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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9 Common Characteristics of Great Business Blogs

9 Common Characteristics of Great Business Blogs

Most blogs are unique in their origin, but some blogs are unique in their structure and design. There are some things that make those blogs more attractive and more successful than others. You can easily recognize those blogs because you visit them often. Blogs that capture your attention to visit them over and over again just to check out for any new and interesting content are those blogs - Great Business Blogs.

No matter how different these blogs may look in terms of structure, all these successful blogs share some common characteristics. Let’s look closely here at those characteristics.


9 Common Characteristics of Great Business Blogs - Visual Impression - Text1. Visual Impression - Text

When blog post only contains text, it is not good. Especially if your blog post has long paragraphs and long sentences. Readers need breaking points and eye resting places. School rules do not apply to blogging.

Make sure that your paragraphs and sentences within it are short. It gives readers the best review. It is also easier to remember and easier to understand the matter you are writing about.

Also, to make information easy to absorb and understand use lists - both bulleted and numbered. In this way the information is more viewable and also gives a rest to the reader’s eyes. Besides, lists are easier to remember than plain text.

Find a font that is easy for the eyes. At the same time, text should be large enough to be read easily on the screen. I suggest that you don’t use more than 2 different font families. If you use many different font families, it will have a negative impact on reader’s focus and concentration.

In the post “How to Make Your E-Book User Friendly”, you can find more tips on text formatting and how to make your post user friendly.


9 Common Characteristics of Great Business Blogs - Visual Impression – Images2. Visual Impression – Images

Again I will say - when blog post only contains text, it is not good. It is not good for readers, and it is not good for search engine ranking.

Images (graphs, diagrams, etc.) should be included in the blog post where needed. If a blog post is not one of a technical nature and doesn’t need visual presentation, at least one image should be displayed in the post.

The way you use images is important. Use images with a sense of purpose. Besides main post image, which is on the top of the post, other images are used to highlight some point, to present in graphical form the topic or segment of topic you are writing about, or to bring something to the attention from your post that you consider to be important for your readers.

When you add images to the post, make sure that image name (title) and ALT text contain a keyword or keyword phrase that you use in that post. You can also add image Description and Caption. Make sure that they also contain a keyword or keyword phrase that you use in that post. This is a part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).


9 Common Characteristics of Great Business Blogs - Visual Impression – Blog Post Headline3. Blog Post Headline

The headline of your blog post is the first thing visitors will see, either on your blog or on search engine pages. They will evaluate headline to see if it is actually worth their time to read it.

The headline should be presented well, convincing enough and catchy so that visitors decide to read it. It is similar with email subject lines.

Even if you make catchy headline and get visitors attention, you must be aware of one very important rule. Rule - no cheating. Your headline must reflect exactly the content of the blog post.

Nobody will benefit if you cheat. If you put catchy headline and you get a visitor to the post, when he/she see that headline have nothing to do with the content, the visitor will lose his/her time, but you will lose your reputation and trust. So be careful and professional.

What is also important to say is that the headline should contain your keyword or keyword phrase that you use in that post. This is also a part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).


9 Common Characteristics of Great Business Blogs - Visual Impression - Easy Access to Posts4. Easy Access to Posts

Make your posts easy for people to find. Organize and categorize your posts, and make them easy to access. Display your latest and most popular posts in a sidebar. There you can also display blog’s archive, categories and tags, so that visitors can look for any related blog posts they are reading at that moment, or some other they are interested in.

Also, add a search bar on every page of your website, so that people can look for and access your archived posts. This option is very useful and fast. I don’t know what CMS platform you use, but this option can be set up in a minute.


9 Common Characteristics of Great Business Blogs - Call-To-Action5. Call-To-Action

It is advisable to have a call-to-action on every post of your blog. But there is a simple rule – do not overdo it. One thing is to place call-to-action (CTA) on your post, and another thing is to place it everywhere on a single post.

