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Email List Building Using Opt-In Form

Email List Building Using Opt-In Form

 

The most basic reason to collect email addresses and build an email list is to get an audience, maximize revenue and improve the customer base. By building your email list you are building your new marketing channel. The process takes time, but it is worth an effort.

As a list is built over time, as time passes the list will grow bigger and bigger. The size of the list is important because the larger the list the more chance you have to generate more revenue. But the quality of your leads is also important. Maybe even more important than quantity of names on it, because quality leads are those who buy your products or services and bring profit to you.

The email list should grow over time as your business grows. That way you have the opportunity to build high-quality, highly responsive email list. That list will contain a high percentage of leads that are interested in interacting with you.

If you buy email list (which is not a good thing to do) you will have a large amount of email addresses and quite a few leads. So, the campaign you do will most likely just damage your reputation.

The first place where you will collect email subscribers interested in what you doing is, naturally, your website/blog. If people are visiting your website, they are obviously interested to interact with you. So, every visitor to your website is potential email subscriber and potential quality lead.

 

Opt-In Form

Every page on your website should contain an opt-in form to allow visitors to sign-up and join your email list. Keep your opt-in form above the fold line (the line below which visitor can’t see the content unless uses a scroll).

While adding opt-in form to your pages, decide which option is more suitable for your goals – single opt-in form option or double opt-in form option. In single opt-in form option subscriber doesn’t need to confirm his or her subscription. The email address is instantly added to email list. With double opt-in form option subscriber does have to confirm that email address belong to him or her and that they willingly join your email list. This is done through confirmation email. Please visit “Squeeze Page and Split Testing” for more information.

There are advantages and disadvantages of both opt-in form options. Either option you chose to use, don’t forget to inform your subscribers about your privacy policy and your commitment to keep their information confidential. You can do it with opt-in form or in the confirmation email.

From opt-in form subscribers’ data goes to auto responder where your list is formed and where your email campaign is set on autopilot. The auto responder is software provided to you by mailing service companies. Please visit Resource Page for auto responder platforms I use.

When subscribers join your email list and confirm, they will start receiving emails on a regular basis (as set in your campaign). Some subscribers will not expect that, so to avoid subscribers’ frustrations provide them with information about:

a) How many emails you will send, and
b) How often you will send emails to them.

Providing that, you will set subscribers’ expectations. The frequency of sending is determined by your campaign strategy.

 

Make Your 'Opt-In Form' List Building Efforts Worthwhile

Here I am going to talk about 3 of the most powerful methods to build your organic email list with Opt-In Form. Those 3 methods doesn't cost almost nothing to produce, but they are highly targeted and they increase your credibility. So, let’s move on to what these 3 methods are and how you will benefit from them in your email list building efforts.

 

#1 Write a 'Special Report(s)'

Special reports are a great lead magnet for people to sign up to your email list through opt-in form. When you create a special report go into depth about the topic that your audience is most interested in, or go into depth about the products/services’ features that you sell and explain all the benefits to users. Even if you are affiliated to some producer or merchant, use this method for list building.

Besides list building, special reports will build trust among audience and increase your reputation as an expert or knowledgeable person in your market niche.

Give special reports for free when people sign up through opt-in form. You can also make your special reports ‘brandable’ so that people who get your free report can forward it to others. This way you widen your audience with no effort.

When you make your special report ‘brandable’ your links and contact information will always be inside special report, so, as your report is being passed around the internet, it will always lead people back to your website/blog where they could sign-up on your opt-in form, read more about your products and/or services, or even make purchases.

 

#2 Offer Free E-book

Offering a free e-book for sign-up through opt-in form is another list building method, and brings the same benefits as a special report. The difference is that e-books are larger than special reports and they can include many products and/or services.

In e-book, besides targeting many products and/or services, you can include references page to guide people –

- To useful content that will help them understand and solve their problems,
- To your other affiliate products and/or services,
- To free software and tools that will help them,
- To other useful resources for your market niche.

Reference page is recommended to be placed at the end of e-book.

If you have some history in writing posts, you can assemble your e-book using those posts that are related to one topic. Just remember, when you are putting together e-book, make sure it contains quality information inside.

 

#3 Offer Email Courses

You can also offer email courses to people that sign-up through opt-in form. Just pick up one topic that interest your audience the most and write course. Divide it into sections or chapters, each of which will fit one email. Place the email on auto-responder, assign the sequence of sending and you are done.

Marketers that use this method differ in terms of number of emails per course and sequence of sending them. They divide the course into 7 to 30 emails, and send them from every day to one in every 3 days. Some are sending one email per week.

Email courses are proven to be effective method of list building. Besides, they build trust and increase reputation.

 

References

For more information on email list building and email list maintenance, you can visit “Email List Building” and “Email List Maintenance Methods” guides.

For more information on e-books, please visit:

 

 

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Why Email List Segmentation Is Important

Why Email List Segmentation Is Important

 

Intro

Email list segmentation is important. Most marketers understand the importance of email marketing campaigns in their overall marketing strategy and practices, but not all of them place enough attention to list segmentation. Segmented lists will improve communication with your audience, and, of course, improve your email marketing campaign.

Therefore, it is really important to develop a mechanism that will make
a distinction between subscribers according to their interests, and then tailor the content of emails to satisfy needs of each segment individually. Email communications should be segmented in order to have successful email marketing campaigns.

Each type of customer has different interests, problems and needs, so they need to be treated differently. Even if you sell one product or service, same email campaign can't fit each customer type. Instead of sending the same message to all customer types, you better send targeted messages to each type that address their interests, problems and needs. That is much more effective. That’s why list segmentation is important.

If you already didn’t determined difference in the interest of your subscribers, now is a good time to do it. Once you figure out the method to use to differentiate your subscribers by interest, problems and needs they have, the process of segmentation will become an easier task.

I don’t know how big your subscribers’ database is, but when you identify just a few general groups, you made a good start in segmentation. Those few general groups may later be split into smaller, more targeted groups, but leave that for later, after you make some progress with general groups. As further you go with segmentation, your email campaigns will become more effective.

 

Why Email List Segmentation Is Important - Email List Segmentation Will Improve Your ReputationEmail List Segmentation Will Improve Your Reputation

As you go on reading this post and thinking about benefits of list segmentation and how segmentation is important, you realize that targeted emails sent to your segmented audience will engage them more. They will engage them more because the audience will get the exact information they need. As you can see, all the signs indicate that segmented email is the much better way to go then general email.

If you are starting with segmentation now, it will not happen on your first campaign, but after some time, your audience will realize that you are consistent and that every time when they receive an email from you is worth opening and reading, because they will know that you send them information that interest them.

Your open rates and click through rates will increase, you will experience lower unsubscribe rates, and your sales conversion rates will increase too. Besides other benefits, you will establish a reputation, among your audience, as a worthy source of useful information, and they will look forward to receive your next email.

 

Why Email List Segmentation Is Important - What Segmentation Means and How to Do ItWhat Segmentation Means and How to Do It

The main contact list contains all of your subscribers in one place regardless of their interests, intention and the information on their reason to be on your list. So, at the basic level, segmentation means breaking up your contact list into smaller segments according to certain characteristics of the subscriber. These segments can be formed using one or more of those characteristics, such as:

  • Demographics,
  • Organization type,
  • Market niche,
  • Job function,
  • Age,
  • Gender,
  • Education level,
  • Content topic,
  • Content format (e-book, article, video, podcast, etc.),
  • Page views,
  • Lead magnet (e-book, free report, etc. downloaded)
  • Past purchases,
  • Purchase interest,
  • Buying frequency,
  • Stage in the sales cycle,
  • Call-to-action clicks, etc.

The contact data that you have in your contacts database is the information that your subscribers shared with you, either through opt-in form, or through survey. The most important data that you need for segmentation is about their interests, the pages they frequently visited on your website/blog, past downloads they made from your website/blog, habits, buying behavior, and call-to-action clicks, because with that data you know exactly what they are interested in.

Use marketing intelligence based on those data and your segmentation will be effective, and when you start separated email marketing campaigns you maximize the likelihood that your segmented subscribers will get engaged.

If you don’t have enough data to segment your list effectively, offer your subscribers a simple survey. With a survey you can collect vital data needed. Keep the survey simple and prepare a free gift to reward them for filling the survey.

