Monthly Archives: September 2015

Content Marketing for SEO

Content Marketing SEOSEO is an important component in the strategies and tactics you use to improve the traffic coming to your website. Using one or all of these ideas will improve traffic exponentially. But, one thing to remember is that getting traffic is to your website and online marketing is a “long game” meaning this is something you’re going to do long-term. Overnight success is rare, but with persistence and a plan, you will have success eventually.

  • Content Marketing

Content marketing is both an on page and off page SEO tactic. Creating and promoting blog posts, social media posts, videos, infographics, and memes are all great ways to improve traffic to your website. Within content marketing there is also email marketing. Email is a form of content and is a fabulous way to promote anything you do including posting a new blog post because you have the permission of your audience to do so.

It’s important to create a well thought out content marketing strategy before you even begin to think of any other type of marketing outside of the things mentioned regarding improving on and off page SEO.

Understanding your ideal customer’s buying stages will do wonders for helping you create an abundance of content that get results. You’ll need content for all aspects of your product funnel for at least two or three types of audience members that you have. Some people call these “buyer personas”.

The content you create will come in a few general categories:

Awareness – You’ll want to educate your audience and create buzz so that they know you exist. You might create a book, cheat sheets, checklists, “how to” content, or host a webinar. These things are all designed to educate the audience about your existence.

Evaluation /Consideration – Once your audience knows you exist they’re going to compare you to others. This is why you should go out of your way to learn as much as you can about both your audience and your competition. Providing case studies, an FAQ, demo videos, webinars, and even a free sample is a great way to allow your customer to evaluate your offerings.

Decision / Purchase – To get your audience member to purchase your product, you may need to provide a live demo, consultations; price estimates (services) or even a coupon or free trial. To the entire product so that they can finally choose your product or service over someone else’s, the trick is to reduce their perceived risk level.

As you consider the types of content you will need to create for each of your potential client personas, plus for all stages of the buying cycle, it’ll be hard not to think of tons of content ideas. The last two areas of the buying cycle should also be included such as finding your audience and turning them into advocates.

  • Get Published

Even before the Internet, a way to prove authority and get some credibility behind you was getting published. Today, it’s far easier to get published than ever before. You can publish yourself right on Kindle easily. You can easily use Create Space to publish a print version of your book too.

There are a lot of opinions about this. Old school people are horrified at the ease of entry into the publishing world. But smart markers know the advantages of getting published with or without a publisher. Plus you can even earn extra money in the process and you don’t need anything special at all to publish on Kindle. Just use MS Word and follow the detailed instructions for formatting, and you’re good to go.

Include Hyperlinks – In your Kindle Book, include hyperlinks to products you recommend and your page. These links will direct people to your page. Note: Be sure your website is responsive so they can actually view the info. Tip: Include the links as hyperlinks and as easy to remember links too so, they can get to them on their computer if they want.

Provide Extras – Kindle books are so great because you can put links, which allows you to provide extras that print books can’t. For example, you can link to a video, or link to a special download page with worksheets, cheat sheets and other important information for your audience to use. Tip: This is a great opportunity to collect their email address to add them to your email list.

Getting published does not take a publisher, or anything but the ability to write about 5,000 to 10,000 words that make sense and help your audience in some way. What’s more, if you wanted you could outsource that task to someone else.

  • Comment Marketing

There are numerous discussions going on in forums, blogs, and on social media networks like LinkedIn. Join communities and start commenting. Make sure your comments are well thought out and that your profile is fully completed and accurate. As mentioned before, you can set up a Google Alert to notify you of any discussions anyplace that you might want to comment on.

  • Be a Guest

Guest blogging, interviewing, speaking, and other actions can help you get traffic to your website because people like doing business with people they feel are trustworthy. Being invited to guest blog, do an interview, or speak can be a sign that you know what you’re talking about and further establish you as an expert. A good place to start is to become a case study for someone else. Many people who sell products ask for referrals and case studies. If you’ve been successful, shout it out to the world.