Editors of great business blogs learned this lesson, and that is one of the things that differentiate them from others and make their blogs - great business blogs. CTA has to be placed in such a way that it catches visitor's attention, but not in an intrusive way.

By placing your business' call-to-action (CTA) on your blog posts, you are transforming those pages into lead generation pages. Of course, you will need time to figure out design, form and position of your CTA on these pages until you achieve the desired results.


9 Common Characteristics of Great Business Blogs - Read More... Option6. Read More... Option

A blog post can be brief, or can be lengthy. The minimum length of a post should be at least 300 words, according to SEO sources. Less words in blog post mean lower ranking by search engines. Usually, blog posts are 300-500 words long, but it is recommended to be 1000+ words.

The main page should not be overbooked with content. This page should be simple and transparent. That’s why it is recommended to display only a "preview" of blog post (1-3 sentences) on the main page so that visitors can easily browse the topics and choose one in which they are most interested.

When you make a preview of a post, use “Read More …” option and link your full post there.


9 Common Characteristics of Great Business Blogs - Social Media Sharing Buttons7. Social Media Sharing Buttons

Every blog post should be accompanied by social sharing buttons. This is a great option that allows visitors to share your post with their social networks. This is also a good traffic source. But here, great business blogs also have a simple rule – do not overdo it.

It is good that people have the option to share content they like with their friends, but when they see too many social sharing buttons displayed at once, on a single page, they get distracted and overwhelmed and constrain themselves from sharing your blog post, no matter how good your post is.

The advice is to display only social sharing buttons of networks where you have the most followers and where you are most active. Anyway, those networks are actually ones that send traffic to your blog.

On the other hand, crowded post with buttons doesn’t look nice, doesn’t look professional, and you don’t have much, if any, use of marginally effective networks.

Don’t ask me how many buttons are optimal number - that I leave to you to decide.


9 Common Characteristics of Great Business Blogs - Page Loading Time8. Page Loading Time

Loading time of your web pages is a so important element of the whole process. People today are more impatient than ever. Who knows why, but it certainly has to do with fast changing business trends, shortened development time for new technologies, economic crisis and people are forced to work more to provide more for their families, etc.

So, the loading time of your web pages has to be as fast as possible, because, if not, many visitors will just lose patience and leave. In this scenario you might lose potential prospects.

Therefore, if you have a slow loading time of your pages, you need to do something about it. Optimize your blog, get rid of plug-ins that you don’t use, get rid of tools from your pages that you don’t use much, get rid of all marginally effective services, compress your images for web use, etc.

9 Common Characteristics of Great Business Blogs - Sidebars9. Sidebars

People tend to use sidebars as advertising panel. They put many ads there, most of which are useless or marginally effective. Besides, this undermines the overall image of the blog.

I recommend that you take a look at your sidebar(s) and ask yourself which of those items serve a real purpose or function, and which are useless or marginally effective. Here I am not talking just about ads, I am talking about all widgets that are there. Do some cleaning up.


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7 Life Lessons Applied In Marketing

7 Life Lessons Applied In MarketingHow you organize your life around and within your family, your neighbors, friends, colleagues, etc. and how you behave toward them, you should do the same toward your business associates, employees, affiliates, customers, prospects, etc. Behavior in business is not, or should not be different then behavior in private life, because it’s part of life, it’s part of communicating with others within a community (smaller or worldwide community).

Here I am not talking about big corporations, here I am talking about natural ways that we human beings operate and appreciate each other for our values, knowledge, accomplishments and integrity.

We all learn from our experience. Our elders are giving us advices but we tend not to listen to them. They have more experience than we do, and they are wiser than us in most cases, but still. It is truth that is better to learn from mistakes of others, and some of us are wisely using this fact, but still most of us tend to learn from our own mistakes. It is in our nature.

When we mature intellectually, many things in our lives become more clear and easy to understand. In my opinion, besides level of knowledge, intellectual maturity has less to do with age and more to do with intelligence.

When you reach a point in life when some situation calls for your experience to solve it, then you realize the true value of the knowledge that you possess.