 

Why Email List Segmentation Is Important - Simplified Example Why You Should Do List SegmentationSimplified Example Why You Should Do List Segmentation

Not all subscribers have the same interest, and they are not with the same purchase status. Subscribers who already purchased something from you have to be separated from those who didn’t yet decide to purchase.

This is simplified example why you should do list segmentation, but this method is important for various reasons. Besides, those two mentioned groups do not suppose to receive same content on an email. You can’t send offering email to subscribers who already bought that product.

Let say your email list has 1000 active subscribers. 250 of these subscribers are active buyers while the remaining 750 haven’t yet decided to purchase. List segmentation insures sending one email to those who have purchased and a different email to those who have never purchased.

An email to the 250 subscribers may include sales offer or discounts on similar products. The email to the 750 subscribers may include free coupons that encourage them to make purchases from you.

When developing targeted campaigns, it is necessary to take into account some factors to avoid sending wrong offers or wrong information to people. You have to provide relevant information to each group of subscribers.

So, while customizing your email marketing campaigns, take into consideration –

- Purchase behavior (frequency of buying, previous purchases, purchase cycles, etc.), and
- Demographic data (geographic location, gender, age, level of seniority, etc.)

The more detailed you segment your subscribers, the better response you will have from them. Segment your lists effectively and you will see the impact they will have on your business. This is another example why email list segmentation is important.

 

Why Email List Segmentation Is Important - Segment for More ConversionSegment for More Conversion

It doesn’t matter if you are emailing your subscribers compelling content, you will not get increased open rates as long as they are ignoring your emails. There are many reasons for that, but one reason is more than obvious – they don’t know what is inside the email (means – bad subject lines).

Tailor your subject lines very carefully for each group of subscribers. Your subscribers expect to receive emails that are relevant to their interests.

Email list segmentation will help you to determine which content is wanted by different subscribers. With subject lines done properly, your open rates will increase, therefore, the rate of conversion will increase (purchases will increase).

When incorporating list segmentation in email marketing campaign, it’s useful to develop a list of ideas on how to communicate with different segments. Then, select a smaller group of subscribers and test that group by sending them emails with different ideas from your list. Then observe their response and evaluate performance of each idea. Compare the rate of email opens and click-thoughts, and in your campaign use the idea that performed best.

 

Why Email List Segmentation Is Important - Convert Your Customers into affiliatesConvert Your Customers into Affiliates

Further on the line, the focus should be on converting leads into customers. Once they buy your product or service, work towards converting them to promoters (affiliates) for the purpose of growing your and their businesses.

Satisfied customers will share information about your business to others. This way, more people will get interested in getting information about your products or services. They will connect with your circle of subscribers and will soon join your mailing list.

You see, through email segmentation, you can turn your subscribers into customers, and then customers into affiliates more effectively. You see how segmentation is important?

 

Why Email List Segmentation Is Important - What to Do and What Not to DoWhat to Do and What Not to Do

If your list is not much active and your email open rate is low, don’t get discouraged. Work on segmentation and it will improve.

Some people, even with lists of 500 subscribers, just throw away the whole list and start all over again if their lists don’t work as they expected. This is totally wrong, and you should never do this. You invested your time and effort in that list, so you need to see what’s wrong you are doing and correct it. Besides, those subscribers come voluntarily on your list, so they are interested in what you are doing.

Even, when you have subscribers that didn’t open your email for more than a year, put them in a separate segment and try to engage them by asking what they would like to see in their inbox. If they don’t answer that email, then you might start thinking of removing them from the list.

If you have subscribers that are pretty much engaged, means they open your emails on a regular basis, but never buy, send them interesting content that they can share with their social networks.

Furthermore, separate subscribers with different levels of engagement and adjust the frequency of emails sent, to decrease unsubscribe rates and to increase engagement.

If your subscriber is highly engaged, decrease frequency of sending your emails to them, and if your subscriber is less engaged, increase frequency of sending your emails to them. This is yet another example why email list segmentation is important.

 

Remember

List segmentation is important. The goal of email list segmentation is not to generate leads, it’s to generate customers. Sending relevant content to the right audience is the recipe for online marketing success. It will move your leads through the sales funnel and make new customers.

 

Why Email List Segmentation Is Important - Important NotesImportant Notes

Let’s be clear on something. Email list segmentation is important, but is not an easy task, but when mastered and done properly brings great results. The big number of online marketers is complaining about the fact that they need to improve their email database segmentation process.

When talking about sales and conversion, figuring out what triggers buying impulses of your customers in various stages of the sales cycle is not an easy task. When you are at this stage, you need sophisticated email marketing tools to help you actually do segmentation.

Nowadays, segmentation is one of the first things on to do list among marketers that really do understand the importance of it. Marketers who take advantage of it and do it properly are getting better click-through rates, higher sales conversion rates, better email deliverability, and bigger smile on their faces.

For more information about email list building, please visit “Email List Building” guide, and for more on email list maintenance please visit “Email List Maintenance Methods” guide.

Now you know why email list segmentation is important, so take your time and do it. Please share your experience in segmentation with us below!

 

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4 Things Affiliates Need To Survive Online

4 Things Affiliates Need To Survive Online

 

Affiliate marketing is full of opportunities if you know what you are doing. Every affiliate marketer is trying to find most profitable niches and most wanted products, so that they profit more. What newcomers think is that they have a magic button that will make a fortune for them overnight. Well, magic button doesn’t exist. Nobody, ever got rich overnight, it is more complicated than that. Every marketing practice needs time to master and it requests hard work and dedication.

There are many techniques and methods that work well for online affiliate marketing. In this post I will talk about 4 marketing tips that will help you survive in the affiliate marketing arena, and also will help you to increase sales. Let’s see those 4 marketing tips.

 

4 Things Affiliates Need To Survive Online - WebPages1. Use Separate Web Page for Each Product You Promote

When you are promoting products or services on your website/blog, use separate web pages for each unrelated product or service, with unique promotional content. Don’t put them all together on one web page. Of course, groups of products that go as a pack should be presented on one web page.

It is advisable to include product or service review on that page so that visitors can get an initial understanding on what the product or service can do. Also include testimonials from users (your customers) if you can get them. Try to get their photos and their brief introductory information with testimonials. Don’t forget their permission to post that information on your website/blog.

That page, we can call sales page. Now, let’s talk about page that will lead visitors to the sales page. Create a new web page as a post and write an article that highlights all characteristics and uses of the product or service. Don’t make this article too technical like the review, but make it attractive and compelling and include calls to action.

Make sure that your headline attracts readers and make them read more. The headline should provide information about article content as precise as possible. Never make misleading headlines. When readers realize they been tricked, they will leave the page, and there goes your reputation and chance to make a sale.

 

4 Things Affiliates Need To Survive Online - Free Report2. Offer Free Reports To Your Audience

Create report related to the products and services you are promoting and offer it for free when people want to subscribe to your mailing list. Use these reports as a free gift. A free report will bring you more subscribers than usual. Place free report cover photo in opt-in form, so that people can see it.

Opt-in form should be placed in left or right sidebar before screen fold line, so that simply cannot be missed. Fold line is an imaginary line on the bottom of the screen below which visitor can’t see the content without scrolling. Opt-in form should be on a very visible place, where visitors can see it without scrolling. To see an example, just look at the right sidebar (top) on this website.

The free report is an e-book, so please visit “How to Use E-books for Promotion and Marketing” and “How to Prepare E-Book for Business Promotion” posts for more information.

Don’t forget to create a series of emails that promote your product or service and place them on auto-responder, on autopilot. Use a time sequence of sending as you think appropriate for your audience. Please visit “Squeeze Page and Split Testing” for more about opt-in methods and procedures and auto-responder services.

All about email list building you can find in “Email List Building” guide.

 

4 Things Affiliates Need To Survive Online - Newsletter3. Create Newsletter for Your Audience

If you would like to increase the amount of traffic that your website gets, you should think about introducing a newsletter to your audience. They are a great way to increase website traffic. The main use of a newsletter is to update and inform customers and prospects about news in their market segment (niche) of interest, tips, and new developments in your business. It is a medium of regular communication with your audience.

Start newsletter, on weekly or bi-weekly basis and stay in touch with your audience. Inform them about what's new in their field of interest and what's new in your business.

As stated, the newsletter is an important tool to maintain contact with your audience. Once your visitor leaves your sales page or article page related to that sales page, he or she, most likely, will never return to the same page. So, newsletter with useful information, sent to them at certain intervals, will remind them on the product or service.

