Blogging Tips http://www.bloggingtips.com Blog Themes, Blog Design & Daily Blog Tips Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:38:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 How to Strategically Use B2B Content Marketing for Branding http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/23/b2b-content-marketing/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/23/b2b-content-marketing/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:38:19 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34654 Over the last 2 years, Google has gradually tightened the screw on its search engine algorithms and has taken several steps to improve the overall quality of its search results. For common users, that is obviously good news. But for businessmen like you, who depend heavily on Google for website traffic and sales leads, this presents several challenges and opportunities at the same time – depending how you look at it. On one hand, you can no longer apply cheap SEO tricks to attract long term search engine traffic. But on the other hand, you now have a huge opportunity to demonstrate the true knowledge and expertise of your industry and make a name for yourself with high quality B2B content marketing. And while there’s still is a debate on how Google actually defines quality, three factors are almost universally agreed upon. -          In-depth content that addresses issues in detail. -          ...

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shutterstock_134112389Over the last 2 years, Google has gradually tightened the screw on its search engine algorithms and has taken several steps to improve the overall quality of its search results. For common users, that is obviously good news.

But for businessmen like you, who depend heavily on Google for website traffic and sales leads, this presents several challenges and opportunities at the same time – depending how you look at it.

On one hand, you can no longer apply cheap SEO tricks to attract long term search engine traffic. But on the other hand, you now have a huge opportunity to demonstrate the true knowledge and expertise of your industry and make a name for yourself with high quality B2B content marketing.

And while there’s still is a debate on how Google actually defines quality, three factors are almost universally agreed upon.

-          In-depth content that addresses issues in detail.

-          Quality backlinks from other established websites

-          Content that gets shared frequently

If you can address these three factors with your content, you’ll not only guarantee regular streams of search engine traffic to your website, but also build a strong brand image that will ultimately establish you as a reliable name in your industry.

What Exactly is Content Marketing?

While many internet marketers have started using the term content marketing almost synonymously with blogging, in reality it is much more than that.

Content marketing, as the name suggests, is marketing your brand using quality content and sharing valuable industry knowledge. This includes all forms of online and offline content.

But since we’re talking about the internet world, we’ll limit ourselves to online content marketing only.

The objective, however, with both of them is the same – providing value through content and creating brand loyalty.

As a business owner, here are some of the most effective ways you can benefit from content marketing and use it to attract search engine traffic, brand loyalty and long term customers.

1- Build a Solid Blogging Strategy

Blogging is at the core of any content marketing strategy. This is where you can address the issues of your particular industry in detail, offer your perspective on them and share views with your target customers.

What you don’t want to do with blogging, however, is to focus entirely on your own products and services. Blogging is not meant for that.

But this is what many business blogs do, and that is why they never contribute to their overall business performance.

Your blogging strategy should revolve around the needs of your customers. The best way to do that is to list down the most common issues of your industry that everyone wants to know about.

Under each issue/problem, list down the solutions that you can provide for each of them. Now with these problems and solutions in mind, create blog post ideas that address each of the problems in detail and provide actionable solutions against them.

Write detailed posts and write like an expert – which is what you’re supposed to be anyway.

This is all you need to do. And this is what will differentiate you from your competitors as well.

Google loves detailed posts with actionable points. If you stick to this simple strategy long enough, Google will soon start sending you more traffic, which will ultimately give you more customers.

2- Combine Infographics With Blogging

Blogging itself is a very effective way to communicate with your target audience and attract more traffic. But when you add infographics to the mix, it becomes an irresistible combination.

Infographics are made by combining text content with eye catching graphics. They’re easy on the eye and can communicate a lot more information than blog posts in a very short time. Infographics are also very effective in getting more backlinks.

Someone like Neil Patel from QuickSprout.com uses infpgraphics extremely effectively and attracts literally hundreds of high quality backlinks from other websites.

And backlinks, as I said earlier, are one of the key indicators that Google uses to rank a website in search results.

You can either hire a graphic designer to create infographics for you, or you can use free online infographic tools to create them yourself.

Either way, they can be very effective in differentiating you from your competitors.

3- Create Viral Videos to Boost Your Brand

With the social networking age in full flow, viral video marketing has become one of the most effective forms of content marketing.

Not only do videos get shared much more frequently than any other form of content, they also bring in much higher referral traffic from other websites.

But the secret to creating viral videos is addressing the issues of your customers in an extremely engaging and interesting manner. They’re all about communicating your message indirectly in a light way.

But if you can get it right, there’s nothing better for boosting your brand image and announcing yourself to the world.

4- Use the Strength of B2B Trading Portals

This is one of the most overlooked, yet extremely effective, ways of getting your content across to your most relevant readers. Online B2B trading portals like QualityTrade.com, TradeBanq.com etc. have thousands of registered business users who are actively looking for relevant buyers and suppliers. These portals also have very strong reputation with search engines because they have millions of products listed on them with lots of content.

So if you register with them as a free supplier, post a few products and then add good quality content that includes backlinks to your website, you will not only get a good chance to rank higher on search engines but will also get your content in front of thousands of highly interested and relevant readers. Moreover, it will immediately build your credibility as a serious business.

5- Create Short Presentations To Build Credibility

Another form of content marketing that can help you attract more search engine traffic and, at the same time, establish you as an industry expert is creating short text and visual presentations.

You can do that by using summaries of your blog posts, turning them into bulleted points and uploading their PDF or PowerPoint versions on websites like Slideshare.net.

Not only can these presentations send you more referral traffic, they can often act as additional proof of your credibility and industry knowledge.

6- Use Social Media Marketing to Your Advantage

Just like blogging, social media presence has become a mandatory part of any content marketing strategy. This is where you can get closer to your customers and engage them using different images, videos and text content.

But that is not the only reason why you should care about social media websites.

As I said earlier, Google now considers the number of times a particular piece of content has been shared as a measure of its quality. So this can have a direct impact on your search engine rankings as well.

There are two ways you can ensure you take full benefit of social media websites.

-          Create your official profiles on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. Integrate social media sharing buttons across your website and blog, using services like AddThis, and encourage your visitors to share your content.

-          Promote your content aggressively across 2-3 main social networks, especially Google+ and Facebook since both of them can impact your search rankings in the long run.

Conclusion

Smart and aggressive content marketing should be your primary focus as far as online marketing and lead generation is concerned. Focus on creating value based content, make it shareable and promote it using different social media platforms and B2B trading portals. If you stick to this strategy long enough, you’ll eventually be able to attract more traffic from search engines and a higher number of conversions through your website.