  • Do Reviews

Writing reviews for products you’ve purchased is a great way to recommend products to your audience but also a good way to get the attention of movers and shakers within your niche. The more you can associate your name with their name, even in something like a product review you look more like an expert and people will want to know more and click through to your website. You can also post reviews on your own website as another form of content.

  • Webinars

Hosting and participating in webinars is an excellent way to build your email list, and get people visiting your website if you set up things right. Remember that you want to send traffic to your site so each time you mention the webinar, like directly to your site first where they can find more info about singing up, not the webinar site.

  • Contests & Freebie Giveaways

Hosting and participating in contests is a great way to get links to your site and up the buzz about your products and services. You can design contests in a lot of ways, but the important thing is to make the prize something only your audience would want, not something the public would want.

  • Paid Traffic

There are a lot of types of paid traffic that you can use to improve your business, but the two that you’ll want to look into are pay per click, and banner ads. You can start a highly targeted Facebook PPC campaign and run banner ads with the keywords you select with Google AdWords. Don’t attempt this until you’ve done everything else.

  • Joint Ventures

A JV is where two or more people who market to the same audience non-competing products and services join forces on a small project. For example, let’s say you have a new book you want to promote via webinar. You can invite other people to join in who have products that would appeal to that audience to make the webinar more beneficial to your audience.

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Marketing for Non-Profits

Marketing for Non-ProfitsMarketing for Non-Profits

Recently someone asked me how he could help the charities and service organizations here in town to get more awareness as to the causes and projects they are involved in, both locally and throughout the world. I am uniquely qualified to answer this question due to the work I continue to do in this area.

First, you will want to sit down with someone who represents the group you wish to help to make sure you are both on the same page. The first step in any proactive marketing plan is to assess the current state of marketing at the organization. Take a step back and discover what’s actually occurring — or not occurring — at your nonprofit. When I have done this with Rotary, for example, it was the current year’s president that I talked to first to get a feel for what is already in place. This gives you both an opportunity to discuss exactly what they would like for you to do. For two years in a row I got the word out about our annual luau fundraiser, while at other times I was sharing the overall message of the group.

Once you have established rapport with this person, take the time to meet with their entire board at the next meeting. Typically these are held monthly and you may ask to be put on the agenda to say a few words about what you will be doing. Listen carefully so that you will be aware of the people and the issues that are important to them around the help you will be providing.

Next, spend the time to learn more about the Mission and Vision of the group you will be assisting. This is usually available on their website, or in written materials they can provide for you to read. When I helped a non-profit that is involved in providing eyeglasses and eye surgery to people in third world countries as well as in the United States, I learned much about what they hope to achieve overall, both now and in the future. This made it much easier for me to craft some marketing materials that would make sense for both their immediate and long-term goals.

I also like to put in some volunteer hours with a group I know little about. Working side by side with others who are interested in the cause will help inform you as to how they can best be served. Ask two volunteers and two staff members, “What does our organization do?  How are we different?” Recently I did this with a group that serves families living with a child who has cancer. Spending time with some of the parents, children, other volunteers, office staff, and board members gave me valuable insight into what needed to be accomplished.

Look at what they are already doing and have in place. This may include:

  • Organizational website
  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and so forth)
  • Paid advertising (Facebook ads, Google AdWords, print or online banner ads)
  • Unpaid placements (Public Service Announcements)
  • Communications (newsletter, e-newsletter, direct mail)
  • Special events, Fundraisers, etc.
  • Brochures and other printed publications

Finally, take the work you will do for charities very seriously. Even though it is typically not a paid position, you will want to give this work your best efforts so that everyone involved can see your dedication and commitment to the cause. Having a strong work ethic is also important, as that tells the world you care. This type of work may also lead to offers of paid positions, speaking engagements, and more over time. Even though these are “not for profit” organizations, the rules of business and marketing will still apply. Having someone like you work closely on their behalf will make a huge impact on everyone involved.

Becoming the “face” of the organization you are helping will make a difference for you within your community. I am regularly approached by strangers while out walking or shopping who have met me during a charity event for one group or another. This then affords me the opportunity to talk even more about the great work that group is doing.