Don’t make the newsletter look like sales page. You can include call to action, but be moderate. Please visit “Affiliate Marketing Strategies” guide, “Importance of Newsletter” and “7 Things to Include in Newsletter” articles.

In “Email List Maintenance Methods” guide – section "Main Methods of Email List Maintenance" – I talked about newsletter and e-zine (electronic magazine).

 

4 Things Affiliates Need To Survive Online - Targeted Traffic4. Get Targeted Traffic

To succeed in sales you need visitors that are interested in products and services that you promote. So, you need targeted traffic, not just any traffic. Many new affiliate marketers confuse targeted (quality) traffic with non targeted traffic, and after while they ask themselves why they don’t have any sale.

The reason is that people who visited their website are not interested in the products or services that they promote. They were collecting traffic on the wrong places.

You need to look for traffic in places where your targeted audience gathers. Whatever technique you use to advertise and promote, go to forums, social network groups, portals and online communities what your targeted audience visit and advertise and promote there. Then you will get a chance to collect quality traffic and achieve sales.

 

4 Things Affiliates Need To Survive Online - SummarySummary

The methods mentioned in this post are not difficult to achieve. All you need is some time for research, planning your activities and producing the content and promotion material.

Use these methods in your affiliate marketing and you will survive in the arena. All depends on your abilities, patience, determination and the quality of your products and/or services. With all those factors put in place, you can make yourself good source of income.

For more information on affiliate marketing, you can visit “Affiliate Marketing Strategies” guide.

 

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7 Most Common Affiliate Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

7 Most Common Affiliate Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

 

Brief Introduction

One of the most effective ways of earning money online is affiliate marketing, especially if you don’t have your own product. Affiliate programs are relatively easy to join, and with them, everybody has a chance to make a profit over the Internet, so more and more people are entering into this arena. But, you should be aware of affiliate mistakes.

In this post we will talk about common mistakes that affiliates make, but first, just let me make a little introduction in affiliate marketing and its programs for beginners. I will be brief about it here, because you can read about it in detail in the guide “Affiliate Marketing Strategies“. If you are experienced affiliate, please skip this introduction paragraph.

Affiliate marketing is the form of marketing where you refer potential buyers (prospects) to the product or service that belongs to somebody else and when that ‘potential buyer’ or company buys the product or service, you get a commission on sales based on prior arrangement with the producer or merchant of the product or service for your recommendation.

Please make a distinction between the producer’s own, in house affiliate program, and affiliate program network (platform) that gathers producers and connect them with affiliates. I prefer the second option for many reasons which I explained in the guide “Affiliate Marketing Strategies“.

Like many other online opportunities, affiliate marketing has its own traps and the way things are done, and affiliate programs differ in their nature. So, there is a lot of space to make mistakes which can cost you enthusiasm, if you are a beginner, or can cost you some profit if you are already active with this marketing method. Either way, it is wise to acknowledge common mistakes that are made and avoid them. Let's examine those most common mistakes.

 

Affiliate Mistakes – No. 1 - Choosing the wrong affiliate program

Affiliate programs are programs/platforms that create partnerships between business owners (producers and service providers) and online entrepreneurs that promote their products and services. This partnership helps business owners to increase their sales, and it also helps online entrepreneurs to generate extra income.

Affiliate programs are a good way to make money online if you don’t have your own product, so you promote and sell other peoples’ products for commission over the internet, no matter if those products are physical or digital. The decision is on you which program you want to join and which kind of products/services you want to promote. This should be related to your area of expertise.

The question is - what is the right affiliate program for you? You shouldn’t rush and pick up first program you stumble on. Take your time and do some research. Carefully choose affiliate program you want to join. Not all affiliate programs have good reputation and quality products on offer. Furthermore, not all affiliate programs are legitimate.

In the process of evaluation, please consider following -

- Look for experiences of people that use that affiliate program
- Check out websites that are known for scam seeking and reporting, and check there if certain affiliate program is listed and why
- Read all of the rules, terms, restrictions, and guidelines associated with that affiliate program before signing up
- Consider the commission they give you for sale before signing up

There are scammers who are using affiliate programs as fronts for their scams. You need to be sure that you join legitimate, well-known affiliate program. You need to protect yourself. Read more in “Affiliate Marketing Strategies“ guide, section "Be Aware of Scams". I use the ShareAsale affiliate program for a long time now. I recommend this company.

 

Affiliate Mistakes – No. 2 - Choosing the wrong product

Many people are eager to start earning with affiliate marketing, and they don’t do much of the research on which product will fit them best to promote, so they end up choosing the wrong product. They choose the product that affiliate platform says is the best without considering their niche market, their audience, and themselves. The product they choose might be in demand, but not appealing to their audience.

Take some time and do some research. Your starting point should be how you feel about the product. Choose a product in which you are truly interested in, a product that appeals to you. Then do some research on the popularity of that product and how the product will appeal to your audience.

Of course, product or service you are willing to promote should be directly related to your niche, and people will have interest to look at your offers. That’s the reason why your audience is visiting your website/blog. On the other hand, promoting a product that you are passionate about and knowledgeable is easier than promoting one that you don’t know much about, just for the sake of the profit.

To have success in affiliate marketing, you need to choose the right products for your website/blog and to promote them right way. Many new affiliate marketers fail to earn money from affiliate marketing because they choose the wrong products to promote.

Besides, the product you choose to promote will reflect on your business and your reputation as an online marketer. This is why it is very important that you take the time and thoroughly examine, at least, few affiliate products first. When you find one that you can stand behind, promote that product.

For more, in detail, information on product selection, please visit “Choose the Best Affiliate Product for Your Website/Blog” section of “Affiliate Marketing Strategies“ guide.

 

Affiliate Mistakes – No. 3 - Joining too many affiliate programs.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, affiliate programs are relatively easy to join. So, many people get tempted to join multiple programs thinking that they will multiply earnings. Well, it is nothing wrong to be part of many affiliate programs, but that is not advisable for beginners.

Joining multiple programs will prevent you from fully concentrating on each one of them. Your attempts to promote each of them equally and with the same level of quality will fail. Here is why. The maximum potential that you can achieve with each of those affiliate programs will not be realized and your potential income will be crippled.

When you are starting with affiliate marketing, the best thing to do is to join just one program and put your best efforts in product analysis and presentation. Get to know the product well and promote it enthusiastically. This is the only way that you do quality promotion and get good results.

When the time comes that you see reasonable profit coming from your promotions, then might be a good time to join another affiliate program, or move to another product or service. There is no need to rush things, especially not with affiliate marketing. Do it carefully, but surely, step by step.

 

Affiliate Mistakes – No. 4 - Not Being Familiar with the Product or Service

The main task of an affiliate is to promote a product and/or service to prospects in order to make a sale. To achieve this effectively, you need to be able to present the product thoroughly to convince prospects to buy it. So, it is obvious that you need to be familiar with the product. Don’t promote a product that you don’t know, or even worse, a product or service that you don’t like.

If you are not able to purchase the product, then do research. Browse the Internet and collect all the information and users’ comments (very important). Start with original producer of the product.

It matters a lot which product or service you choose to promote and on what medium you are doing promotion. I promote some hosting companies, because I use their services. I also promote keyword research software, auto-responder providers, etc. because I use their software or services.

I encourage you to write reviews and guidelines on how to use a product or service, so that people have all the necessary information they need to make a decision to buy it or not. When you are in this process of choosing and promoting product(s), think first about benefits to your audience. Never recommend products that you, personally, are not satisfied or familiar with, no matter how high affiliate commission is. Think about your reputation and credibility.

For more information, please visit “The Best Tip for Affiliate Marketing” post.

 

Affiliate Mistakes – No. 5 - Not Cloaking Your Affiliate Links

The affiliate link is a URL that affiliates get from the producer or merchant, which links from whatever promotional medium affiliate uses to merchant/producer’s sales page. That link is unique for each individual affiliate and is used to point people to the producer’s web page.

There are many reasons to cloak your affiliate links. The reasons are –

1) They look more friendly
2) They prevent affiliate link swapping - It can reduce commission hijacking
3) They will save you a LOT of time in the future
4) They avoid search ranking penalties
5) They avoid problems with social media
6) They trick ad blockers

In this post, I will not describe those reasons because I already described them in “6 Good Reasons to Cloak Affiliate Links” post. Please visit that post to read about how to mask your affiliate links and why you have to do that.