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Make More Green with the Evergreen FX Affiliate Program http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/21/green-evergreen-fx-affiliate-program/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/21/green-evergreen-fx-affiliate-program/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:00:54 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34641 Having holed up a bunch of my money is so-called “high interest” savings accounts for so long, I’ve always had an ambition to do something smarter with my money. The thing is that investing in the stock exchange, in equities or whatever else can sound so intimidating and so daunting. That’s why there are so many educational products out there, as well as professional advisors, that are designed to teach you how to get your money to make you more money. And, seeing how the world of money works, you can also make a bunch of money by convincing other people to invest in these educational products. You can do that through the Evergreen FX affiliate program. They don’t do the actual foreign exchange trading themselves, but they rather deal in foreign exchange education. The Familiar Affiliate Arrangement The fundamental way that Evergreen FX works is not going to sound ...

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Having holed up a bunch of my money is so-called “high interest” savings accounts for so long, I’ve always had an ambition to do something smarter with my money. The thing is that investing in the stock exchange, in equities or whatever else can sound so intimidating and so daunting. That’s why there are so many educational products out there, as well as professional advisors, that are designed to teach you how to get your money to make you more money.

And, seeing how the world of money works, you can also make a bunch of money by convincing other people to invest in these educational products. You can do that through the Evergreen FX affiliate program. They don’t do the actual foreign exchange trading themselves, but they rather deal in foreign exchange education.

The Familiar Affiliate Arrangement

The fundamental way that Evergreen FX works is not going to sound all that foreign to anyone who has worked with other affiliate programs in the past. You sign up, you choose the offers to promote, and when your new lead opts into an offer, you get paid. They don’t even need to follow through with a sale.

evergreenfx1

At the moment, there aren’t a lot of educational programs and products being offered through Evergreen FX, but they do go through quite a bit of useful information for people who are interested in trading in the foreign exchange market. The form to sign up as an affiliate is relatively short; it’s a single page where they ask for your main contact information, your primary marketing channels, and your payment information. You agree to the Terms & Conditions, enter the Captcha code and submit.

Payment is issued bi-weekly on a net-30 basis. They prefer to issue their payments via PayPal, but you can request to receive your commissions via wire or check instead if you’d like.

Affiliate Dashboard

For those of you who have worked with other affiliate programs in the past, the basic layout of the dashboard with Evergreen FX will look familiar.

evergreenfx2

You get your main “at a glance” information in the center, including your campaign summary and performance summary. You’ll find the key data for your week to date, previous 7 days, month to date, last 30 days, year to date, and last 12 months. All of the main navigation can be found along the left, which is where you’ll access the offers, reports and account information too. No surprises here.

The Seven Exclusive Offers

At this time, Evergreen FX has seven unique forex education campaigns that you can promote on a CPL basis. Evergreen FX says that they are trying to add three to four new offers each month, so this library will grow over time. As mentioned, your referred traffic does not have to convert into a sale; it’s on a cost-per-lead basis, typically requesting only the person’s name and e-mail address, though the most lucrative offer also requires their phone number.

evergreenfx3

That most lucrative offer is the Euro Eclipse (Direct to Webinar), paying out $15 for each confirmed lead that you refer. The visitor would need to RSVP for a free forex webinar from Market Traders Institute that lasts about 90 minutes. This webinar covers some rare trading opportunities that are forming in the forex market, as well as a pro trading plan. The current creatives for this offer include three banners and one email, as well as the basic affiliate link itself.

The remaining offers with Evergreen FX — including an ebook, a video with a unique trading strategy, and prediction indicators — pay between $1.50 and $8 for confirmed leads from eligible countries, though many of them also pay a reduced rate ($1) for international leads from other countries.

The Currency of the Web

There are a lot of people who are interested in learning about trading forex and you can capitalize on this interest via the affiliate program from Evergreen FX. The bi-weekly payment schedule is a plus and the $15 CPL is pretty good for an offer that doesn’t cost the visitor anything.


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Manage and Organize Daily Business Task with ThunderTask http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/20/manage-organize-daily-business-task-thundertask/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/20/manage-organize-daily-business-task-thundertask/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 15:00:25 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34487 Anyone working online realizes the need for a compact task management tool to organize everyday tasks and follow it. Yes, we can note down all the little details of running an online business on post-its and notepads, but they don’t always help. Do they? What to do then? Use ThunderTask. How Does ThunderTask Help? ThunderTask is a project cum task management tool which is useful for both individuals and organizations. We will find it useful because: (1) It is flexible and very simple to use. (2) You just need to jot down the tasks, time it and save. (3) You can use this task management tool to collaborate with other team members. (4) It has a clean interface. (5) It will work on any computer. (6) You can download its mobile app and use it 24×7. (7) Your tasks are automatically sorted out into various categories like tasks due today, overdue tasks, upcoming tasks, general tasks and ...

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Anyone working online realizes the need for a compact task management tool to organize everyday tasks and follow it.

Yes, we can note down all the little details of running an online business on post-its and notepads, but they don’t always help. Do they?

What to do then?

Use ThunderTask.

ThunderTask

How Does ThunderTask Help?

ThunderTask is a project cum task management tool which is useful for both individuals and organizations. We will find it useful because:

(1) It is flexible and very simple to use.

(2) You just need to jot down the tasks, time it and save.

(3) You can use this task management tool to collaborate with other team members.

(4) It has a clean interface.

(5) It will work on any computer.

(6) You can download its mobile app and use it 24×7.

(7) Your tasks are automatically sorted out into various categories like tasks due today, overdue tasks, upcoming tasks, general tasks and inbox tasks.

 How Does ThunderTask Work?

After you sign up, you are given the option to create:

(1) Lists

(2) Tasks

(3) Workspace

A freelancer could use the workspace to create multiple projects and add ‘lists’ or ‘tasks’ in the same. A business owner can use the workspace to build and assign tasks to various team players and share it with them.

 ThunderTask Pricing

Here is the screenshot of its very affordable pricing:

ThunderTask pricing

If you are still unsure about this, I suggest you sign up for the free trial plan and then upgrade.


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Google Breadcrumbs – Why should it matter to you? http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/18/google-breadcrumbs-matter/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/18/google-breadcrumbs-matter/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:00:42 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34484 What are Google Breadcrumbs? Whenever we search anything on Google, the URL of the search results are shown, right? What Google did was change the URL visibility status and introduce a “breadcrumb” system which consists of precise guidelines as to where the user clicking on the words will visit. The breadcrumb trails appear horizontally across the top of a webpage, below the title bars and/or the headers. The visitors are given a link back to the previous navigated pages in the hierarchical site structure. A breadcrumb for BloggingTips looks like: BloggingTips.com > About Purpose of Breadcrumbs Easy accessibility Easy navigation Easy URL display Google describes the tool with the following words: “The information in these new hierarchies come from analyzing destination web pages. For example, if you visit the ProductWiki Spidersapien page, you’ll see a series of similar links at the top, “Home> Toys & Games> Robots.” These are standard ...