Now let’s sit back and review what we already know and how it can be put into a marketing perspective.


Share Information with Others

In any business, especially in online business, it’s important to share useful information with people that interact with you. Any information which can help others to solve their problems, which can inform or warn others about certain problem that they will encounter in the course of their work, or just simply something which can make their life easier is valuable information.

The e-book, report or software that you give away for free to somebody that subscribe to your website or blog is an example of sharing useful information with your audience.

All information posted on websites/blogs, incorporated into e-books or reports, or embedded into software packages are treated as intangible resources and that is exactly what people need and want. Use every situation and moment to share that information with your audience. Share your experience with your audience, share brand new info on methods, techniques and technology in your industry. They will appreciate that a lot.

Just look at yourself, remember the moment when somebody else gave you information that you needed. That information solved your problem and you have been so appreciative for that. So, do good, helpful things to people, and you will be treated better as well.

Today information is the most valued commodity, and it's in high demand. As you provide more and more useful information to your audience, you will become more trusting and more respected, and all that for a good reason - you share with your audience.

This is the way to establish yourself as serious entrepreneur and knowledgeable person in your field. When people trust you, they will come to you for advice and they will use your products and services. But make no mistake, if you fake your intention, people will see through you.


Friends, Teamwork, Partnerships

We, as humans, build relationships whole our lives. Starting from our childhood we connect with others and form groups according to our sphere of interest. Those relationships helped us in growing up process, in evaluation and determination who we are and how we see ourselves in societies around us, and finally it helped us to determine our path for the future.

When it comes to business, we also need friends or business partners. It's important to build relationships with others within same or related market segment in our industry to build alliances and complement each other on the market. Mutually beneficial relationships will elevate our business and open up many opportunities that we will not have on our own.

These alliances will also expand our customer base. We need to build networks, team up with others in joint ventures to elevate our businesses. From those partnerships all benefit, including a customer.


Apologize When You Make Mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes. Mistakes are what make us humans. If our mistakes are unintentional, then we are honest persons, but still, we need to apologize for that because that is at the expense of the others. Whether they are your friends, employees, partners or customers – apologize.

When it comes to business, and you find out that your product or service is less than satisfactory to the customer, or your part of the deal with your partner wasn’t what you promised (regardless of the reasons), do not deny it, come clean and admit it, and apologize for it. Then, the next step is to correct it. Explain to them how you are going to correct it.

As I always say, be a real man or real woman and admit your mistake and then correct it. You will keep respect that they have for you. If you weasel your way out of the situation like that, I don’t think that people will trust you anymore.


Accept Learning as a Lifelong Process

After finishing school or college our learning process is not finished. No matter in which business or industry we are competing, marketing trends, technology, ways of doing business is changing very fast. They are changing faster every year, especially in online business.

Demands are also changing. If you want to take advantage of this ever changing business environment, trends and demands, you have to adapt your business practices to those changes in order to keep your business running.

How are you going to do that? We all are going to do that by learning. We need to learn about new technologies, techniques, methods of operation, new ways on how to approach customers and prospects, etc. within our market segment (niche). We need to find the ways to better connect with our customers in order to anticipate their needs and to serve them better.

Also, we need to learn, as much as we can, about our direct and indirect competitors, to see what they are doing, how they are approaching those issues, how they cope with change, etc. so that we are in good position to compete, or even better, to keep one step ahead of them. This has to be a task on an ongoing basis.


Do Not Steal Other People's Intellectual Property

Theft of intellectual property is a frequent phenomenon on the internet. Any kind of information is available, on any subject, of any industry, of any niche, on the internet. All this information is very easy to copy and paste on website and claim them your own. This is qualified as theft of intellectual property and punishable by law in many countries around the world.

This is a very bad thing to do, and it doesn’t do any help to people who do that. On the contrary, they lose their credibility, reputation and trust what they had before. Besides losing their trust and ability to prosper in the online community, they, in some cases, end up with penalty payments and also jail time.