 

Affiliate Mistakes – No. 6 – Not Writing Product Reviews

Product or service reviews and guidelines are very important part of affiliate marketing. I mentioned that earlier in this post. There are many reasons for that, but one of those reasons is that the potential buyer is already aware of the product or service and is ready to buy it. So, he or she is just browsing around to get more prove that they made right decision to buy it.

If you, as an affiliate, don’t have an review of the product or service, or you don’t have any guidelines how to use that product or service you will miss the opportunity to sell and make profit for yourself.

When you write a product or service review be comprehensive and include all information that is relevant – good and bad. I explained it all, in detail in “How to Write a Product Review” post.

 

Affiliate Mistakes – No. 7 – Flooding Sidebars, Content and Newsletters with Ads

When we talk about promotion of an affiliate product or service, one of the biggest mistakes that an affiliate can do is to flood his/her website/blog or email/newsletter with banners and ads.

I, personally, will call this a crime against common sense and insult of intelligence.

Just look at it personally. I don’t know about you, but when I go to some supermarket, and when they flood me with their nonsense ads and promotions, I feel that my intelligence is insulted. Why I feel like that? First of all, I know what I need, and I know why I come there. If you are hitting me with ads, and pushing me to look at something that I am not interested in, you are a very bad marketer, or you are a spammer.

Yes, I used the right word, spammer. If you want me to buy something that I don’t want, and you pursue me with that narrative, you are a spammer.

So, be moderate when you promote. Don’t be pushy. Present what you are promoting and leave space to the potential buyer to decide.

 

Summary

Many affiliate marketers make these mistakes, and they are not happy with the results they are achieving. So, my advice to you is to try to avoid making the same mistakes.

Time and patience is the key. Take the time to analyze options and make your affiliate marketing strategy and check if you are in the right track. You need a proper marketing plan and strategy, and test it both constantly until you arrive at the solution that works best for you. Test all your approaches that you offer to the audience.

With affiliate marketing you need to be persistent, consistent and patient.

Of course, there are many other things that affect affiliate marketing and your performance, and I talk about it in my other posts. Please browse this website to learn more.

 

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Bring Traffic with Classified Ads

Bring Traffic with Classified Ads

 

Internet classified ads can be very effective for generating traffic and for sales. Classified ads on the web give people instant access to the producer or service provider, so they can instantly review the product or service. They reach people all over the world simultaneously, and they are a great way to advertise online.

If you manage to find a way to place a classified ad to an online portal with a decent amount of audience, you will gain a lot. Your classified ad will point people to your website/blog, so you will get a significant increase in traffic. Therefore, your subscriber base will grow, and your sales will increase. Naturally, the larger audience portal has, the better the response will be.

Classified ads may be sold or be free of charge. This form of advertising is typically associated with newspapers, but the online version of it has far more power because it reaches a vast audience in no time.

 

Classified Ads - How to Write Effective Classified AdsHow to Write Effective Classified Ads

There are some basic guidelines of online marketing that should be followed in order to succeed with classified Ads. When an ad is placed, it won’t have a lot of time to capture someone's attention so it must be crafted well. Besides, out there is also fierce competition for audience attention, so make sure that you always follow those basic rules (guidelines) to give your classified ads chance of being noticed.

 

Classified Ads - HeadlineWrite Creative Headlines

Headlines are very important for many reasons, not just for classified ads, but also for emails, articles, sales letters, sales pages, etc. They are the first thing that readers see. If you don't have a headline that grabs the reader’s attention at first sight, your ad will, most likely, not be noticed.

You should describe what you are promoting in the headline, but you should do it in a way that it provokes the viewer to click onto the link to read more.

Let’s have an example. Instead of the headline “Teak and Mahogany Furniture for Sale“, we can write “Top Business People Furnish Their Offices with Our Teak and Mahogany Furniture!”. Now, formulated like this, you don’ only say that you have teak and mahogany furniture for sale, but also you implied that their business will grow if they buy from you.

So, add a benefit in the headline and describe the product or service the way that will make them want to read the rest of your ad.

 

Classified Ads - Be BriefBe Brief

Classified ads should be long enough to get your point across and brief enough not to lose the reader's attention. The classified ad is not a sales page, but it can be the introduction to a sales page, so stick to the point and be brief, but, at the same time, send a clear message what you are presenting.

Classified ads can also be used to build audience and to advertise (in a very brief way) some product and/or service which can be sold instantly as an impulse buy. It all depends on the purpose of the ad.

The ad shouldn’t be longer then 100 words, and should contain keywords from your sales page in the text. Use 2 to 3 different fonts (font sizes) to emphasize certain information, and make sure that you use sufficient blank space so that the ad is visually appealing and easy to read.

Also, try to use bulleted lists of benefits of your product or service. It is proven that bulleted lists work very well in classified ads, because the reader can quickly review benefits and decide to buy it or not, or to visit your website/blog for more information or not in a very short amount of time.

 

Classified Ads - Add Icon or PictureAdd Icon or Picture

The ads have a bigger impact and they are much more noticeable if they contain an icon or picture (even better) next to the headline than when they are without it. Whatever product you are selling, people will want to see that product before they decide to buy or not. Picture of the product that you are selling also generate enthusiasm and excitement for the purchase, so, it's important to have pictures in the ad.

If the website where you are publishing your ad allows you to add icons or pictures, do so.

 

Classified Ads - Publish Ad OnlinePublish Ad Online

Once, when you figure out what you're going to write and how you're going to write it, in order to attract attention, you need to look for and identify online portals, platforms and featured websites which allow classified ads.

You should look for sites with large audiences, which promote classified ads or which make them easily accessible. It will not be difficult for you to find it because there is a huge number of websites that offer free classified ads. On the other hand, you also have websites that offer classified ads, but they charge for them, like eBay.

Posting classified ads is not a one-time activity - it’s an ongoing process that will take some of your time on, at least, on weekly basis if you want that your ads are visible. If you don’t have a regular schedule to keep posting the ads, they will be repressed by other people posting their classified ads. In this case, eventually, your ads will end up practically invisible.

 

Classified Ads - SOME NOTESSOME NOTES

Classified ads are a significant source of traffic and customers for small businesses and home-based businesses. Whether you are operating locally or globally, or you seek customers from social media or search engines, this type of advertising will bring results. You can do it online and offline, but online approach is much more effective in today's digital world. When people are looking for something today, they go online and search there, even if that’s what they want in their city.

The important thing is, if you run ad regularly, it will build future business for you by making your name (or business name) familiar to people and it will, as strange as it looks, establish your credibility.

All you need is a good headline, well written message and icon or picture of the product. All have to be drafted in a way that catches the eyes of readers and you will get yourself a customer or, at least, a new subscriber (contact).

A badly done headline or poorly written ad text will do no good to you. It’s just a waste of time, and/or money.

Please visit related post "Boost Blog Traffic with Direct Ads".

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How to Monetize Traffic

How to Monetize Traffic

 

Every year, more and more companies appear on the market with e-commerce websites. Competition today is more fierce than ever before. Everybody wants to get a bigger share of the market. So, every technique, method or system that we can find to increase our sales or to monetize traffic would be very welcome.

Now, when we talk about blogging, most of us enjoy this line of work, but we also need to provide a healthy life for our families, so we monetize our traffic. Many online entrepreneurs would not wait too long just to see their profits. They would rather see profit any given day, while there are some who takes things lightly.

Without traffic we have no business, neither in online business, nor in offline business. Like with any business, without visitors you don’t get customers, so you don’t get sales. Traffic represents all the people that get a chance to see what you have to offer. The more people see your products the more people there would be to buy them.

Nobody sets up an e-commerce site that doesn't expect profit. We have a start up expenses that needs to be returned. With a consistent traffic, we at least have a fighting chance to achieve that probability. Monetizing your traffic would optimize your chances of making the best out of it. So, monetize traffic.

 

How to Monetize Traffic - AdvertisingMaking Money Out Of Traffic

Let’s see how to monetize traffic. Advertising is the best and most proven method of making money out of traffic. Every day on the internet, hundreds of millions of people brows and generate traffic. Most of them are searching for something. Some of them are just looking for information, while some are looking for something that they need.

