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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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8 Email Marketing Practices to Generate More Leads

8 Email Marketing Practices to Generate More Leads
E-mail marketing is considered to be the most conventional tool in marketing, especially in online marketing. It is certainly one of the most effective ways for any entrepreneur or business to get prospects’ attention. Those 8 email marketing practices that we discuss in this section will help you generate more leads for your product, service or business.

Email marketing concept, issues related to it, conditions necessary to have to make it work, tools needed to make it effective, etc. you can find in “Email Marketing” section.

Here we present tips that will help you increase your email marketing effectiveness. The key is in how you use email marketing.

 

Increase Open Rates

The email subject line will help you to increase open rates if done properly. Subject lines should be descriptive, directly related to the email content and provide the email recipient with a reason to open the email.

You need to give a reason to email recipient to open your email, so state the benefit, in the subject line, that they will obtain from reading your email. This will increase your open rates. Don’t ever forget that your email subject line should always be directly related to your email content.

The subject lines that create some sense of importance or urgency are also used for more effectiveness. Just don’t use aggressive lines and loud punctuation like multiple exclamation points or all caps, it will trigger spam filters.

 

Limit the Number of Fonts

When creating email, do not use many different fonts and font sizes. Make it two, at the most three fonts, or font sizes. You want an email reader to be focused on your message, not distracted.

If you use too many fonts and font sizes in one email, the reader could get confused and lose focus. Besides, your content will not look organized.

Use different font or font size on places in content where you want to point the reader’s attention. Keep the rest of the content in the same style.

 

Make Call-To-Action Visible

Your call-to-action has to be visible so that readers can respond to it. I would say it should be visible even from the opening of the email. Here is why.

If your content is not interesting enough to your reader, he or she will not scroll down the email. So it is important to place your call-to-action above the fold. They might respond to it.

If you place your first call-to-action below the fold, statistically only 30% of your readers will see it.

There are many discussions about where to place call-to-action, but from my experience I would suggest to do it 3 times in email if the email is around 300 characters.

First call-to-action put above the fold, second place somewhere in the middle, and the third place on the bottom, somewhere above greeting.

 

Optimal Width for Email

If your email width doesn’t fit the screen, readers will quickly lose interest. In this situation, they will have to scroll horizontally just to read your message, and that is not good. It makes your email hard to read, because they have to scroll back left to see the start of the next row.

You have to make sure that this doesn’t happen. You can quickly lose your readers’ interest in your product, service or business. Only scrolling that is going to be on your emails should be the vertical one – naturally.

Email clients don’t use the full width of the screen to display an email message. They mostly have navigation or a menu on left or right sidebar, so the email message has limited space on a screen.

There are many discussions about this too, but many agree that the optimal width should be up to 600 pixels. When considering the line length of the text, I recommend that you stay within a range of 45-65 characters per line.

Many major auto responder platforms have built in email responsive design, so your email will be mobile-friendly. That means that your email will be adjusted for different types of mobile devices.

 

Email Theme

Make sure that the theme of your emails in HTML format looks like the page on which subscribers opted in, because they will remember and recognize from whom email come.

People tend to be less skeptical and more trusting if they see something familiar to them.

Also good thing to do is to include your logo in the header, preferably in the upper left side. Many studies suggest that readers (not just email readers, but also visitors to the website) tend to first look at upper left corner.

 

Test Your Emails before Campaign

Try to test your emails before the campaign. Send them to your trusted friends and close associates to get feedback. You can only benefit from honest opinion. Hear what they have to say and what they think.

Make a short survey and ask all questions that are important to you regarding campaign emails. Those questions should include a) email transparency, b) compactness of content, c) readability of content, d) visibility of call-to-action, etc.

Based on that feedback, you can evaluate if anything has to be changed or adjusted before mass mailing.

 

Opt-Ins

It is widely used practice to offer something to visitors when they opt-in. As you know, it is usually an e-book or free report. We call it lead magnet. This presents a gift for becoming a subscriber. If you still don’t have one, it is time to make one. You can visit some of my earlier posts to read more about 1) how to create your own digital product, 2) how to use e-books for promotion and marketing, 3) how to make your e-book user friendly, etc.