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What are Google Breadcrumbs?

Whenever we search anything on Google, the URL of the search results are shown, right?

What Google did was change the URL visibility status and introduce a “breadcrumb” system which consists of precise guidelines as to where the user clicking on the words will visit.

The breadcrumb trails appear horizontally across the top of a webpage, below the title bars and/or the headers. The visitors are given a link back to the previous navigated pages in the hierarchical site structure.

A breadcrumb for BloggingTips looks like:

BloggingTips.com > About

Purpose of Breadcrumbs

  • Easy accessibility
  • Easy navigation
  • Easy URL display

Google describes the tool with the following words:

“The information in these new hierarchies come from analyzing destination web pages. For example, if you visit the ProductWiki Spidersapien page, you’ll see a series of similar links at the top, “Home> Toys & Games> Robots.” These are standard navigational tools used throughout the web called “breadcrumbs,” which webmasters frequently show on their sites to help users navigate. By analyzing site breadcrumbs, we’ve been able to improve the search snippet for a small percentage of search results, and we hope to expand in the future.”

Will it Improve Site Visibility and Rankings?

Yes, implementing the breadcrumb tool will add to the site’s visibility as per SEO rules. However, it is must that the tool is applied correctly so that the Google bots are able to recognize them.

How to add Breadcrumbs in WordPress themes?

If you are an avid WordPress user, you are itching to know how to add breadcrumbs to your WordPress theme.

The current crop of WordPress themes has the breadcrumbs in-built but in case, it isn’t so with your theme, you need to install it manually.

Follow these steps.

1. Open your theme’s function.php file with WordPress theme editor or simply download that using FTP.

2. Add the following code after the last line of the function.php file.

<?php
function the_breadcrumb( $before = null, $sep = ', ', $after = '' ) {
                   if ( null === $before )
                                      $before = __('Tags: ');
                   echo generate_the_tag_list($before, $sep, $after);
}
function generate_the_tag_list( $before = '', $sep = '', $after = '' ) {
return apply_filters( 'the_tags', generate_the_term_list( 0, 'post_tag', $before, $sep, $after ), $before, $sep, $after);
}
function generate_the_term_list( $id = 0, $taxonomy, $before = '', $sep = '', $after = '' ) {
                   $terms = get_the_terms( $id, $taxonomy );
                   if ( is_wp_error( $terms ) )
                                      return $terms;
                   if ( empty( $terms ) )
                                      return false;
                   foreach ( $terms as $term ) {
                                      $link = get_term_link( $term, $taxonomy );
                                      if ( is_wp_error( $link ) )
                                                         return $link;
                                      $term_links[] = '<a href="' . $link . '"property="v:title" rel="v:url">' . $term->name . '</a>';
                   }
                   $term_links = apply_filters( "term_links-$taxonomy", $term_links );
                   return $before . join( $sep, $term_links ) . $after;
}
?>

3. Save the changes or/and upload the file at the right place through FTP.

4. Add the following code at the theme template where you want to show the breadcrumb list. If you want the Google breadcrumbs to show up on posts pages only, place the below code in single.php file otherwise, you can add the code anywhere on the site.

<div>
<div style="display:inline" xmlns:v="http://rdf.data-vocabulary.org/#">
<span typeof="v:Breadcrumb">
<a rel="v:url" property="v:title" href="http://www.yoursite.com">Home</a>
</span> »
<?php the_breadcrumb('<span typeof="v:Breadcrumb">', '</span> » <span typeof="v:Breadcrumb">', '</span>'); ?>
</div>

Note: Replace “www.yoursite.com” with your own home page URL.

Try this out and let me know if you faced any problems.


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Revisiting Google SEO Guidelines http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/18/revisiting-google-seo-guidelines/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/18/revisiting-google-seo-guidelines/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:00:31 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34481 While Google continues to be elusive about practices that automatically give blogs higher authority, they have this 32-page long PDF guide which tells us the primary unavoidable factors from SEO perspective. Many of you may have already read this guide and other might be reading about this for the very first time. In both cases, it is a good practice to recon the technical aspects of any blog at regular intervals. Google SEO Guidelines Checklist Print out the checklist below and find out what’s wrong with your blog! Titles: Every blog page should have title tag for easy search engine scalability. The <title> tag should be placed within the <head> tag of the HTML document, says Google. Every blog page should have unique title, nothing even remotely vague. The same title tag should not be used for all the blog pages. The titles should be brief but effective. Too long ...

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While Google continues to be elusive about practices that automatically give blogs higher authority, they have this 32-page long PDF guide which tells us the primary unavoidable factors from SEO perspective.

Many of you may have already read this guide and other might be reading about this for the very first time. In both cases, it is a good practice to recon the technical aspects of any blog at regular intervals.

Google SEO Guidelines Checklist

Print out the checklist below and find out what’s wrong with your blog!

Titles:

  • Every blog page should have title tag for easy search engine scalability. The <title> tag should be placed within the <head> tag of the HTML document, says Google.
  • Every blog page should have unique title, nothing even remotely vague.
  • The same title tag should not be used for all the blog pages.
  • The titles should be brief but effective. Too long titles do not appear completely in Google search results.
  • Each blog page should have a unique summary, alternately known as Meta description, within 160 characters.

 Revisiting Google SEO Guidelines

URL Structure:

  • The URL structure should be easily search engine scalable.
  • It is good if the URL of a blog contains the keyword as the chances of those URLs ranking on SERP is better. But, don’t spam the URL with keywords.
  • Use dynamic URLs only if you know how to create them flawlessly. Otherwise, Google is fine with static URLs.
  • Set up a 301 redirect if there is more than one URL pointing to the same page.

 Blog Navigation:

  • The blog structure / navigation should be well crafted.
  • Well thought out navigation structure helps not only the audience but the search engine bots too.
  • Use breadcrumb lists.
  • Add 404 – page not found – for non existing URLs.
  • Create two sitemaps: one for users (HTML sitemap) and one for search engines (XML sitemaps).
  • Focus on Text navigation rather than Java or Flash navigation.
  • Drop-down menus should not be excessively used.

Content Marketing:

  • Focus on content recognition from organic sources.
  • Create niche content.
  • Use Google Keyword Tool as a reference point, not as the Bible!
  • Avoid sloppy content with spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Avoid embedding text in images because search engines will not be able to crawl them.
  • Blog content should be formatted.
  • Revising existing content is a good practice.
  • Content pages should not have irrelevant keywords.