Those that are looking for something that they need can be freebie seekers or they can be potential buyers. Either way, both groups at some point become buyers. There are many techniques to turn prospects into buyer, but here we will not talk about that. Here we talk about how to monetize traffic.

Everybody knows that the internet has made the world a smaller place, more like a global village. So, internet has become a proven and reliable source in finding everything and anything all over the world. There is no product, service, or information that you can’t locate on the internet. So, sellers and buyers don’t need to be in a same room to close a deal (make a sale and purchase). You can advertise a product from one side of the planet and buyer can find you from the other side of the planet.

No matter where you compete, you need to compete with a great number of websites to generate a decent traffic flow. The conclusion is - generating traffic is not an easy task. But, if you do it successfully, it could open up many possibilities, one of which is monetization of your traffic flow.

Please refer to “Traffic Generation” guide to see techniques and methods.

The more traffic you generate, the more likely you are considered as a desirable website/blog. Desirable in a sense that visitors like your content, they like what you have to say, and they like what you are presenting them on the website/blog.

Here I am talking about organic traffic that comes from search engines and your advertisement, not artificial traffic from bots (web robots). By organic traffic I mean traffic that comes from sources like search engines (non paid) and from advertising (paid) where real people choose to visit your website/blog and stay a certain amount of time on the site because they are interested in your content or your offer.

NOTE - A good traffic flowing site is easily convertible to profit. Basically, traffic equals profit.

If you did your homework and familiarize yourself with importance of keywords, and you do proper keyword research, you will get enough attention.

But advertising is the major player in traffic generation. With good advertising campaign you can use your traffic flow to your advantage and monetize traffic. When you have good traffic you have a good number of potential customers, customers that are willing to pay for your products and/or services.

If you don’t have your own products or services you can use sponsored links. You can use your traffic that can be redirected to those links, and you get paid for traffic that you have generated. Well, this is a whole new topic so I will stop here.

 

How to Monetize Traffic - Affiliate ProgramsAffiliate Programs

Another way to monetize traffic is to become affiliate and use your own traffic to promote other people’s products and services. As an affiliate you refer your visitors (prospects) to some product or service that is not your own, and when that person or company buys the product or service, you get a commission on sales based on prior arrangement with the producer or merchant of the product or service for your recommendation.

My advice to you is to join the well known affiliate program platform like ShareASale and through them sign up with individual companies whose products and/or services you want to promote. The reason for this advice is simple, you will avoid unpleasant situations and you will not be cheated. In “Affiliate Marketing Strategies” guide “Be Aware of Scams” section I explained this in more detail.

So, how to monetize traffic as an affiliate? The basic idea is to drive your own traffic (send your visitors) from your website/blog or newsletter to another website (website whose products or services you promote) and earn commission after the sale was made.

After you register with an affiliate program (like ShareASale) you will get your own unique affiliate link which contains your ID. Then, you go to the company directory and search for the company that you want to promote, or you search for the products and services that you want to promote. After selection (if you get approved by the company) you get another affiliate link for the particular company or product. That affiliate link also includes your unique ID, and you can start promoting. Please visit “The Best Tip for Affiliate Marketing” post.

Those unique affiliate links are used by tracking software on an affiliate platform to monitor all activities (clicks, unique visitors, sales, etc.), and you can review reports of your progress in real-time. I would like to advise you to hide affiliate links. There are many reasons for that and I explained 6 of them in “6 Good Reasons to Cloak Affiliate Links” post.

When using well-known and trusted affiliate platform (I use ShareASale) you are sure that reports are realistic and professional and you can be also sure that you will not be cheated.

In “Affiliate Marketing Strategies” guide I explain in detail affiliate programs and how to choose a good one, how to choose the best affiliate products for your website/blog, main traffic generation methods for affiliates, and many more. Affiliate marketing is the way to monetize traffic.

 

How to Monetize Traffic - Pay Per Click ServicesPay Per Click Services

Let’s see another way to monetize traffic. There are many advertising agencies today that use Pay per Click (PPC) advertising model. PPC (also known as Cost per Click – CPC) is one of the most cost-effective ways of targeted internet advertising.

You, as a website/blog owner, can sign-up with one or two of those advertising agencies and become their publisher. Publisher means that you offer some regions of your website/blog space to host their ads. You get a fee for each visitor that clicks on their banner on your website/blog.

They use targeted advertising program that looks for the keywords on your page and relate it with an ad that contains similar keywords from their database, and they place that ad on your page. That ad is called targeted ad. Your visitors will most likely be actually interested in what's in that banner, because they visited your website/blog because similar content.

When you sign up for the program, you get a small piece of code that you insert, in text mode, in the location that you designated for the ad. In that specified location will appear banner presenting ads relevant to the contents of your site. The whole process is simple, and effectiveness of it will depend on the amount of traffic you are getting on your website/blog.

This type of advertising is less intrusive than other types of advertising, because is related or complementary to content of your site. Position the locations for banners carefully, so that they are not in the way of your content, but also that they are viewable.

Many blogs use this method, beside others to monetize traffic.

Google Adsense is one of those advertising programs. What is important for Google is that content on your site is unique. There are some companies that require a certain number of monthly page views to be qualified to sign-up with them.

 

Summary - There are so many ways and methods to monetize traffic. In this post I mentioned 3 of them which should not be overlooked. All you need is a good will, desire to succeed, and a bit of hard work and commitment. Monetize traffic and make your website/blog profitable. Don’t forget to visit “Traffic Generation” and “Affiliate Marketing Strategies” guides.

 

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6 Ways to Generate Low Cost Website Traffic

6 Ways to Generate Low Cost Website Traffic

 

Everybody knows that steady flow of traffic to your website/blog is the main factor in income generation. If your website/blog has low visit rate, you don’t have much chance of generating an income. Many websites have tried and failed in doing so. It takes money to maintain an income generating site – as you heard before - it takes money to make money.

But, the good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of cash to generate traffic for your website/blog.

Did you ever wonder how successful websites drive traffic to their site? Most of them are spending a lot of money to drive traffic to their sites by investing in many kinds of advertising campaigns and marketing techniques. This all is worthwhile for them because they mastered it.

Operatives of those websites have many years of experience and they know exactly what they are doing. As I said, there are many different types of advertising campaigns, and not all of them are for people without experience in that area. If you don’t know exactly what you are doing with advertising campaigns, you can end up loosing a lot of money without showing any results.

So, if you are a beginner, take the time to familiarize yourself with advertising methods and techniques before you make any investment. There are many ways to generate low cost website traffic without having to spend significant amounts of money. If you want to try advertising, start with direct ads. Please see “Boost Blog Traffic with Direct Ads” section for more details.

In this post I will present to you 6 ways to generate low cost website traffic. Those 6 ways will most definitely help you to increase the number of visitors to your website/blog, which will, on the other hand, increase your customer base. Even if your conversion rate percentage is smaller than you wish, your online venture will definitely benefit. More visitors, means better results.

 

Low Cost Website Traffic - Exchange LinksExchange Links

Majority of webmasters exchange links with one another in order to produce more public awareness about their websites. This is well known and proven method used to increase traffic. If you look closely at websites and blogs that you visit, rarely you would see a website where there is no link to another website.

There is one important precondition in exchanging links with other websites. You will exchange links with websites/blogs that are in the same niche as you, or they are in complementary niche to yours. This way everybody wins - both websites and their audience. Linked websites complement each other and provide quality and useful content and service for their targeted audience, while the audience is getting needed information from one source (conditionally speaking).

Besides, external links (inbound and outbound) that are theme-related links increase your chances of getting a higher ranking in search engine results. Search engines rank higher websites that have content related back links. With a good ranking position in the search engines, you will generate more traffic for your website. This is a part of off-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Please visit “Link Building” section for more detailed information.

Soon after you exchange links with few other websites/blogs, you will see a sudden increase in traffic to your website/blog. This method is considered as low cost website traffic, or no cost traffic, depending on your deal with other websites.

 

Low Cost Website Traffic - Submit ArticlesSubmit Articles to Article Directories

There are many article directories on the Internet. Some are well visited, while some are not. Most of those directories let you submit articles for free. Even if some of directories ask for some payment on a yearly basis, this method is still considered as low cost website traffic.

You can think about them as huge article databases where people come to read articles that interest them. When you submit articles to directory, you are getting chance that people will be interested in it and will visit your website or blog. Each article that you submit contains a link of your site or page at the end of the article, so that readers can visit for more information.