You will learn so much about business, marketing, and public relations by helping groups to get the word out to the community. Use this as an opportunity to reach your own goals, and know that a win-win is always the best outcome.

Ask for help, stay focused and committed to the Mission of the non-profit, and stay in close communication with the group’s leaders. This could be the first step in making a name for yourself in your community that can spill over into what you are doing in your own business. Showing leadership skills and the willingness to take on challenges will serve you well for years to come.

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Off Page SEO

Off Page SEOOff Page SEO

Any type of process that will improve page rank and traffic that is performed off your website, such as guest blogging, performing interviews, selling products on other sites, activity on social media websites, social bookmarking, participating on forums and more are all considered off page SEO.

8 Tips to Improve Off-Page SEO

  • Social Networking Websites – Join the social networking websites that you are sure your audience participates in. Create profiles that stand out. Each networking site needs a different style of profile so it’s important to find information about how to create the best profiles for each site. In addition, use the site, participate, and engage with others.
  • Promoting Your Content – When you create content, whether it’s text, image, video or audio based — everything you create needs to be promoted via social networking and other avenues. No one is going to see what you created on the level you need them to without promoting everything you do.
  • Social Bookmarking – Using social bookmarking sites like Reddit.com can be very helpful to improving your search rank, and thus the traffic you receive to your website. Be sure to use only social bookmarking sites that your audience uses.
  • Forum Commenting – A great off-page SEO technique to help you get more traffic to your website is to join a forum consisting of your core audience. Create an awesome profile that links back to your website. Then freely talk to and give of yourself to the members of the forum through your well-thought out and helpful comments.
  • Blog Commenting – You can set up an alert with Google Alerts to tell you when someone is talking about a topic of interest on a blog. When you get these notifications, go there immediately, read the post, and the form an educated and informative response.
  • Guest Blogging – In the “old days” of Internet marketing (up until about 2009) you could easily use the same blog post, or article to market on many different blogs and article marketing sites. That doesn’t work today, so it’s imperative that you create unique content for any guest blogging or article marketing that you engage in. It should be written just for the publication in question, and the publication should be highly regarded and ranked. It should cater to your target audience and the content you write should be made especially for their audience. Your biographical information links should direct back to your website.
  • Join Several Relevant Directories – You don’t want to go around joining every directory that pops up. But once in a while a good directory comes along that is targeted, relevant, and run by people who understand what they’re doing and don’t just allow anyone to list on the directory. When you find directories like that, which are relevant for you, join them.
  • Share Many Relevant Things – Sharing content with your followers on social media, and even from your blog things such as videos, images, photos, memes, infographics and more that you created and that others created that is relevant to your audience will bring up your status as an expert. People will return the favor.

Using off page SEO will increase your rank on search engines, and it will make you a better member of your community. You’ll further your reputation as an authority in your niche, and help spur an upswing in the rankings for your website.

 

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Online Marketing Tips Podcast: Hosting and Attending Live Events

List Building for Your BusinessLive Events for Your Business

In this most recent podcast I discuss my strategy for attending and hosting live events. I share how I attended my first marketing event in the spring of 2008 and ended up earning more than the cost of attending, including airfare and hotel, within a few days after returning home. Then I talk about how Geoff Hoff did something similar at my suggestion the following year and was very successful in earning many times what it cost him to attend a live event. People were begging him to take their money in return for the service he was offering that weekend.

I also share how I was able to write my twelfth book over the past few weeks. This book will be available for sale on Amazon very shortly and is titled Book. Blog. Broadcast: The Trifecta of Entrepreneurial Success. Check out my published book titles here.

Attending and hosting live events is an excellent way to connect with like-minded people and learn more on your topic. Always think about what you have to offer the people you meet and how you can use your skills and knowledge to help pay for attending and/or hosting live events. You will be amazed at how this works for you once you give it a try.

These open calls are your opportunity to connect with me and ask me your most burning questions when it comes to online marketing and entrepreneurship. Be sure to read my regular emails so that you may take advantage of this live mentoring as you build your online business.

