at the top of the page:

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This will take you to the Support Center.  Once here, click the Live Chat link:

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You will then be taken to the following screen, where you will click the Connect to Operator button:

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After you connect to the operator, you will be taken to your chat screen:

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Now you can start chatting with our Account Managers.

Our standard Live Chat hours are Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

We look forward to hearing from you.

DYMO... We have YOU!

Right now we're running an Opportunity in our Marketplace for Dymo printing solutions.  They're the manufacturer of postage, label, and embossing machines.  Coincidentally we (IZEA) have their postage machine and use it daily.  We have the convenience of not having to worry about keeping stamps around the office, even though our local post office is only a block away.  Most people, unfortunately, don't that that privilege.  So, not only can you purchase a postage machine from them, but they also sell label makers.  If you're anything like me (highly organized, borderline obsessive-compulsive) at home, you can even label your household items to keep them organized.  My first thought would be using their label maker for a work shop in a garage.  Or, if you're into crafts you could label all your little accessories.  And, for those of you who have a home office this product would definitely come in handy.  Of course, all of this is coming from a highly organized individual.  If you chose to leave your garage and office space a mess, it's your privilege! ; )

Here's a link to their site, if you're interested in organizing your life.

For your viewing pleasure here's a couple of pictures of Veronique proudly displaying our DYMO LabelWriter Twin Turbo.  Yes, we're up on the times!

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