Articles are usually short versions of content that you already have on your website/blog and they have to be unique and grammatically correct. Unwritten law is that articles should be at least 300 words in length, but I would suggest 500+ words. Also, the article should be linked to your webpage that talk about directly related topic as the article.

Write articles that produce tips and guidelines to the topics related to your niche, and write them well so that readers can see that you are knowledgeable about the subject and will be eager to go to your website or blog. If you provide a light, quality and interesting article, they will go to your site for more.

If you are not fan of writing, or you don’t have time for that, you can always do outsourcing. There are many freelance writers who are willing to write for you for a small fee. Please visit “Effective Article Marketing” page for more information. For outsourcing you can visit my Resource Page for reference.

The following is a list of some very good article directories –

Ezine Articles (http://www.ezinearticles.com/)
HubPages (http://hubpages.com/)
Buzzle (http://www.buzzle.com/)
Article Factory (http://articlesfactory.com/)
Articles Base (http://www.articlesbase.com/)
Article City (http://www.articlecity.com/)
Article Alley (http://www.articlealley.com/)
Article DashBoard (http://www.articledashboard.com/)

 

Low Cost Website Traffic - Social Networks

Join Social Networks and Forums

Join social media networks, online communities and forums. Register and share your knowledge and experience with people. There you can connect with people from your own market niche, or complementary niche and share expertise. Besides, there you will also connect with people that are interested in what you are doing and in your products and/or services.

This only requires your time on a regular basis. Beside you built relationships there, most of those communities will connect to your website/blog and people will be able to visit your site any time they want. Presence on those platforms comes like free advertising or publicity, where you can build your reputation and the reputation of your website/blog.

You can also advertise on those platforms, I mean use paid advertising, but if you do that, be careful with your calculations and test it first. Make it as low cost website traffic.

One important tip: whatever you do, be honest and truthful and make your online venture trusted by many people. Please visit “7 Life Lessons Applied In Marketing”.

For more on the subject, please visit “Building Your Audience with Social Networks”.

 

Low Cost Website Traffic - NewsletterMake a Newsletter

This is another method for low cost website traffic. If you would like to increase the amount of traffic that your website gets, you should think about introducing a newsletter to your audience. Newsletters come in many different shapes and styles and they are all used for different purposes, but it all comes to traffic generation and sale.

Newsletters are basically emails that are sent to those who have requested to receive them (they subscribed to your email list for that reason). The main use of a newsletter is to update and inform customers and prospects about news in their market segment (niche) of interest, tips, and new developments in your business. It is a medium of regular communication with your audience.

Newsletters are sent on weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis, depending on their purpose. You can also use newsletter as an online course, or educational medium in general. This may sound like hard work because of all the articles you may need to use to build a newsletter but on the contrary, you don’t need to put much effort into it.

There are many article packages that you can use for free for newsletter campaigns that come with private label rights. This means that you can make any changes you want with them (if needed), put your name on it and send it. Please visit “8.000 Articles with Private Label Rights” page. There you can find articles from 220 niche categories.

As you start with your newsletter, you will widen your audience, you will increase public awareness of your website/blog, and visits to your website will become more regular.

In “Email List Maintenance Methods” guide – section Main Methods of Email List Maintenance – I talked about newsletter and e-zine (electronic magazine).

 

Low Cost Website Traffic - Blog CommentingDo Blog Commenting

Blog commenting is the great traffic generation method if you do it properly. In short, blog commenting is a method where you leave comments on other people’s blogs which link back to your blog, squeeze or web page. People use to read the comments first before they read articles, especially if the article is long. They do that because they want to see what other people think about that article so that they can evaluate if it is worth reading.

When you comment on other websites/blogs, make sure that you read the whole article and that you leave meaningful, content related comment that will be useful to another reader. Do not, under no circumstances, promote yourself in that comment. Comments are meant for commenting, not promotion.

The earlier you come to leave your comment after the article was published, the better. At least that you are listed in the first five of the comments.

Most sites require your name and email address to leave a comment. The website URL is optional, but you can write it too. Type your real name and real email address and post a comment that is directly related to the topic of that page. If you put keywords in Name field or fake email address, spam filters will ignore your comment. Besides, that is not the way to do that, it is not polite and you will only damage your reputation and your name. Do it as it was meant to be done, or don't do it at all.

Do not place your link in the comment, place it in the URL field on the blog. If you are just trying to promote yourself, then this is not for you. Just remember that this method doesn’t bring you low cost website traffic, it brings you no cost website traffic. Please visit “Benefits of Blog Commenting” post for more information.

 

Low Cost Website Traffic - Traffic ExchangeJoin Traffic Exchange Programs

Traffic exchange programs are places where you can submit your website or web page link and other people will promote it. This is a membership place. All members will submit their own links. The idea is to get together and promote each others links, where every website owner is an affiliate of the other.

This method doesn’t cost much if you pay for your services, but if you get actively involved in promoting other peoples sites it will be free for you but time consuming. In this case you earn credits with which you pay to others for their services. You both benefit from each others efforts to generate traffic.

Many argue about the effectiveness of this traffic exchange system. Two things are sure, public awareness of the website’s existence will increase, and the website will slightly be propelled to a higher position on the search engine results page. Anyway, this is another method for low cost website traffic.

 

Summary - When we are talking about low cost website traffic, it means that you use methods that require little or no financial commitment. I just presented 6 of those ways. Each of which brings low cost website traffic. For example, when we think about the newsletter, you can’t do it without auto-responder service. The auto-responder service is relatively cheap, but you have to use it anyway if you are working online.

If you advertise, on social networks or with direct ads, you are still in window of low cost website traffic. Please remember, if you advertise, test it on a small scale first.

 

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How to Create a Popular Blog

How to create a popular blog

Today, millions of people have their own blog. The great majority of these people is blogging for fun, while others are trying to make money with their blogs. Many succeed in their efforts to make blogging their full time job and earn a good living with it. The first thing to do is to create a popular blog, the blog that will have a good readership.

If you don’t have a decent amount of traffic, you will have problems monetizing your blog. No matter which method you use to make money with your blog, traffic is the key to your success. In other words, building your audience should be your main goal. So, create a popular blog to achieve that goal.

 

Do Some Research

There are some things that have to be considered in order to be able to create a popular blog. Let’s start with the audience. Audit of your market niche should be made so that you know who exactly your audience is, in what topics that audience is most interested, how large that audience is, etc. The audience that is large enough to support a wide readership is the best option.

You will be writing for that audience, so you should know them well. The popularity of your blog depends on them. Of course, you can’t please everybody every time, but if you get the attention of the majority, you did a great job.

The interest areas of your audience you can see clearly when they subscribe to your email list. If you have few lead magnets on your blog (free e-books, free reports, etc.) segment them from the start. Don’t put them all on the same email list, because, obviously, they are interested in different things. You can read more about this in “Email List Building” and “Email List Maintenance” sections.

 

Writing, Design and Graphics

Now let’s talk about writing posts on your blog. I wrote about this on many occasions in my posts, but let me just say here that you don’t need to be a skilled writer to write your posts and have a popular blog. The way posts on blogs are written is totally different then what we learned in school (please see “How to Make Your E-Book User Friendly” to read more about writing style). So, create a popular blog, just write your posts with short sentences, short paragraphs, and follow grammatical rules. For more on writing, please visit “Effective Article Marketing”.

Readers first see the headlines. Headlines should be emphasized with larger font size, whole post should be broken up into few subheadings (if possible), and paragraphs should be small (again, if possible) because readers tend to scan the whole post very fast looking for relevant information to them rather than reading everything. If they find that what they are looking for, then they read the whole content.

Write about new, interesting and relevant topics to your audience. Go straight to the point, never be boring to your audience. Your post suppose to, not just inform them about new developments within your niche, but also to add value to their lives. This will help you create a popular blog.

Make sure that your blog and posts are designed well, look aesthetically good, and the colors are easy for the eyes. The content is much more important than the design of the website/blog, but design will contribute to the fact that readers stay longer on the page and come again to your website/blog.

Enrich your text with graphs, diagrams, photos, etc. To have only text on the post is monotonous, boring and doesn’t provide resting places for the reader's eyes. For the same reason, sentences and paragraphs should be smaller. Besides this, use lists, both bulleted and numbered if possible. It will make your points more viewable. This way, your content will be easier to absorb, and, at the same time, gives a rest to the reader’s eyes.