I have also introduced a new feature during these calls. I will always have the latest course or program at my Surprise! link. Check it out and see what I am recommending this week.

Finally, I discuss why you must work towards earning six figures a year. This was my dream when I got started in 2006 and this is now a reality for so many people who are willing to learn and take action on what they are learning. Does that describe you?

Are you already a part my list community and receiving my daily email updates? If not, please give me your first name and primary email address in the form on the right-hand side of this site. If you are brand new to my podcasts, you will be interested to know that this specific training call, as well as all of the calls in my podcast series is intended to teach you and other new online entrepreneurs how to take your business to the next level quickly and effectively, and as a way for me to share my exact methods, techniques, Case Studies, secrets, and advice on creating a profitable and lucrative online business using the ‘multiple income streams’ approach. People on six continents have now discovered that starting an Internet business is the very fastest way to achieve both time and financial freedom, as well as to great success in all areas of your life, and you need help to get there quickly. That’s why I started this online marketing tips podcast for my community.

You will see that each podcast session is first recorded live as a teleseminar, and then repurposed into a podcast to extend my reach to the world. Please join my list (opt in on the right) to be included on these calls, and be sure to introduce yourself and share your site for optimal exposure for years to come! Also, check out my Podcast Show Notes site to see how you can subscribe at no cost to both of my podcasts, and please leave me a review on one or both of them if you are so inclined.

You may now pick up my popular training on winning affiliate contests and other online marketing tips for only seven dollars at Affiliate Contest Secrets. Use the discount code CONTEST to bring the price down to $7. This training has been completely updated for 2015 with the latest information, strategies, and Case Studies for you to use in your own business.

Please be sure to leave your comments below so that I may get to know you better and to serve you as you continue your journey as an online entrepreneur. Getting started with an online business will change your life forever and your success is my reward!

Subscribe To My Online Marketing Tips Podcast Today!

 

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Podcast: Michel Fortin – Copywriter

Michael Fortin CopywriterI first met Michel Fortin, copywriter extraordinaire, in 2008 while I was attending my first live event. It was the Big Seminar in Atlanta, and Michel and his new wife, Sylvie, had just come down from the stage after presenting to a crowd of over two thousand people. Within a few days I had been invited to join a Mastermind with him and many others that had been put together by Armand Morin. Michel’s input and help over the years definitely made a difference in my early success as an online entrepreneur.

In 2010 I won an affiliate contest with Armand and Michel’s help with my sales copy was part of the prize. During a twelve hour period in a hotel suite in Atlanta he and the others put my business under the spotlight and recommended changes that would ultimately get me on the track to success.

Fast forward seven years and Michael continues to be a force in my life and in the world of copywriting. We connected in person again while both speaking at an event in Toronto, Canada, not far from where Michel lives in Ottowa.

During this podcast interview he shares how he got started with writing sales copy for doctors and other professionals, what is most important in this process, and how newer online entrepreneurs can begin by writing their own copy. He also discusses how we are always able to better sell ourselves and our products through third party endorsements.

Michel was in sales as a young man and had to learn how to get over the fear of rejection. He did overcome this fear by writing lead generating sales letters. The prospects would call him to set up an appointment, and at that time they were already pre-sold. That’s when he connected with doctors who wanted him to write sales copy and advertisements for them to be able to sell their services. He dubbed himself the ‘success doctor’ and went on to write some of the most effective copy ever developed for this purpose. He credits this type of specialization with his early success and recommends narrowing your focus for best results.

You will enjoy this podcast and get to know Michel much better. For some of the top books on the topic of writing sales copy for your information products check out these books. Find out more about what Michel is doing at Workaholics 4 Hire.

Subscribe To My Podcast Series On iTunes

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SEO: Knowing Your Target Audience Is Key

SEO Target AudienceSEO: Target Audience Is Key

The fact is, knowing your audience is a huge factor in whether you will be successful or not getting traffic to your website. It’s also the key to creating excellent products and / or services that are sought after too. Understanding your audience goes effects everything you do to develop a successful business.