Here I will not talk about opt-in form, but about opt-in options.

Debate is always on which option to use – single opt-in or double opt-in. As you know, single opt-in doesn’t need confirmation, and subscriber starts receiving emails immediately from your auto responder. But, in double opt-in case, subscriber need to confirm his/her identity before any email was sent their way from auto responder.

Double opt-in option is safer for both sides, and brings less confusion. I wrote about it in “Squeeze Page and Split Testing” post, under “Email Subscriptions and Auto Responder Service Providers” subheading.

 

Use Tracking Tools

Tracking software/tools are very useful to check open rates and click through rates of your emails. This way you will know how many people opened your emails and how many clicks on links within your emails.

This tool will also help you find out which of your landing pages are performing better. I wrote about it in “Squeeze Page and Split Testing” post, under “Split Testing” subheading.

 

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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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Few Tips on Creating Your Own Digital Product

Create Your Own Digital Product

There are millions of different things, different niches that somebody can exploit and create, but still most people are only promoting affiliate programs. I don't have anything against being an affiliate, but if that is all you are doing, then you are not using all your capabilities. If you create your own product, you can start your own affiliate program.

Choosing a niche is not an easy task to do, but when you find one close to your interest and skills, it can be very rewarding. No matter what experience you have in online marketing, you can create a profitable niche product in your own expertise area and sell it on the web. Here I will walk you through how to create your own product and market it.

Throughout this text I am referring to digital niche products - e-book and course mainly. I will explain how to create a digital product and how to sell it on the net. I have sold both digital and physical products on the web, but digital product has so many advantages over physical product, and no disadvantages. What I mean by digital niche product is that it can be downloaded from the internet, but physical product must be mailed out for each order.

In this text, I write about things that I have done. I wrote this article because I constantly receive emails on what is the best and quickest way to make money online. I have to say that there is NO overnight way to instant success. It doesn't exist. It is true that producing and selling on net your own product brings substantial income, but it also involves a lot of effort to produce it and to organize sales using software tools and services to get there. This investment of time, knowledge and effort is essential to start, but after you launch the product you will profit from it. You done your job and now into months and years to come you will still profit from it. Consider that as a passive income. In short, you put your effort to produce the product in start and benefit from it in the future.

 

Product Idea Testing

When you have chosen a niche market, you have to find out what people in that niche want and what is of most interest to them. While researching that, keep in mind where your expertise can fit in. Always remember that whatever you do is to help and assist people in your niche. Give the best of yourself. Your knowledge will provide quality to others and certain amount of uniqueness if you have many competitors there. People will always remember your uniqueness and your input and will respect you for that.

Firstly, screen your competition and after the screening it is time to screen your targeted niche market to see what is that they are looking for and where your expertise can help them to solve their problems. With this research you will get information that will help you shape up and improve your product.

Create a list of product ideas that you consider relevant, regardless if its e-book or service or something else. Make an initial list, which you will narrow down later during research when you receive feedback.

Ask as many people as you can and observe their reactions, comments and suggestions regarding your product characteristics. During this process, you will see what ideas are good and what are bad so you will narrow down your initial list of ideas and end up with just few accepted ideas from your audience. Those left on the list are those on which you will focus to create a product.

If you do not find out what people want, and create a product on a hunch, you could end up with a product that will have weak sales and that would be a waste of time for you. Well the truth is that every product has his buyer, but you are interested in more sales so this is a pretty important step.

 

Creating Written Documents

This is probably the most popular way to go, but not necessarily the best for everybody. This would consist of an e-book, online course, special report, or whatever else that you will write and package into a product.

My first suggestion is not to write a book, better write a course. A book has nowhere near the value that a course does. A step-by-step course is the best option if you are choosing this path. If you can show the customer that you can solve their problem in an easy step-by-step way, then you will have a very good chance with your product.

 

Picking Your Topic

If you already know what to write about then just skip this paragraph. If you are not knowledgeable in a certain area, just ask yourself a simple question - what I know that others will benefit from? And what you have to do is to take the idea that you come up with, and turn it into as many product ideas as you possibly can. Rearrange it into every variation that you can think of. This isn't hard to do, just write down your ideas, whatever they may be.