NOTE - For all details on this subject, please visit “9 Common Characteristics of Great Business Blogs”. This article will be of great help to you to understand what you need to do to create a popular blog.

 

Connect To Social Media Networks

The process of making your blog popular also includes involvement in social media networks, bookmarking sites, forums, etc. Linking back from those sites to your blog will drive traffic to your blog, and ultimately will increase its popularity. Your presence on those platforms will greatly help you gain more readers.

Social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google +, etc.
Bookmarking websites: Reddit, StumbleUpon, Citeulike, Slashdot, etc.

Those are just a few of many available on the net, and they are all free to use. For more on this subject, please visit “Building Your Audience with Social Networks” section.

Bookmarking websites can play a very important role in the success of your blog. It can help in improving search engine position of your blog and your blog posts, and can also help you to improve the page rank of your blog. Not all bookmarking websites are do-follow, but the majority are. In short, do-follow is a link attribute value used to instruct the search engines to follow the link and reach your blog.

The higher ranked your blog is from search engines, the more visitors you will receive, the more regular readers you will acquire, and the more popular your blog will become. To monetize your blog, you need a wider audience.

 

Content Alone Is Just Not Enough

One of the most important elements of any blog or website is unique and quality content. This content is the reason why visitors keep on coming back to your site, and many online marketers will state that this is the most important factor in getting people to visit your site. Well, this is a truth when people already know about you, but unique and quality content is not the most important method that drives traffic to your site. So, the content alone is just not enough.

Well, the content has to be of good quality, unique and interesting, but, at the end, it has to provide value and help to those who read it. A blog is all about helping others and sharing experiences. In the field of blogging, when you connect with people, you have to communicate messages both ways.

So, get to know your audience better. Find out what they are interested in. Communicate with them. Ask them to fill your survey. There are many things that you can learn from your visitors. This information will give you a clear picture on what they want, so you can improve your website/blog, improve your products or services, and create a popular blog.

As generally accepted, there are four main approaches to monetize a blog: a) profit through ad networks, b) profit through affiliate program sales, c) profit through private advertising, and d) profit through selling your own products or services.

For more on traffic please visit “Traffic Generation” basic course, and for more about affiliate marketing, please visit “Affiliate Marketing Strategies” section.

 

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Basic Guide to Online Marketing

 

Introduction

Online marketing is a strategy that helps the company/venture to build up a reputation and brand awareness online. Today, online marketing is an important part of succeeding in business.

Online marketing (also called internet marketing) is a marketing effort (strategy) that uses world-wide-web to promote the company, products and services. It is also used to generate sales leads and make direct sales via e-commerce. There are many different strategies, methods and online marketing tools used to support this effort.

The main goals are: a) to achieve company’s online presence, b) to make the company/venture easy to find by potential buyers on the internet, and c) to arrange sales and support mechanisms online.

Let’s talk about main elements needed for online marketing.

 

Basic Guide to Online Marketing - Website-Blog DevelopmentWebsite/Blog Development

One of the most elementary components of any online business is a website. That is the place where you will present your business, and your products and/or services. People look all the time for the information, products and services that they are interested in. Therefore, your website/blog will increase your ability to reach your targeted audience, if done properly. I will talk about that later on this page.

So, development of a website/blog plays a crucial role in online marketing. Actually, it is essential for any business today to present itself with the website, even if the company/venture is not selling products online. The website should be your ID.

Creating a website today is very simple and cost effective. If you are beginner without funds to invest in development, and you are not familiar with HTML, there are few great CMS (Content Management System) platforms that you can use for free, like WordPress, Drupal, etc. Those platforms are user-friendly and you can learn very fast how to use them. You can find them on my Resource Page.

Hosting platforms for your website or blog, you can find also for free or very cheap, depend which option you choose. I explained it all in “Email Marketing - Place Where to Start” section, under “Register Domain Name and Hosting”.

NameCheap offers website solutions to fit any budget.

 

Basic Guide to Online Marketing - SEOSEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website or web page content to affect its visibility in a search engine’s results for desired keywords/keyword phrases. Here we are talking about natural or organic results (non-paid).

In other words, SEO is a group of techniques and tactics used to obtain a higher ranking on search engine results pages (SEPR) in order to increase the number of visitors to a website or web page.

SEO is a long-term strategy that includes many factors, among which are – a) keyword research, b) on-site content optimization, c) internal linking, d) external link building, etc.

Many people argue about the importance of SEO. Those who argue mostly rely on ads and direct email campaigns, because they use short-term strategies and they don’t need visitors from search engines. As I mentioned, SEO is for those who use long-term strategies. SEO is a very important part of online marketing and it will complement other traffic generation methods.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a form of online marketing (internet marketing) that uses SEO process to increase website’s visibility in a search engine’s results to do promotion, primarily through paid advertising.

 

Basic Guide to Online Marketing - KeywordsKeywords

It doesn’t matter how good your website/blog is, how much of quality content and expertise are built into it, if you can’t find “money” keywords, you will not succeed. That is according to SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

The goal is to get search engine (organic) traffic to your website/blog in the shortest possible time. To achieve that, focus on long tail keywords with low competition. Once you get visitors on your website/blog, it will motivate you for further actions. It’s a really rewarding experience to see first visitors coming to your site after long preparations and research you did.

Conducting keyword research takes time. Don’t rush it, be patient, don’t overlook anything, because keywords are the most essential element of your online marketing effort. Everything in your business will be built around keywords. That is if you are player on long runs.

To learn more, please visit “Keyword Research” guide.

 

Basic Guide to Online Marketing - Email MarketingEmail Marketing

Email marketing is an important part of online marketing strategies and online marketing campaigns. Email marketing is used, as a tool, to stay in touch with your audience. There are many different purposes for an email marketing campaign, and some of them are - a) to provide the audience with up to date news regarding niche market (new technologies, new techniques, etc.), b) to provide news about products and services, c) to provide an online course, d) to run sales campaigns, etc.

The news is usually delivered in the form of a newsletter on weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis, while online courses and sales campaigns might take place every day, or every second day. All depends on the type of the product or service you are promoting and your audience habits.

Please visit “Email Marketing - Place Where to Start” section for more in-depth information.

Post on this page is informative. For more in-depth information on email list building and maintenance please visit “Email List Building” and “Email List Maintenance Methods”.

 

Basic Guide to Online Marketing - Social Media NetworksSocial Media Networks

One of the most powerful online marketing tools are social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, etc. Those platforms provide you with the opportunity to spread awareness of your business and to engage directly with your audience.

You can also advertise on social networking platforms targeting the groups from your market niche. But one of the greatest potentials of social networks is word-of-mouth. When your audience liked the content from your social page(s) they will share that content within their own social networks. That will improve your reputation and you will get an increase in traffic.

However, if you decide to advertise on those networks, you need to be aware that the great majority of people are simply using social networks to hang out with their friends, play online games, share photos and engaging in entertainment and conversations.

Advertising systems on social networks are simple to use and they will cover any specific demographic you choose, so do some research prior to committing to that service so that you can narrow down the list of people who you want to see your advertising. This way you will save your money and your time. You are not interested in people that don’t show any interest in your niche and your products and/or services. Whenever you do single campaign, evaluate your results.

More about social networking you can find in section “Building Your Audience with Social Networks”.

 

Basic Guide to Online Marketing - Display Online AdsDisplay Online Ads

After you created your website and presented your products and/or services, it’s time to think about traffic. Any online business isn’t going anywhere without higher volumes of traffic. There are many traffic generation methods available (see “Traffic Generation” guide), but here we are talking about online ads.

There are many free traffic generation methods, but it is hard to beat paid advertising. Among many, let’s here consider 2 paid methods that many recommend. The first method is for beginners with limited funds, and the other method is for those who have the financial resources to invest in order to bring traffic.

Ad Buys advertising method is the method where you buy advertising places on other people’s websites and place your banners. I use this method often for my other sites, because this is one of the best methods of getting targeted traffic to your website/blog. It takes some time to find an adequate website that suits your requirements, but it makes results if done properly.