  • Describe Your Ideal Customer – To determine who your audience is, first write down exactly the type of person you’d like to work with. This is a make believe person right now, and you’ll refine this description as you move forward. For example: “My ideal customer is an upper level executive who loves playing golf and going on golfing vacations.”
  • Find Your Audience – You can use social media like Facebook.com, LinkedIn.com, and Twitter.com to locate your audience. Find them on forums and social media and read what they are talking about. Learn what they care about. Learn about their needs, problems, issues, and questions. For example: Find discussion groups online of people talking about golf, and golfing vacations.
  • Engage Your Audience – Once you find them, it’s important to converse with them. Ask them questions; find out how they feel about things. You can get so much information, as well as fodder for online content and even product ideas by talking to and engaging with your audience. Caution: This is not the time to try to sell to them. Just be friendly, ask questions, offer help if you know something, and keep it casual. For example: If someone talks about a problem with their golf clubs or golf balls and you know the problem, talk to them about it. Do so freely and without expecting anything in return.

As you converse and participate with your ideal audience members, you’ll refine your description about your audience, perfecting it so that you can easily search for and find out where your audience members spend their time. Once you know where they are, you can learn more about them, as a group, and what their needs, wants, and desires are.

Most importantly, you’ll be able to come up with products that fit perfectly with that audience as well as develop marketing ideas that connect you with them like a laser. Describing, finding and engaging your audience and then delivering exactly what they want and need based on your discoveries involves a very powerful series of methods that will lead to success.

What do you think about this? Do you know your target audience well enough to serve them effectively?

 

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How To Increase Your Website Traffic

Website TrafficWhen you first set up your website it can be a daunting thought that you’re starting from scratch and have to build your traffic up so that you can start making an impact in your niche. You know that you want to drive targeted and relevant relevant traffic to your blog or other site that consists of your prospects. But, you’re just not sure where to go from here or how to build up the traffic to where it needs to be. This post will give you plenty of useful and inexpensive ideas to help you get started building your web traffic and hit the ground running from the very first day.

Getting Traffic: Quality vs. Quantity

Website traffic actually has more to do with whether or not you are providing your target audience with information that they can use, than with whether or not your website looks beautifully designed or not. Of course, you do not want a website that blinds the user, or isn’t designed responsively (meaning it works on all devices such as smart phones and tablets), but you really should focus on what’s inside to drive traffic.

That’s where quality traffic comes in over quantity. A website can have a million visitors due to a free give away that appeals to a wide audience, such as a free iPhone – but that isn’t going to get targeted visitors who want what you have to offer, they only want the gift. So, what was good was having a million people signing up for the chance to win the free iPhone? As you can imagine, it’s probably not worth much at all. It would be a waste of time and money to do that.

Quality traffic, on the other hand, will consist of your ideal audience members, and they will want, maybe not today, but eventually, they will want what you have to offer. You just have to find ways to build the traffic for your website that attracts the targeted, relevant, and ready to buy audience that you desire. Quality traffic will spend time on your site, sign up for your newsletters, and open them. Quality traffic will come back, again and again. Quality traffic will purchase your products and / or services. That’s the type of traffic you want.

Getting quality traffic can take a little effort. But, if you create a plan of action and work toward the right goals, in the right way you will be successful. If you’re providing your readers with the information they want, need and solves their problems, you’ll be much more successful. It’s all about targeting the right audience, at the right time, in the right place with the right methods. Before we get started on the things that you can do to get traffic to your website, let’s talk a little bit about measuring traffic effectiveness.

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Traffic

One of the most important things to learn about is measuring the effectiveness of the work you do to improve your traffic. First, each goal you make needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, and time sensitive. These are called SMART goals. You can look it up, it’s a real thing. First, you need to set up a Google Analytics Account. It’s not hard to do, if you already have an email address and a ULR for your website you’ll want to set it up.