Anchor Text:

  • Add suitable anchor text, which is not necessary to be the desired keyword.
  • Anchor text should be user-friendly and Googlebot-friendly.
  • Avoid using generic anchor text.
  • Using the URL as anchor text is bad unless the purpose is to reference a website.
  • Anchor text should neither be short nor too long.
  • Distinguish between regular text and anchor text by avoiding text styling measures.

Image Optimization:

  • Use ‘alt’ attribute.
  • All images should be consolidated into a single directory.
  • Use image types supported by almost all browsers like PNG, JPEG, GIF and BMP.
  • Every image should have a distinct title, no ‘image1, image2, image3’ and so on.
  • Site navigation should not be based on image links only.
  • Image description should have ‘alt’ description too.
  • Submit an Image XML sitemap in Google.

Headers:

  • Use header tags to signify important things.
  • Use H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6 header tags.
  • H1 should be used only once.
  • Don’t use too many header tags in one page.
  • Header tags are not for stylistic purposes.

Crawlers:

  • Use robots.txt file to deny access to parts of your blog, that is, parts which you don’t want the search engine to crawl.
  • Use the robots.txt generator from Google Webmaster Tools for this or add ‘NOINDEX’ to robots Meta tags or use .htaccess to password protect directories.
  • Sub domains should have separate robots.txt file.
  • Add rel=”nofollow” for links you don’t the crawler to crawl from your site and interpret it as your support for that site.
  • Avoid comment spam with comment moderation features or turning on CAPTCHA.

Mobile SEO:

  • Use the Google Webmaster Tools to create Mobile sitemap and submit it.
  • Allow “Google Bot – Mobile” to access the blog because some mobile sites refuse access to anything but mobile phones.
  • Ensure that the page URL’s DTD (Doc Type Definition) declaration is either in Compact HTML or XHTML Mobile format.
  • Both the desktop and mobile version of the website should be accurately indexed and formatted.

Promotion and Analysis:

  • Add new content regularly.
  • Make use of RSS Feed.
  • Sign up for Google Places if you are running a local business.
  • Build social media interaction.
  • Do not send spamming link requests.
  • Do not purchase links for increasing Page Rank.
  • Use Google Webmaster Tools to understand how Google interacts with the website.
  • Use Google Website Optimizer and Google Analytics regularly.

This was quite an exhaustive list, don’t you think? I am sure you have found at least one or two things you need to mull over and apply them on your blog. I did. Honestly, my blog is very little mobile optimized…have to work on that!

What do you have to work on?

PS: Any complaints / criticisms about the above list should be directed towards Google, spare me! ;)


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Why Newbie Bloggers often Fall into a Pit of Despair http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/17/newbie-bloggers-fall-pit-despair/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/17/newbie-bloggers-fall-pit-despair/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:17:23 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34612 I have been doing blog critiques for a while now and I see the same mistakes over and over again with relatively new bloggers, and some who have been around for a while and should know better. 1. You create your blog on blogger or wordpress.com instead of going directly to wordpress.org I belong to several blogging Facebook and Google+ groups and the constant question I hear is, “How do I get my own domain and how do I get to use all those plugins you all talk about?” Many of them don’t know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org and I explain it over and over again. I now have an article on my blog which I can refer them too, making everyone’s life simpler. I also hear about how they found someone to move their blog over from blogger.com for them and now everything is a mess. There ...

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I have been doing blog critiques for a while now and I see the same mistakes over and over again with relatively new bloggers, and some who have been around for a while and should know better.

1. You create your blog on blogger or wordpress.com instead of going directly to wordpress.org

I belong to several blogging Facebook and Google+ groups and the constant question I hear is, “How do I get my own domain and how do I get to use all those plugins you all talk about?” Many of them don’t know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org and I explain it over and over again. I now have an article on my blog which I can refer them too, making everyone’s life simpler. I also hear about how they found someone to move their blog over from blogger.com for them and now everything is a mess. There are no shortcuts – it’s best to get an expert right from the outset to do certain things.

The best advice I can give you is to buy a domain, get hosting set up and connect through to WordPress.org.  You will never regret it.

2. As a new blogger, you follow your passion and don’t go niche enough

A plaintiff cry I often hear is, “I am working my butt off and yet I still don’t have much traffic?” There can be many reasons for this of course but the one that stands out like a sore thumb is the lack of a niche topic. You have a general recipe blog or you are Paleo or you cover celebrity news. Well-established bloggers have already swooped up those general markets and are doing it better than you can because they have a depth of material and knowledge that keep them ahead.

These days, you have to narrow down your topic and focus on a specific readership so you are no longer a tiny fish in a massive ocean. You have to reduce the size of that ocean and be a big fish to get noticed. Instead of doing a general recipe blog, choose to do party appetizers and get known for that so when people Google for party appetizers, you will pop up because you have refined your keywords to scoot you to the first page in search results. Instead of a Paleo lifestyle, focus on Paleo for children and everything that encompasses. Instead of celebrity news in general, blog on Latin American celebrities or young female TV celebrities. Choose your niche and then don’t fragment yourself and bring extra topics in just because you can. Stay the course and you will see the benefits. Read about the 7 steps for building a profitable niche blog.

3. You ignore SEO

Even as a new blogger, you have heard about SEO, but your eyes glaze over and you relegate it to the too hard basket. And that’s where it stays until one day, you decide to get a blog critique from yours truly and it rears its powerful head. If I am lucky enough to even find an SEO plugin, it won’t be configured correctly. It just sits there comfortably on the blogger’s plugin page and has a holiday because it isn’t being used at all. Many of you haven’t even noticed that extra area below your post editor where you are to fill in the meta data. Or, if you have, you close one eye and go on your merry way. Mention keywords and you hide.

You simply have to put up with the stress of learning some basics if you want to take your blogs forward. Just a little knowledge of the importance of meta data and how it is used will convince you. Read about some great SEO blogging tips.

4. You install a plethora of plugins

While we are talking of plugins, the majority of bloggers, not just new bloggers, install far too many plugins. They are shiny and exciting, and I understand why you do it, but you have no idea about the mess of coding that results and what you are doing to your load time. Conflicting plugins can create a world of hurt. Each new plugin means more parts to load for each and every page. Only a handful of plugins are truly needed like Akismet to catch your SPAM, a cache plugin to speed up your blog, an SEO plugin to let the search engines know you exist and a related posts plugin if you want to encourage your viewers to look around your blog. Okay, a couple of other fancy ones maybe but then that’s it!

