Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: June 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Earning Additional Income in Advertising and Marketing

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In the past year or so, the job market has changed significantly for many people. A number of my colleagues worked in advertising or marketing and were the first ones to "go" when the economy bottomed out. The rug being pulled out from under, left many looking for alternative sources of income or rethinking their careers altogether.

Many started their own businesses or took on smaller freelance projects as the larger agencies continue with layoffs. Other friends found alternate ways to draw income: by teaching classes or seminars, writing blogs and/or generating ad revenue through affiliate marketing or Google Adsense, we work on trade and continually look for new ways to broaden our network.

Teaching Classes or Guest Speaking

Many of my colleagues have taught night classes at various Universities and Colleges. Designers teach graphic design classes, they work with seniors majoring in Graphic Design and mentor them on how to turn their education into a career. Communications professionals teach classes on Public Relations, Investor Relations and current communications trends like Blogging and the influence of Social Media in the corporate world.

Guest Speaking has also become a great way for various experts to earn additional income. Partly because of the changing structure of the American workforce, many professionals feel the necessity to grow their professional networks. Professionals have joined multiple professional organizations and attend numerous networking events. These professional organizations often need "experts" to speak on various subject matters.

Neither teaching a night class, nor guest speaking, can draw in a substantial income, however, both are great ways to draw in supplemental income while doing something meaningful. Additionally, it is a great way to grow your own personal network and position yourself as an "expert" in a particular field.


Blogging is something I started for several reasons. I wanted my voice to be heard, I love to write and I needed a platform for self education. Having a place to speak my mind, to share my stories told and my experiences is extremely fulfilling for me on a personal level. Writing has always been a passion of mine, though I never believed I was any good at it, I have been writing creatively for the bulk of my adolescence and adulthood.

Self education, when I saw the blogging generation taking over, I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to know what the big deal was and what people were talking about. I also wanted to figure out how to drive business to a website, how to build links and what all this fuss about Affiliate Marketing was about.

Google Adsense and Affiliate Marketing

Many bloggers and site owners know all about Google Adsense. Sites of any size can earn money by running targeted ads on their web pages. I like to keep my blog very clean looking, I am motivated more by aesthetics, therefore, I only have my Google ads on the top of my page and not throughout the entire blog.

Affiliate Marketing is slightly more involved. There are various networks that site owners must register with such as Commission Junction and Linkshare (click here for free LinkShare membership)The process can be slightly more difficult but they do have tutorials. Another hindrance could be that some Advertisers require that Affiliates or publishers have a certain amount of traffic on their site before they allow their ads to be run.

Affiliate ads are run in various ways, traditional ads like you see on the right. Professional ads, sometimes they're static and sometimes not, designed by the advertisers and offered to publishers for use on their approved site(s). When you grab the ad, a code is generated for you and if your ad is clicked on, you could get paid. Some advertisers pay a commission for sales and others pay for lead generation this varies from advertiser to advertiser.

Aside from visual ads, there are other ways to insert affiliate advertisers messaging or ads – such as text links. This particular link takes you to an advertisers site - in this case, a Forex trading tutorial website. The publisher (that would be me) is paid for conversions. If you were to click on the text link and then purchased the product, that would be a conversion. Another way advertisers can pay is publishers is through lead generation. If you clicked on an ad, you would be redirected to the advertiser's site. And should you fill out what they asked of you on that site, as the publisher, I would then be paid an amount set by the advertiser.

Work on Trade

This may be the most effective and least lucrative way to earn income – well, mostly because you're not earning any money but you're trading. The basic meaning of the word "trade". I work with various clients on trade. I assist them with their marketing efforts, help them write a marketing plan, or brainstorm promotional ideas for them and in exchange I receive product or services. Currently, I am working with a hairdresser Todd Fischer at Free Nation of Beauty. I also work with a local yogurt company, Better Whey on some of their social media marketing and their event marketing.

Very few people get rich on what I outline and describe to you above, but in a down economy, every last bit helps - at least in my humble opinion. And if you get very good at one or the other, you may even have a nice career shift in the future.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009


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This past weekend I went out with a friend, a male friend, and a small group of his co-workers. I met them at a hot, new, trendy bar that is frequented by a younger, (IMO) unsophisticated crowd. We sat on their rooftop lounge and indulged in "bottle service" drinking vodka poured by scantily clad waitresses who flirted with the multiple men whose company I shared.