Go to Google.com/analytics  to set up the account. Follow the prompts to do so. You’ll need your URL, and a Gmail account. Once you set it up you’ll get a code to put into your site. If you use WordPress, you can get a plugin like Measure My SEO by Rapid Crush. This allows you to be able to collect and view the stats. It might take a couple of days before you start seeing analytics, so just keep doing the things mentioned in this report below and check your analytics periodically such as quarterly at first. Later, when you’re more established you can start checking more often.

When it comes to measuring online traffic effectiveness, the things you need to measure are:

Your Website’s General Audience

This is the very first thing you will see when you sign into your Google Analytics account once it’s activated and you have some visitors to track. Until you learn how to set it up completely it is counting your visits too. But, that’s okay for now.

website traffic

Here you can see how many visitors you have in one day, how many are returning, and how many are unique. This is a good measure to track because you want a good amount of new people so that you can build your list, but you also want a good amount of return visitors because that signals that your content is engaging. By clicking to the left under Audience, you can get deeper into this information.

 

Get started with website traffic building by using the same plugin that has simplified all of this for me. It’s called Measure My SEO and I continue to have excellent results because of it.

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Offline Business Marketing – What’s Working Now?

Offline Business MarketingOffline business marketing continues to be a part of what I do, yet I seldom discuss the strategies that work well for these brick and mortar businesses. I’ll share some of what I did recently with a small business that provides drapery cleaning, as well as some other services for residential and commercial customers.

Every business must answer the question ‘What’s for sale?’ if they are to become and remain profitable. You may think that your prospects and even your current clients know exactly what you have to offer, but that may not always be the case. Let’s use the drapery cleaning business as an example. Without knowing anything more than what type of business this is, it would be safe to assume that cleaning draperies would be the logical service they offer. But what about other related services, such as cleaning upholstery, blinds and shutters, and even carpets? Would these also be logical services for this type of company to offer their prospects and customers?

By writing a sales page for your primary products and services, you can accomplish two goals. One is to let people know exactly what you do have to offer and the other is to make sure you are not leaving any money on the table by omitting products and services that you take for granted after being in business for a number of years or losing money by offering something that does not add enough to your bottom line.

Start with a general headline that grabs the attention of your reader and entices them to continue reading. For this business, something like ‘Do You Have Draperies As Old As Your High School Age Daughter, Yet They Haven’t Been Cleaned Since She Was In Kindergarten?’ That headline will definitely speak to many readers and will get them to continue reading down the page. You would go on to tell them about the germs and parasites that are hiding in their drapes, as well as some other problems that can arise when you live with unsanitary conditions.

Next, tell a little about the history of how your business was started, and what your vision is for running your business. Perhaps it was a family business started by your grandfather, or it came into existence after you saw a need in the marketplace as a consumer some years ago. This is of great interest to potential customers. Further down on your sales page you will mention the other services your company has to offer, and how they are related to your primary service of drapery cleaning.

Use testimonials from existing clients, as well as lots of photographs of your work. Before and after pictures work extremely well for the purpose of demonstrating what you are capable of with a ‘show instead of tell’ approach. Now it’s time to make a list of what your company offers and see where the profit centers are located. Maybe you earn the most profit from cleaning draperies and upholstery, while not earning much from cleaning carpets. Then you must make the decision whether to abandon the carpet cleaning completely, offer it only to those who use your other services, or to refer this work to someone else in the community.

The bullet points of your sales letter will give you even more ideas as to what to offer. Perhaps a membership program, where customers pay monthly or annually for a specific list of services would make sense. Maybe a discount coupon for services would be appealing, where customers could pay a specific amount for the coupons that would be worth up to ten times as much as they paid for them. Be creative, while always thinking about your bottom line.

If you are willing to spend the time writing this type of sales letter, you may also uncover hidden revenue streams that you hadn’t thought about in the past. Setting up a referral program, where one client recommends a friend or neighbor and receives cash or a gift card would work well in your business. And make sure the completed sales letter gets printed out and posted online.

The recession is over, and now is the time to use smart marketing strategies to increase your business profits. Next week I’ll share more about how I market for non-profit groups and organizations. This has become my passion as I continue to see lives changed around the world by the work that is accomplished.

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