There are the ways in which you can post somebody’s else content or material on your website, but that goes with permission of the owner of that content or material and agreed acknowledgement that you give him/her by mentioning his/her name, placing link to his/her website, etc.

It is totally OK to reference someone's content on your website/blog, provided that you give acknowledgement of origin.


This article is not finished yet. Please come back soon.


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How to Choose Niche Market


Niche Market, in short, is a one segment or sub segment of a larger market. Choosing a niche market seems to be the first thing that people do not put much
thought into, but should seriously consider when creating a product. This is the most important step in the whole process and must be done properly.

Most people do either a) choose the market that is selling well, or seems to selling well, or b) they choose a market where they have a lot of expertise. The option [b] is a good thing, but a niche market needs to be carefully selected so that competition is not fearsome especially if you are a beginner. Even if you already have experience you have to be very careful when selecting a niche market to avoid tough and fearsome competition.

There are many problems with both mentioned ways if not done properly. Let's take the option [a] as it seems to be the most common. When you choose a market that looks like it’s doing well, if it is a hot market and a lot of money is exchanging hands in that hot market, there is most likely going to be some pretty tough competition in that market. They have larger budgets, more staff, and can accomplish much more in a much shorter time period than you can. That market is a bad choice.

There are niche markets out there that you can choose from that have not been exploited yet. Choose a niche market based on something that you already know to do, where you have experience and where you can offer people help and assistance with their work. When you really have true passion for what you are doing, then you can do it better. It doesn't seem like work to you, it's fun because you enjoy doing it.

Again, my suggestion is to create a product based on something you already know, and after you study all the steps I am explaining on this website, you will be ready to set up website and business activities around your niche market.

Before creating a product you have to do some research. As more effort you put into research before any action, the better your position on that niche market will be.

Below are a few considerations that you need to look at before choosing a niche:

• The competition you will have, and how big the competitors are
• Page rankings and domain authority of your competitors
• Backlinks and popularity of competition
• On-page SEO quality, etc.

Read about all considerations in more detail in the following sections.

All considerations are important, especially the second one. If keywords research is properly done, then you will have a clear view of on which Niche to compete, also will help you to choose your website domain name and you have a good chance to thrive in that niche. Please read about this in Keyword Research section.

When you select niche market, you finished big and most important step in your journey.

IMPORTANT - Don't jump on to the hottest market just because it has keyword phrases so much asked for on a monthly basis, find your niche where competition is low or medium (for a beginner is better low) and you will prosper and make money. Targeting smaller audience will increase the amount of money you can make.

When you have filtered out your topic ideas use Google Trends tool to check the popularity of your topics. With this tool you can test your topics on regional and global basis, make comparisons and have clear popularity view. Please read more in Keyword Research section.


Keywords and Niche Selection


Before you start building your website, you should have already performed keyword research and decide on your niche market. In other words, you build your website around targeted keywords.

As mentioned throughout this website, if you are a beginner, you should focus on keywords that bring you low competition and substantial traffic volume. If you focus on high volume traffic with high level competition, you will most likely have a lot of difficulties in your path.

Besides, it’s better to be on the first page of Google search for a keyword phrase that gets 3000 exact searches per month on your website, than to be listed on the second page with 1.000.000 searches, but no visitors at all on your website.


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Squeeze Page and Split Testing

 Squeeze Page and Split Testing

Squeeze Page

Here I will talk about important things to consider when making squeeze page and split testing.

Squeeze Page is a one page website whose purpose is to collect email addresses in an ethical manner from visitors of your website.

So, the sole purpose of a squeeze page is getting a visitor to give you his/her email address. This process can be made a) for sending a free e-book, b) to join mailing list for future updates, c) to become a member, etc.

The mailing list is an essential part of building a business online, most likely the most important element of your online marketing success, and the well designed squeeze page is the best way for getting new prospects on your list.

Squeeze page shouldn’t contain anything else to distract visitor or to lead him/her to some other page. Do not include any links to other pages of your site, except the email submission confirmation button for opt-in form.