You need to do some research on, so called, a marketplace, where all sites are listed that offers ad space for sale. I use BuySellAds company and all sites on the market place are categorized and traffic information about the sites is in clear view. I am explaining this in-depth in section “Boost Blog Traffic with Direct Ads”. Please visit.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Advertising, sometimes called CPC (cost per click), works on the principle that advertisers pay the advertisement company only for clicks that are made on their ad and visitor landed on their web page. This advertising method is considered highly targeted because people are getting to see the ads actually by typing in keywords/keyword phrases in search engines that are relevant to your promotional subjects (products/services).

This form of advertising can bring a huge amount of targeted traffic to your website very quickly if you know what you are doing, but it can also dry up your financial resources without significant result if you don’t know what you are doing.

If you want to try this form of advertising you make sure that you take an excellent training course and that you have some starting budget for it. I have to warn you, if you are inexperienced, you might lose a great deal of money accomplishing nothing. In this arena, there is a fierce competition. This form of advertising is not for online beginners.

 

Basic Guide to Online Marketing - Affiliate MarketingAffiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is performance based online marketing in which seller pays a commission fee to his affiliated promoter after the sale was made. In this form of online marketing seller does not use its own sales force or resources. All leads that have been made or all sales that have been made are made by affiliates’ own online marketing efforts. So, all online marketing activities necessary to bring the customer to the seller’s website or sales page are done by affiliates.

Commission percentages are not the same for physical and for digital products. Of course, digital products have a much higher commission percentages because they are less expensive to produce. Besides, digital products are mostly downloaded after the sale, while physical products need to be delivered on conventional way.

All of the biggest e-commerce websites in the world use affiliate marketing campaigns ever since mid 1990s. Years later it proves to be their major contributory factor in their success.

Whether you sell physical or digital products you should consider affiliate marketing as a form of promotion and online advertising. The great advantages of this method are that you pay affiliate commission only after the sale was made, and you don’t use any of your resources and efforts for that sale.

There are two main options to start an affiliate program. One is to create your own affiliate program and run it from your website, and the other is to join already established and well-known affiliate program and use their services. The first option is pretty complicated and costly if you are beginner, so I suggest another option.

There is one thing very important to mention now and that is the commission percentage that you will offer to your potential affiliates. Again, depending on what kind of products you are selling - physical or digital, but in either case, you need to do some research on what your competition offers to their affiliates. You need to offer a high enough commission to attract affiliates to work for you. Otherwise, they will go to your competition and promote them.

If you are planning to join an affiliate program, I have to point out that you have to be careful. Like many other online opportunities, affiliate programs are also used for cheating. You need to be sure that you join legitimate, well-known affiliate program. I wrote about this in “Affiliate Marketing Strategies” guide under “Be Aware of Scams” section. Please read that section.

I use a ShareASale affiliate platform and I can recommend this company. This platform is well-known, legitimate, well protected and gathers a huge number of affiliates.

On the other hand, if you don’t have your own products and you want to monetize your website/blog, you can use the same affiliate program platform ShareASale to become an affiliate for other companies. Either way, please visit “Affiliate Marketing Strategies” guide, and “Boost Blog Traffic with Direct Ads” post. Both will help you in your online efforts.

 

Basic Guide to Online Marketing - Online Marketing and Business StrategyOnline Marketing and Business Strategy

Marketing strategy takes into account not only online marketing, but also all functional aspects of a business that must be coordinated by management - development, production, finance and human resource planning, as well as research and development (R&D).

To survive and prosper, it is necessary to properly balance the company's resources with objectives and opportunities of the environment. To meet the challenges of domestic and international competition, it is necessary to recognize the vital role that online marketing function plays in the development and implementation of successful business strategy. Effective business strategy is responsive to market needs, it exploits the specific competencies of the organization, and it employs valid assumptions about environmental trends and competitive behavior. Above all, it must offer a realistic basis for securing and sustaining a competitive advantage.

 

 

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How to Write a Product Review

How to Write a Product Review

Affiliate programs are programs that create partnerships between business owners and online entrepreneurs. This helps business owners to increase their sales, but they also help online entrepreneurs to generate extra income. If you are an affiliate, or you want to become one, I suggest that you write a product review of all products or services that you promote.

To earn money with affiliate programs, you need to be able to sell a product or services. Consumers are today very well aware of internet scams and they are not so eager to buy a product or service from somebody they know little about, and they are also suspicious when it comes to new products.

If you are established online entrepreneur, it is much easier for you to sell new products and services to your existing base of buyers, and it is much easier for you to convince prospects to buy a new product or service, because people most likely already heard about you.

If you are beginner in affiliate marketing, then you are in a much tougher situation. You need to put a lot more effort in promotion to convince prospects to buy a product or service.

There are many ways to convince prospects that product or service in question is of good quality and valuable, but here I will talk about two best ways to do that. Those are a) test the product, and b) write a product review.

The testing of the products is a great way to ensure that you are promoting a quality and valuable product. Besides that, you are having a chance to familiarize yourself with the product. You should do that prior to promotion and sale. The other step is to write a product review. In this post we will talk about that.

Most affiliates do not write a product reviews. They see that as a waste of time. Well, my experience says totally different story. Writing affiliate program product or service reviews are the best use of my time as an affiliate.

In short, product and service reviews give prospects an idea on what they are purchasing. Those reviews have to be written from a consumer point of view to be justified and useful, and it will give them insight into a product, including all useful data from any aspect. As they are written from a consumer point of view, the prospects will develop a closer relationship with you, and in a way, a sense of trust was initiated.

Besides, today, more and more consumers read product or service reviews before they make a decision to purchase it. I can bet that you read reviews dozens of times before you made the purchases.

 

Test the Product

In order to provide accurate information to your prospects and to ensure that your review is reliable, make sure to conduct as much research and testing as possible before you start writing.

During the research, review all documentation provided by the producer or service provider. Only in depth knowledge of the product or service will enable you to write a reliable review.

Beware of publicity material released by producer or marketers. Readers can easily recognize the publicity material and will quit reading. They are looking for real-life experience and observations of people with product or service in question.

The best option is that you already use the product yourself. This way you already have in depth knowledge of the product or service, and you know exactly what the pros and cons are.

 

Write a Product Review

When writing a product or service review, as I stated earlier, write it from a consumer point of view. Using this approach, you will make sure that the review is actually useful to those who read them – consumers. Things that you should include in a review:

- An overview of the product or service,
- Technical characteristics,
- Product features,
- The main benefits,
- Pros and cons,
- Price and benefits of buying it,
- Guarantee period,
- Delivery time, and
- Technical support

The pros and cons section is a feature of every good review. No matter how good the product or service looks at first, there are always some cons. Your job, as the reviewer, is to bring them up and present them.

Just think from your perspective and all will come to you. If you want to know more about some product or service, and you are doing your research on the internet, what you would like to read about the product or service in question?

When it comes to the format in which you will present your review, it’s up to you, just don’t forget to include following:

- Product description (from above)
- Image and Video (if available)
- Users’ experiences (if available)

After you finish writing your review, it is time to display it. You can display your review on many platforms, but first place where to display it is on your website or blog. Also, you should consider displaying it on social media networks, forums, top article directories, etc. Also, you can include your review in the newsletter as a part of the promotion campaign. Once your product review is in circulation, results will follow.

 

What is the purpose of a review?

It is important to say, do not mistake reviews for sales or promotional messages. With review, you are assessing the product or service and presenting your findings to people. In review, you are not promoting the product and you do not call them on action. Just present the facts.

A review is not meant to be a tool of direct sale. The purpose of a review is to present the product or a service in an unbiased way, so that readers can get a clear view and inform themselves. So, let’s see why people read product reviews. I know that you will find yourself in points listed below. The most common reasons, stated by many survey companies, why people read product or service reviews are to find out:

- The overall product features,
- The main benefits to them,
- The pros and cons,
- Support after the sale,
- Other people’s experience with product, and
- If the price is acceptable and benefits of the product are worth buying

 

Summary – First of all, you are advised to take a consumer point of view when you write a product review. Writing those reviews create a positive perception of you, your entrepreneurial venture, and the affiliate products or services that you are promoting in the eyes of your prospects.

However, either you are already a member of an affiliate program or you are planning to join one, writing product and service reviews will help you in your promotion and sales effort.

Always write a review of the product or a service in an unbiased way. That will strengthen your position as an honest source of information.

 

For more information on affiliate marketing and affiliate programs, you can visit “Affiliate Marketing Strategies” guide.

Affiliate Marketing Courses

 

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