5. Your blogs have horrendous load times

Speaking of load time – many of you have never tested your own blogs to see how long they take to load. Almost every blog I have critiqued has been over the magical 3 seconds that people will wait for a site to load before getting bored and clicking away, never to return. Some have taken longer than 10 seconds to load. Ouch! Those who do find out are bewildered as to what to do about it. You have Home pages with the default 10 posts showing, which can be far too many if your posts are image heavy. Your images are massive, you have heaps of plugins installed and no cache plugin. You beautify your blog to the detriment of the load time, which means that few actually see all your beautification. Not a good compromise from any point of view.

6. You haven’t networked early enough

Blogging can be a lonely business so you need to network to feel part of something larger than just you. But the main reason you network is to create a community that can help you in your blogging efforts. There are plenty of groups on Facebook and Google+ and many good forums which you can join. Here you can ask questions, share posts and make friendships which can benefit you in many ways. The more mature bloggers will tell you that the single thing that helped them the most in their blogging careers was the networking they did. Never underestimate the power of numbers. Many times in my groups, when a blogger has felt ganged up on by readers over a controversial topic, they have come in to ask us for help so that we can balance out the argument. Having a network of blogging friends is invaluable when you have an e-book  or other product to promote. They will review it for you on their blogs and social media and generally get the word around and sympathize when you get a bad review on Amazon. When you feel like giving up, all you need to do is go to one of your networks and grumble a bit. Before long the sympathy you will find there will have you reinvigorated to continue. No blog is an island.

7. You have made your About page about you

But it is an About page, isn’t it? Yes, but not quite yet. First you have to tell your reader why they should be interested in you and your blog. What is in it for them? Why should they care? Catch their attention with how you are going to enhance their lives, then they will want to know you.  Once you have captured their attention, then you can rattle on about your present and past life and what you like and dislike, but only further down the page.

Good headings are important to break up the text. Readers scan a page looking for the headings to see whether they should bother reading or not. Their time is precious and they are so busy that they don’t have time to read unless the headings catch their attention and draw them in. Nowhere are your heading skills more important than on this page.

8. You ignore the importance of good, stimulating photos which intrigue and entice

A post without an image is like a piece of toast without the butter and jam – dry and unappetizing. And a post with an image of a brown blob of food on a plate degrades the whole recipe. People are generally visual and, in this age of short attention spans, you need to capture them in whatever way you can. Pinterest shows the power of the image and there are now very specific needs to ensure an image will be repinned many times. It has to be portrait, it has to be eye-catching – the brighter the better, it has to be unique, it has to tell a story and if there is a heading or teaser on it, so much the better. Learn to take decent photos or use the free sites – they have fabulous images you can use.

And, please, please, downsize your photo to the exact width of your posting area and compress it to preferably under 100kb. Do not use WordPress to re-size your photos. They are still seen by the system as large and slow down your site. Upload the perfect image every time.

9. You focus on growing your social media pages instead of your email list

Many of the groups you will join will be on Facebook but that doesn’t mean you have to spend heaps of valuable blogging time throwing stuff at your page. Early on, it will be small and you will be spending a lot of effort trying to grow it even though, on Facebook especially, people only get to see a fraction of what you write. Put that effort into growing the subscribers to your blog. You have those emails. You don’t have the emails of your Facebook followers and you have no control at all over who sees what. When you have a newsletter list, you can send them what you want, when you want. That list is yours. The Facebook followers belong to Facebook. Get yourself a free MailChimp account right from the beginning and start to grow that list. Don’t give your viewers several options of how to subscribe, get them on your newsletter list. Focus your efforts on growing it.

Newer bloggers – take note of these 9 issues, rectify them and you will be able to drag yourself out of that pit of despair which so often threatens to engulf you on this journey to blogging greatness.


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Top 10 Essential URL Shorteners http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/17/top-10-essential-url-shorteners/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/17/top-10-essential-url-shorteners/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:00:15 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34478 URL shorteners are services in which, let’s say, a long-ish URL is inserted and at the click of a button, the URL is shortened to a maximum 10-character code. When anyone clicks on this code, they are directed to the original URL. Use of URL Shorteners The important usages are: Sharing of blog posts on social networking sites; Tracking visitors & conversions   Top 10 Essential URL Shorteners There are 100+ URL shortening services. Here, I give you the best of the lot, according to my observation. Your choices can vary so feel free to share it with us. 1. Goo.gl This is the official tool from Google which not only allows you to shorten unlimited URL’s but helps you track traffic / visits from its very easy-to-access dashboard. 2. Bit.ly This is a popular and perhaps the oldest tool to share shortened URL’s and builds traffic. The dashboard shows ...

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URL shorteners are services in which, let’s say, a long-ish URL is inserted and at the click of a button, the URL is shortened to a maximum 10-character code. When anyone clicks on this code, they are directed to the original URL.

Use of URL Shorteners

The important usages are:

  • Sharing of blog posts on social networking sites;
  • Tracking visitors & conversions

Top URL Shorteners

 

Top 10 Essential URL Shorteners

There are 100+ URL shortening services. Here, I give you the best of the lot, according to my observation. Your choices can vary so feel free to share it with us.

1. Goo.gl

This is the official tool from Google which not only allows you to shorten unlimited URL’s but helps you track traffic / visits from its very easy-to-access dashboard.

2. Bit.ly

This is a popular and perhaps the oldest tool to share shortened URL’s and builds traffic. The dashboard shows detailed stats of views and clicks, and also gives you access to developer tools and side bar bookmarklet.

3. Ow.ly

This is a very clean and non-obtrusive tool with great sharing functionalities like tracking. You can also bookmark re-tweeted links and check out visitor stats.

4. DyingLinks.com

This is my personal favorite & I would recommend using this for promotions. With this tool, you can decide when the shortened URL will be ‘live’ and ‘die’. You can give the link a custom name and also decide on a specific number of clicks after which the shortened URL will cease to function. Amazing?

5. TinyURL.com

This is another of my favorite URL shorteners with which you can promote affiliate links, redirect URL’s and use custom names for links.

6. SnipURL.com

This is a mass URL shortening tool and comes with an API to create short URL’s in the active browser.

7. Su.pr

Like Google’s Goo.gl tool, Su.pr is the official URL shortening tool from StumbleUpon.com. This tool, besides URL shortening, allows you to syndicate content three ways between StumbleUpon.com, Twitter.com and Facebook.com. You can also schedule posts and the tool recommends the best time to post as per your activity and responses.

8. Is.gd & V.gd

Apart from their easy to remember names, these tools allow you to create Quick Response (QR) codes for the shortened links. You can track traffic from dashboard and preview links before sharing.