If you are not much into writing, ask a friend of family member to help you with it, or ask anyone else to do the writing for you and skip to the next section. If you have topics and draft for your product and you don’t know where to start and how to do it you always can do outsourcing. Hire other people to do that for you. On my Resource page you can find the company that can find knowledgeable virtual assistant for you for a low price.

 

Writing Style

When writing a course, e-book, report, etc. it is desirable to take the direct approach at the person who is reading it.

If you have ever read a book on how to write ad copy, use these techniques when writing your info product. Be direct, use short sentences, use familiar words, use sub-headlines to break up long articles, etc. You want to keep your reader’s attention.

Don't ramble. Try to stay on the subject. There are people that get irritated when they think they are about to read something under the headline of the article, and it goes into another subject that is way off topic.

 

Writing Process

You will not be able to write a whole document in just few days no matter how small that document is estimated to be and no matter how fast you type. Even if you do finish it in a few days, then you will have left out a lot of stuff that you have on your mind, but couldn't access it during that short writing period. This is basically just how it works.

Your brain only remembers certain things at certain times. When you spread out your writing over the course of a week or two, then your brain will access different parts of your memory, which will help you create a more detailed version. What I do is that I write as much as I can in one day, then the next day I will re-read it and start writing more. When I re-read it, it will trigger more ideas about what I have just read.

I also tend to just write the shell of my product all at once, then go back and add more detail to it. Write down all of the chapters of your course or e-book, then go through and write the first 1 or 2 paragraphs to starting articles of each chapter. Then when you finish the shell, go back and add more detail to each chapter. I wrote about this process in other posts.

 

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How to Choose Niche Market

how-to-choose-a-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

how-to-choose-a-niche-market-1

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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How to Use E-books for Promotion and Marketing

Use E-books for Promotion and Marketing

Use e-books for promotion and marketing. There are many ways to use your e-book to promote your business and market your products and services. As mentioned in an earlier post, investigate what your market segment (niche) need, discover what the specific goals and problems they have and figure out how to solve those issues. Then incorporate your valuable knowledge and information into your e-book. Either put that in new e-book, or update your existing e-book.

Beside other benefits, this will do great for your reputation, your brand and it will elevate the value of your business.

Furthermore, e-books can be broken down into a few different promotional materials. You can present your e-book in audio or video format, or you can make few special reports and make them available on your website/blog. You can put those special reports also on article directories to be visible to a wider audience. See “Effective Article Marketing” section.

Once posted on your website/blog, you can also use e-book as a free gift a) for opt-in to your email list, b) for making a purchase, c) for filling out a survey, etc.

A) Usual practice in online marketing is that you give a free e-book or a free special report to your website/blog visitors when they sign up for your newsletter or a free email course. Some argue about the positivity of that in relationship building terms, but I don’t. This is still good practice.

B) When people buy something online they expect some free gift or bonus. This is also usual practice in online marketing. So, no matter if you are selling digital or physical product, you make sure that they get that. In this case, it will be free e-book.

C) You need some medium to find out about your market segment potential, customers’ habits, behavior and motivators, and you need to gather marketing information. Ask your audience to fill the survey and give them e-book for free. Anyway, it is good to include survey at the end of your e-book and ask your readers about their opinions and other problems they want to solve. This will open up communication with them, and build relationships.

If you have a digital product, include an invitation with direct link in your e-book so that readers can download a trial version. If you sell physical products, include a discount coupon in your e-book. All those things increase the value of your e-book and, at the same time, promote and market your products.

In this way, you created a great promotional tool and cut cost and necessity for other promotional means. E-book will bring you new prospects for all products, as well as existing customers for new products. E-book is very flexible promotional medium.

Make sure that you keep your e-book up to date. Update it frequently as new information comes in, and techniques and technologies evolve in your niche. Follow market and industry trends, and report it. Add tips and advices that will help your readers in their everyday work, and you will see how good response you will have. And that is not just for now, you will benefit from it in years to come.

Put your e-book on a disc, and you will have an offline mean to distribute it.

NOTE – E-books are the powerful tool for promotion and marketing of your products and services. So, use e-books for promotion and marketing.

 

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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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