You can build a squeeze page using static HTML templates or using software tools like WordPress. The difference between those 2 methods is that if you use static HTML you need to have some elementary knowledge to create web page manually, but if you use (let say) WordPress tool you don’t need to be knowledgeable in HTML. You can edit your webpage with a few clicks of the mouse button and do it directly online.

There are four aspects on which you need to focus while constructing a squeeze page to improve convert rate -

  • The Headline
  • Opt-in Form
  • Submit Button
  • Text and Graphics

The Headline is a very important part of a squeeze page and it has to show directly what you are offering. The task of the headline is to communicate your message and to attract your visitors to leave their email address.

If you have a lead magnet, it has to be communicated in the headline. A lead magnet is a gift that you are giving away in return for their email address. Lead magnet could be e-book, written course, video course, free report, etc, or can also be a series of emails relevant to your niche market. Lead magnet is the crucial part.
Opt-In Form is a form where your visitors leave you their email address. This form you can create with many fields, but mostly used on squeeze pages are with one or two fields – Name and Email Address. My experience is that squeeze page has a better conversion rate when its Opt-In form contains only one field – Email Address. I am not listening to my experience, I use 2 fields, but there is a reason for that. If, in your line of work, you don’t really need to know their last name, date of birth, country they are from, name of person who refer them to your page, etc. then don’t ask that. The more information you ask them to provide, the more likely they’ll click away.

It's of crucial importance that your Opt-In form is visible without scrolling, either on your squeeze page or on your website. Make sure that you place it above the fold - the point where visitors have to scroll down to see content.
Submit Button on your Opt-In form should be customized. Do not leave it as default, as was given to you (mostly as “Submit”). Be creative and relate that button to your lead magnet. For example “Get Your Free e-book”, “Get Your Free Video Course”, etc.
Text and Graphics for your squeeze page should be presented in a manner to highlight your offering. Add in bullet points that emphasize, let say – a) key benefits of [your product], b) what they will learn with [your course], c) how they will solve their problem with [your e-book], etc.

Add some graphics or take a screenshot and place it on the page.
Use these four tips/suggestions and your squeeze page will do just fine in terms of conversion.

Be clear about what you are offering and inform prospects about the procedure and schedule when they can expect your delivery (what you promise them to send). It is also the right thing to do to inform them about the purpose of the first email that will be sent to them - confirmation of subscription (confirmation email). This information can be included in Thank You Page that you will set up to appear right after they submit an email address (in case of single opt-in), or after they confirm subscription by clicking on confirmation email (in case of double opt-in). I discuss this in section below - Email Subscriptions and Auto Responder Service Providers.

Squeeze Page and Split Testing is important to achieve better results, so please read on.

Thank You page

‘Thank You page’ is the page where visitors are taken after completing certain action. The main purpose of this page is to give ‘Thank You’ message to visitor in response to their action (sign-up confirmation, order completion, etc.).

As a ‘Thank You page’ have many purposes which I will discuss in another article, the main purpose is – it is the polite thing to do. The other important purpose is that it serves as an instrument to continue interaction with visitors.

In case of sign-up confirmation or order completion, your Thank You page will have download button either for free gift you are giving to subscriber (e-book, free report, etc.) or for products itself if it is a digital product you are selling.

Confirmation page

‘Confirmation page’ is the page where visitors are taken immediately after filling opt-in form. This page is used with double opt-in option. On this page you are informing your visitor that confirmation email has been sent to their inbox and that they need to confirm subscription. Also, what is good to mention on this page is your appeal to ‘whitelist’ or ‘safe-list’ your email address on their email provider so that your email address doesn’t end up coincidentally in spam or junk folder.

If you use single opt-in option, then you can take the subscriber directly to ‘Thank You’ page.

I discuss single and double opt-in options in section below - Email Subscriptions and Auto Responder Service Providers.