9. Scr.im

If you don’t want to share your ‘real’ email ID with unknown people YET have to use the ID to allow others to contact you, use scr.im tool. Enter your email id and the tool will convert it into a non-recognizable format, which you can share anywhere on the web without bothering about stalkers and spammers.

10. Yi.tl

This URL shortening tool enables you to add ‘categories’ to the shortened links to divide the links properly and assist in easy retrieval in future.

Conclusion

If you’re into heavy online promotions, using any of these URL shorteners will be a big help. Don’t you agree?

Don’t forget to share your favorite URL shorteners.

 


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How an Organized Work Space Can Increase Productivity http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/16/organized-work-space-increase-productivity/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/16/organized-work-space-increase-productivity/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:26:17 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34597 This post is sponsored by Visa Business and all content is the opinion of the writer. It doesn’t matter if you are a solo-entrepreneur, a blogger or even the CEO of a Fortune 500 company… the setup of your desk and work space can greatly influence your productivity and work flow throughout the day. As an entrepreneur who works from home, I have my own big office to work out of. My desk and office space is exactly the way I want it to be set up, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get messy from time to time. Clutter on your desk can add up quickly and sometimes you just need to take the time to throw everything in a pile, sort through it and get that distraction out of your way. A clean desk is a distraction-free zone! While the setup and cleanliness of your office and desk ...

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This post is sponsored by Visa Business and all content is the opinion of the writer.

It doesn’t matter if you are a solo-entrepreneur, a blogger or even the CEO of a Fortune 500 company… the setup of your desk and work space can greatly influence your productivity and work flow throughout the day.

As an entrepreneur who works from home, I have my own big office to work out of. My desk and office space is exactly the way I want it to be set up, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get messy from time to time.

Clutter on your desk can add up quickly and sometimes you just need to take the time to throw everything in a pile, sort through it and get that distraction out of your way. A clean desk is a distraction-free zone!

Creating the Perfect Work Space

While the setup and cleanliness of your office and desk can improve your productivity, it’s also important to keep applications, hardware and time management tools organized.

Whether your focus is on creating ad campaigns, building your e-commerce business or simply producing better content for your blogs, having an organized work space can make all of the difference.

Below I have listed three of my favorite ways to cut wasted time and distractions from my office location, while also focusing in on getting more work done.

A Paperless Office

Ten years ago it might have made sense for you to have papers and documents all over the place, but now it doesn’t. Less people are using postal mail, fax machines and real paper to get things done. Through the use of a paperless office you can scan any needed documents into your computer and then throw out the paper. There are also many web sites that allow you to send faxes, create PDF files and sign documents online for free.

Accessing Your Business Anywhere

It’s now easier than ever to make your business paperless and virtual. Through the use of the cloud and being able to access your email anywhere, you should be able to run your business from your home or office, a coffee shop or on the other side of the world. Email is important for any business, but you should also be able to access documents, reports, your website and many other features from anywhere in the world.

The New Office is Mobile

Speaking of being able to access your business anywhere — mobile devices and tablets are increasingly being used to run businesses of all sizes and not just for checking emails. Many businesses are using tablets instead of cash registers and merchant processing machines. Some retail stores are also using tablets for their staff to look up product information and place orders with customers throughout their store. Mobile devices are completely changing the way business is done in today’s world.

Building Your Office and Business for the Future

The next time you are sitting at your desk or in your office, think about the consistent distractions you encounter throughout the day. The next step is for you to take action and see how you can remove or automate these distractions. For each improvement you make to your office and work flow, think about how much time you will be saving over the course of a full year!

What other office clean up tips and recommendations do you have for increasing productivity?

 

I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owners success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visas small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.


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How is Performance Marketing Beneficial? http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/16/performance-marketing-beneficial/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/16/performance-marketing-beneficial/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:00:30 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34475 The performance marketing industry has evolved from affiliate marketing. Do not confuse it with affiliate marketing per se. Performance marketing is a good way to begin earning online either as a publisher or a merchant. In performance marketing, there is a mutually beneficial business model for merchant partners and website publishers, no matter whether they are in the relationship through affiliate partnership or through direct connectivity. In this business model, the job of the publishers is to drive traffic to the website of the merchant partner and the publisher is paid according to its agreement with the merchant, which includes sales, referrals and/or leads. Role of Performance Marketing in Publishing Performance Publishing is the vertical branch of performance marketing where websites are created with the purpose of selling the services and products of other companies. Here the publishers are paid only for completed transactions, which is unlike CPM (cost-per-impression) or ...

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The performance marketing industry has evolved from affiliate marketing. Do not confuse it with affiliate marketing per se. Performance marketing is a good way to begin earning online either as a publisher or a merchant.

In performance marketing, there is a mutually beneficial business model for merchant partners and website publishers, no matter whether they are in the relationship through affiliate partnership or through direct connectivity.

Performance Marketing

In this business model, the job of the publishers is to drive traffic to the website of the merchant partner and the publisher is paid according to its agreement with the merchant, which includes sales, referrals and/or leads.

Role of Performance Marketing in Publishing

Performance Publishing is the vertical branch of performance marketing where websites are created with the purpose of selling the services and products of other companies.

Here the publishers are paid only for completed transactions, which is unlike CPM (cost-per-impression) or PPC (pay-per-click) models where publishers were paid for per impression and click basis.

Why is this better?

This is definitely better than traditional affiliate marketing because here there is no scope for seeing inflated or misleading clicks and impressions. A merchant won’t get too elated seeing 10,000 impressions or clicks for a product or service, knowing that there are no sales.

You would agree that performance marketing refines the affiliate industry in a better fashion.

As a publisher:

  • You create product / service oriented content.
  • You promote the content to targeted markets.
  • You generate complete sales.
  • You get PAID.

As a merchant:

  • You don’t waste money on CPM or PPC.
  • You have a clear idea about the number of sales publishers are generating.
  • You just pay the pre-agreed commissions after each sale.
  • There is no waste of money.

In short -

 publishers SELL + merchants EARN = publishers EARN as well

Have you tried performance marketing?


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6 Reasons Your Sucky Blogging Isn’t Converting More Sales Leads http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/15/6-reasons-sucky-blogging-isnt-converting-sales-leads/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/15/6-reasons-sucky-blogging-isnt-converting-sales-leads/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:32:34 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34293 You have all this blog traffic, but no sales leads. You must be wondering what you’re doing wrong. And I’m going to tell you. You don’t ask for what you want Also called asking for the money, you must tell people what you want them to do next. At the end of your blog, say, comment below or join my webinar. To the right side of your blog, offer a free newsletter or do a giveaway. Just tell people what to do next. Every action should lead them closer to a sale with you. Your keyword strategy is off Do not compete for generic high-value words unless you are ready to hit the ground running. You will be racing against big companies with budgets that depress me. You aren’t promoting to the right people My friends and I laugh when we see baby ads in our Facebook feed. And hopefully ...