My friend, we shall call him Manuel for the purpose of this blog entry, took a liking to the hot blond with giant fake boobs sitting at our table. She was from the south side of Chicago, likely a city-worker's daughter, lived at home with her parents and did not have a job. Manuel was smitten, he looked into his blond lovely's eyes longingly and did his best not to drool on himself.

As Manuel moved in closer to his buxom babe, he busted out the ace-in-the-hole, his business card. He works in finance and his title is "President" not too difficult for even the dumbest of dummies to figure out that you're "kind of a big deal" if your title is "President". Manuel's company is a limited liability corporation, this information will be useful to you when reading the next paragraph.

I sat opposite Manuel as his conversation continued. I couldn't quite make out what they were talking about until I heard the shriek that made my night, my whole weekend perhaps. Moments after Manuel handed his business card to Tits Magee, she looked at the card, absorbed the type and then exclaimed with the greatest furor "Oh my god! You have an LLC? I LOVE LLC's".

No one else heard this explicit display of intelligence but me and Manuel. I then listened while he explained to her that it stood for Limited Liability Corporation. I turned to Manuel's friend and notified him that we were in the presence of intellectual greatness - then we laughed and laughed. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good weekend and now I am left with yet another awesome story to share.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Suszette McKay Memorial Fundraiser

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The Girls
Originally uploaded by leyla.a
My do I have a pretty group of friends!

This past weekend was the annual Suszette McKay Fundraiser. The organization raises money for Pulmonary Fibrosis. It was hosted in Chicago at the Linda Warren Gallery and I had a great time! I walked away with a brand new Wii (courtesy of my friend El Diable Guapo).

I serve on the board of this small, charitable foundation and, though I am not sure how much we raised so far this year, I believe it was a record year. Our silent auction killed.

If you'd like to learn more about the foundation and possibly donate, feel free to click on this link Suszette McKay Foundation

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Engaging My Inner-Turk

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My parents emmigrated to the United States in the late 60s, several years later, I was born. This makes me a first generation American, or, a Turkish-American, or Amerikan-Turk, as the Turks would say. As a child, though I was proud of my heritage, I had trouble identifying with the Turkish American community. I didn't find their traditions comfortable, my parents struggled to get me to attend Turkish School, I didn't have many Turkish friends and I almost always preferred my "American" friends.

As I dis-engaged from the parental stronghold, I moved further and further away from my "Turkish roots". For me, it just seemed unnatural, I had more in common with non-Turks. My father, however, maintained a very active role in the Turkish-American community, he owned a business that catered to the Turkish American community across the United States.

In recent years, I have noticed many other first generation or second generation Americans who reach out to their communities with marketing and business in mind. I recently got in touch with a friend from High School who operates Portokalada, a social networking site for the Greek community worldwide.

As I try to build my own marketing business, I do my best to reach out to every business and social network with which I have an affiliation. Only recently have I started to "Engage My Inner-Turk" and reach out to the Turkish American community I shied away from in my past. Throughout the process of engaging my Inner-Turk, I came across a multitude of web groups, newsgroups, blogs and other online networks where Turkish Americans congregate and meet online.

I have several Facebook Pages that I belong to including "Chicago Turks." A Facebook Fan Page for a client as well as a Facebook Group called The Leyla Group. Many of my new-found Turkish friends reach out to me within these networks.

I also found a whole network of blogs written by Turkish people about their Turkish experiences. I have started to reach out to business owners as well as the Chicago Turkish American Chamber of Commerce. Different avenues in which to grow my own marketing business.

Though I may still not have a strong realtionship with the Turkish American community, I feel that I have a stronger relationship with the Turkish American Business Community.

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Busy Week

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This week has been a little busy and I haven't had much time to post anything. Let's take a look at a week in review...

- I met with a couple restaurants last week to talk about selling their private dining space. So, if you're going to be in the Chicagoland area and you need private dining or a cocktail reception for 20 to 500 guests... shoot me an email.

- I finished putting together the group travel that I've been trying to plan for the past few months. It is an 11 day, 12 night trip to Turkey. Five star resorts including Mardan Palace and beautiful beaches!

- I went to a Cheeky Chicago event in the garden at Il Mullino

- I had a garage sale in the suburbs and made about $60.00 because the weather was so terrible.

- And yesterday, I finally got my hair done at Free Nation of Beauty with my hairdresser Todd. Todd is running some great promotions right now like unlimited blow outs for a month and discounts for first time clients!

- I also met The Local Tourist out for an event at The Drawing Room and enjoyed some lovely Svedka cocktails.

So that is it. I've had a busy, yet mostly uneventful, week. Today I am heading to the office to promote this group trip to Turkey and to plan a "budget" version!

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