Squeeze Page and Split Testing - Squeeze Page Double-Opt-In Option

Squeeze Page and Split Testing - Squeeze Page Single-Opt-In Option

Split Testing

Split-testing is an important step for maximizing your results. In short, split testing is creating different variations of design of your squeeze page and putting it into test with real visitors to see which design converts better. In other words, it’s about testing two or more different design variations of your squeeze page to see which one is attracting more visitors that take action (subscribe, buy product, read articles, etc.).

To prepare and run those tests we need some tools to help us create those design variations (explained in ‘Squeeze Page” section) and tools to analyze results.

There are many tools you can use for split-testing. I will mention two of them. One is Google Website Optimizer, which is free to utilize, and another is Clicky Real-Time Web Analytic Tool, which is also free till 3000 page views per day.

It is recommended that you start testing at the beginning stage of your project to ensure that the best possible design is in use to attract more audience. After the first success wave, continual split testing is a natural option to maintain status of high converting page, a page that converts more visitors into subscribers.

Design variations you can make using WordPress and plug-ins as well as using any other tool you used to build your squeeze page.
There are three main page elements that need to be tested – a) Headline, b) Opt-In button, and c) Delivery Format of Your Lead Magnet.

Headline - Slight variation in wording can have a big impact on results

Opt-In button – Slight variation in wording, but also in color of words and button can also have a big impact on results

Delivery Format of Your Lead Magnet – The format in which your lead magnet will be delivered is also important (e-book, PDF, Video, etc). Depending on in which industry you are and what is your niche market, you should inquire in which format your audience wants it to be delivered. This element is important on a long run.

All those three elements are important and it might make a difference on how much subscribers or buyers you will get in your campaign.

I will write a lot more about squeeze page and split testing later on because is important to achieve better results,

Email Subscriptions and Auto Responder Service Providers

As we know, Opt-In form collects subscribers’ email addresses. Now we need an auto responder service provider to collect those addresses and to start sending emails. This is one of the main elements of online business.

There are many auto responder service providers on the market to choose from. With any of those service providers sign-up is easy, just a few clicks, but they all work differently and they all have their specific features.

I suggest, before signing up, that you decide on your strategy and that you already have prepared your follow-up email messages. You also have to decide on what option to use – single opt-in or double opt-in.

How it works? When a visitor to your squeeze or web page, leave you its email address, this address is automatically transferred to the auto responder service provider’s server, which sends immediately email to that address asking for confirmation of subscription (if you use double opt-in option). When confirmation is received you can start with your campaign regarding that subscriber.

There is always debate on what opt-in option to use – single opt-in or double-opt-in. In single opt-in option, visitor leave his/her email address and land immediately on your subscribers list – no confirmation necessary. With double opt-in option, visitor, after leaving his/her email address, receives Confirmation Email from you and is asked to confirm his/her subscription.

Of course it is easier to use single opt-in but this comes with certain problems. People might misuse the opt-in form and put somebody’s else email address in form, and when you start sending campaign emails to the wrong person, that is not at all interested in your content you might get reported as a spammer, which is not good for your business and your reputation.

I suggest you to use double opt-in option on your auto responder in order to ensure that every single subscriber on your list gave you permission to send them emails. This may look to you as an unnecessary feature, but this in fact ensures that all subscribers on your list are truly interested in content that you will send them, and, on the other hand, eliminate trouble for your business (it will prevent any spam issues and complaints).

Before all this happens, you will, after sign up, create your list(s) on auto responder service provider, upload your campaign emails and set dates and times (intervals and chronological order) of sending them. That setup you make will also be valid for all subscribers from that list that will come in future. That’s all you have to do, the rest is automated – works on autopilot. I personally send next email (after confirmation received from the subscriber) from my queue in 1-3 days during the campaign (depending on the campaign). In case of newsletter that would be 1 to 2 weeks.

As you start, you will do some testing before the real action, which is recommended. There are some service providers which offer first month free trial or free service below 500 or 1000 subscribers, which is good news, but the question is, when you start real campaigns, and when you sign up with another provider, how you are going to export your current subscriber list and will the other provider let you import your old list. Some auto responder services are not that eager to let importing of lists. I recommend that you carefully chose service provider and go from start with the same one. On my Resource page I listed few most recommended providers.