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You have all this blog traffic, but no sales leads. You must be wondering what you’re doing wrong. And I’m going to tell you.

You don’t ask for what you want

Also called asking for the money, you must tell people what you want them to do next. At the end of your blog, say, comment below or join my webinar.

To the right side of your blog, offer a free newsletter or do a giveaway. Just tell people what to do next. Every action should lead them closer to a sale with you.

Your keyword strategy is off

Do not compete for generic high-value words unless you are ready to hit the ground running. You will be racing against big companies with budgets that depress me.

You aren’t promoting to the right people

My friends and I laugh when we see baby ads in our Facebook feed. And hopefully the advertisers cry when they see how much they’re spending to target single women.

Promote your blog on the right social media network for your intended audience. Pinterest for women, LinkedIn for educated business people, etc.

You aren’t writing to the right people

The same theory as above, except at the ground level of your blogging topics. You need to make sure your headlines and the way you express yourself is a good fit for your psychographics.

Are you swearing at moms? Using pink on a men’s product site? Sprouting rainbows to a conservative crowd?

Convert Ideas into Cash

Your posts aren’t engaging

Your blogging has to appeal to, attract and engage the right people. If you’re not selling your stuff, it could be because you’re pitching diapers to grandmas.

Instead, tell grandma about, 10 Things Her Grandkids Wish She Knew, and then offer a discount on diapers at the end, after you’ve grabbed her.

Your uniqueness factor is zero

Let’s be clear that you have to have a unique value proposition in order to sell your products. You need to say, offer, or do something different than anyone else.

And then, you need to be prepared to adjust it before it gets copied and reproduced. Therefore, branding.

A voice that is unique works wonders in blogging. Look at grumpy cat. Zappos shoes delivers happiness, not shoes. Figure out what that is, and then stick to it.

What did you do to make your blog leads convert to sales? Tell me in your comments below.

 


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The Four Process of Keyword Selection http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/15/keyword-selection-process/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/15/keyword-selection-process/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:00:26 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34470 Wrong keyword selection leaves a negative impact since your site will not receive relevant traffic. The main problem today with internet marketing is that people are unaware of how to select the right keywords. Of course, I don’t mean to imply that keywords are the most important factor. Some of the best performing pages on my blogs weren’t keyword optimized at all! This being said, we still need keywords to reach target audience. There is a lot of literature available on keyword selection but I hope my post helps. Search Engine Keyword Selection Processes The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keyword selection process primarily involves four processes – discovering keywords, analyzing keywords, selecting keywords and deploying keywords. Discovering Keywords - This is about finding keywords related to your website and target audience. The key phrases should cover, if possible, each aspect of your business service and each of the website pages ...

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Wrong keyword selection leaves a negative impact since your site will not receive relevant traffic. The main problem today with internet marketing is that people are unaware of how to select the right keywords.

Of course, I don’t mean to imply that keywords are the most important factor. Some of the best performing pages on my blogs weren’t keyword optimized at all! This being said, we still need keywords to reach target audience.

There is a lot of literature available on keyword selection but I hope my post helps.

Wrong Keyword Selection

Search Engine Keyword Selection Processes

The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keyword selection process primarily involves four processes – discovering keywords, analyzing keywords, selecting keywords and deploying keywords.

  • Discovering Keywords -

This is about finding keywords related to your website and target audience. The key phrases should cover, if possible, each aspect of your business service and each of the website pages should contain unique and relevant key phrases.

  • Analyzing Keywords –

This is about knowing existing competition through their website indexed pages. This gives you an idea of the number of pages that makes it to the top position. With SEO, the potential for high-ranking pages are greatly increased.

There are several factors involved in the ranking of a particular keyword, and higher the site page rank is, better the chances to rank with highly competitive keywords.

  • Selecting Keywords –

This is about short listing keywords keeping in mind the website intent and the target audience. The selected SEO keywords should accurately describe the specific qualities of your website.

You should eliminate those keywords where the search traffic for the terms are very low and those keywords which are difficult to rank for.

Further, singular and plural forms and spelling variations should be considered when selecting specific keywords.

  • Deploying Keywords –

This is about making the best possible use of the selected keywords in the website tags, HTML code and content.

Use the most relevant and important keyword. It is not advisable to use all the keywords on all the website pages.

Some of the best places to deploy the keywords are the page title, the first 25 words of the content, META tags, body text, anchor text, title attributes and table summary.

You can use the free Google Keyword planner or use a paid tool like LongTailPro, which is a recommended tool for search engine keyword research.

To conclude, the idea behind optimizing your website for maximum relevancy is to use important and effective keywords specific in your content and location.

Well researched search engine keyword selection helps to increase page traffic and generate higher conversions.


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Digital Marketing – What Not To Do! http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/15/digital-marketing/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/15/digital-marketing/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 07:07:20 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34602 It would be foolish of any business, existing or new, to think that they should completely avoid any form of online or digital marketing. It should be a part of any brand’s ongoing marketing strategy and attention should be paid to how well it is done. Done badly it can harm your reputation and drive traffic and customers away. Here are some things to avoid.  Badly Designed Websites:  We all know our response when we click on a page and it is full of unsolicited adverts, spam and pop-ups. For a start, the trustworthiness of the site goes instantaneously down in our minds. Avoid creating a website that will put consumers off you. It is quite often either the first or only experience that person will have of your company so if you get it wrong then your business will suffer. Particularly bad sites can even lead to bad reputations ...

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It would be foolish of any business, existing or new, to think that they should completely avoid any form of online or digital marketing. It should be a part of any brand’s ongoing marketing strategy and attention should be paid to how well it is done. Done badly it can harm your reputation and drive traffic and customers away. Here are some things to avoid.

sss

 Badly Designed Websites:

 We all know our response when we click on a page and it is full of unsolicited adverts, spam and pop-ups. For a start, the trustworthiness of the site goes instantaneously down in our minds. Avoid creating a website that will put consumers off you. It is quite often either the first or only experience that person will have of your company so if you get it wrong then your business will suffer. Particularly bad sites can even lead to bad reputations and Google lowering your rankings accordingly. Instead, make your site informative, easy to use and memorable as this way people are more likely to share it with others and make return visits.  Make sure that you have an experience marketing professional or company like Ocere to provide support and advice about marketing trends and needs.