I will talk about this in more detail soon.


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Benefits of Blog Commenting

Blog commenting is a good way to establish your business as a member of market segment (niche), and to network with others and build community. It also helps you to build links that point to your blog/website (great help in SEO efforts), which means driving traffic to your website. It also could build your authority with search engines, if done properly.

Benefits of blog commenting

It is very important to spend time writing content for your blog/website, but it is also important to interact with others and get your name out there in blogging community related to your market segment (niche). This way you are promoting your blog/website and building your own business. Blog commenting is one of the strategies that people often use to build awareness and get some audience. It’s a personal approach.

Critics of this tactic will tell that it looks kind of spamming, so they think it’s ineffective. Well, now I have to say it again – if done properly, this is still effective tactic. What is important here, is not that blog comment is “follow”, which is not, it is important that blog comment is quality and related to the topic, and that will build your name, brand, reputation and , increase your credibility. Doing white-hat method of commenting on other people’s blogs/websites are the way to build links. It is important to understand that you are not doing it for direct incoming links, you are doing it for natural links to build up over the time as a result of the increased exposure.

Not so rarely happening that I get impressed and intrigued by the comment from my audience on some of my websites, and I go to their website, look around and I liked what they are doing so I commented there. Over the years, in a few instances, we become JV partners (Joint Venture). We are in the same market niche, but in a slightly different area. So, we were not competitive, we just complement each other and approach market together.

How to comment on blogs?

Saying simply “Hi, I like your blog.”, or “Hi, this is a great post.”, will not do much for your name, brand, reputation or exposure. You should leave thorough, meaningful comment that is relevant to the article topic of that page. People will click over to your blog/website if they like what you are saying. Quality and relevant comment can be a good start in building relationships.

Read the post thoroughly and contribute a meaningful comment that will encourage others to comment on that. Make a conversation. That will increase exposure of you and your brand or site.

Benefits of blog commenting

You never know who could be browsing the comments. I always do that when I am looking for something unrelated to my field of expertise. If product or service is unknown to me, I always read the comments to see what people have to say about their experience. When your name appears in front of me and you provide me with useful information in your comment, I will visit your website/blog to read more. There you have quality traffic. So, you see, it is important that you link your comment with your web page that talks about the same or related subject.

Beside a comment field, most comment forms include 3 fields – a) name, b) email address, and c) website URL. In most cases, name and email address are required, the website URL is not required but allowed. In that field put the relevant URL of your site that has some relation to the topic of the page where you commenting. In this case, visitors from your comment to your web page are already interested in that subject. That is quality traffic. Don’t just leave your homepage URL.

Note – Always use your personal name when commenting. It will help you improve your visibility and recognition. People like personal touch. If you put company name, or even worst, your product or service name in field “Name”, then we will all know that you are there just to promote your site/product/service.

Important – 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.

Where you should comment

It is best to leave comments on blogs/websites which are within your market niche - not direct competitors, but those with related content to yours within same niche. So you complement each other, and you get visitors that are already interested in what you have to say. This way, you don’t just get targeted visitors, but also, sometimes, it could grow into partnering with that site owner. All depends on what relationship you make with them and what quality you put into comments.

Important – Reply on comments of your readers on your own site. This is not just the polite thing to do, but it is also the way to build relationships, which could lead to converting audience into customers but also making partnerships. Anyway, people who comment on your blog/site already invested their time in reading your content, so they deserve your attention.

Let’s Recapitulate

Build community with your audience, it can only bring good things. A friendly relationship may grow and lead to new business opportunities.

As I said earlier, writing content (articles, posts, reviews, reports, guides, etc.) for your blog/website requires time and dedication. Also, blog commenting requires time, so be patient and make some weekly schedule for that. First, do some research in your market niche to find relevant blogs/websites where will be good to connect with people and place your comments. It will take some time, so be patient.

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