 Don’t Avoid Mobile Sites:

 As I previously worked as a software and web tester I can confirm that there are still a surprising amount of companies and organisations which do not create a mobile version of their site, and when they do they don’t test it! A large proportion of the population now do a lot of their browsing and shopping on mobile devices. It is an ever growing customer base and not one to be ignored. Ensure that you create a mobile friendly version of your site that will function on as many of the main devices as possible (it is almost impossible to have a site guaranteed to work on all devices). This way you are not limiting your audience.

Ignore Your Customers:

 There are businesses out there which make assumptions about consumer needs when deciding their marketing strategies and completely forget to actually ask them! Never underestimate the power of research and understanding your customer. You should be designing your marketing around them and not around what you think they need. Make sure that you get feedback and know what it is that your customers want from you. That way you can give it to them and they will appreciate you.

 At the end of the day you need the people out there to support your business. It is therefore a good idea to get them on board with you and take advantage of their insider knowledge. That way you know that you are doing it right.

 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigital Photos.net


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How to Build Your Website’s Traffic from Zero to 10k in 3 months http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/14/build-websites-traffic-10k-3-months/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/14/build-websites-traffic-10k-3-months/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:37:13 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34585 The first couple of months that your website/blog is online are absolutely critical. Many webmasters and bloggers give up and shut down their sites just because they see very little traffic increase after a few months. That is why in this post, I’m going to share with you how I built up my site traffic from zero to 10k in 3 months, and I’ll highlight any useful things you can learn and take away from this post. But first, here’s a little background… My Site My website is Ghost For Beginners, which is a tutorials website about how to use the Ghost blogging platform (something akin to WordPress). The Ghost blogging platform just launched in the fall of 2013, and I first heard about it in December 2013 (so you can say that I was one of the first people to know about Ghost). Because I used to blog frequently ...

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The first couple of months that your website/blog is online are absolutely critical. Many webmasters and bloggers give up and shut down their sites just because they see very little traffic increase after a few months. That is why in this post, I’m going to share with you how I built up my site traffic from zero to 10k in 3 months, and I’ll highlight any useful things you can learn and take away from this post. But first, here’s a little background…

My Site

My website is Ghost For Beginners, which is a tutorials website about how to use the Ghost blogging platform (something akin to WordPress). The Ghost blogging platform just launched in the fall of 2013, and I first heard about it in December 2013 (so you can say that I was one of the first people to know about Ghost). Because I used to blog frequently in the financial blogosphere and liked to toy around with building websites, I decided to give Ghost a try. I was instantly hooked. I knew that a lot of other people/bloggers would soon want to use Ghost, so I created a tutorials site that teaches other bloggers how to install Ghost and use Ghost.

traffic-growth

 

My site’s traffic literally grew from zero to 10k pageviews in 3 months. Below are 3 traffic generation tips that you can learn from my experience.

Step 1) Finding the Right Topic

Some people say that “finding the right niche” is overrated. It isn’t. As I mentioned, I used to write on my finance blog. But because the financial blogosphere was (and still is) so crowded, it’s almost impossible for a new financial blog to stand out from the crowd. Many of the really big finance blogs started out in 2005, which was back in the day when there were so few finance blogs that just starting one meant guaranteed traffic. Unless you do something extraordinary today, your finance blog’s traffic probably won’t grow by much.

That is why it is highly beneficial if you choose a niche that isn’t crowded. When you write in an unpopulated niche, virtually everyone interested in that niche will become your readers. In my case (Ghost For Beginners), I started to write about a topic (Ghost) when virtually no one else did. This is because I was one of the first people to know about the Ghost blogging platform, so therefore I had a huge first move-in advantage. Because of my first move-in advantage, I had 25 visitors the first day that Ghost For Beginners existed. And this is considering I had done zero marketing and had a grand total of 2 posts on my site. Traffic literally started growing from Day 1 with no SEO or marketing effort on my part. I set up the website, created content, and readers automatically came to my site. It’s like the internet circa 2004 all over again.

first day

As you can see from the screenshot of my Google Analytics (above), my traffic started growing from Day 1. Only after I hit 70 visitors (160 pageviews) a day did I put any marketing or SEO work into my site.

So before you start your blog or website, make sure to select an unpopulated niche. Doing so will give your a site a huge advantage. Of course, you can still succeed in a populated niche, but doing so will be much more difficult. Growing a site in an unpopulated niche is just so much easier. Back in the day I used to spend months just building up my finance blog’s traffic to 50 visitors a day: today Ghost For Beginners has approximately 200 visitors a day (after only 3 months!).

Step 2) Guest Posting

Of course, selecting the right niche alone isn’t enough: doing so can only give your blog/site a headstart. You need to grow your traffic! I personally prefer to use guest posting when growing my traffic. Guest posting kills two birds in one stone:

  1. You get a ton of referral traffic IF you guest post on the right blogs (blogs whose audiences suit your niche).
  2. Guest posting can also help your SEO (although that is debatable). Guest posting as an SEO strategy is really a side effect.

Now it’s obvious that the idea of guest posting isn’t anything new. But it’s the way that I did guest posting that made my guest posting campaign so successful.

Ghost For Beginners is the first site I’ve ever made about something related to software, blogging, etc. Thus, I knew no one in this niche. Asking other internet marketers to guest post on their sites would probably be futile because I knew none of these people (a lot of bloggers won’t let you guest post on their sites if they don’t know you). So where did I guest post?

Remember how I said that I used to blog in finance? I still kept a lot of my relationships with other financial bloggers. So I simply emailed them and asked to write a guest post about investing on their site, to which I would link back to my blog. All went well, and in 2 months, I was neighboring 100 visitors (250 pageviews) per day thanks to my guest posts. The referral traffic was pretty nice, and eventually the SEO effects kicked in and I went from 100 visitors a day to 200 visitors.

So what lesson can you take away from my guest posting campaign? When it comes to guest posting, you have to think outside of the box. Don’t just find similar sites in your niche and ask to guest post on their site.

  1. Build relationships with other bloggers. It’s my relationships in the finance blogosphere that gave me the opportunity to guest post for Ghost For Beginners on their blogs. Without these relationships, I could never have published my guest posts.
  2. Now you’re probably wondering: how did my guest posts work out so well for my referral traffic? Finance and Ghost (blogging software) have nothing in common! The reason why my referral traffic grew because of these guest posts is due to the fact that a lot of people reading these finance blogs where other finance bloggers. As a result, they would fit my niche (I was writing about Ghost, a blogging platform, after all). Think outside of the box by thinking about niches who share the same audience with you.

Step 3) Forum commenting

When people hear “forum commenting” they think of spammy comments and links in the author biography. I did neither of those. For my topic (Ghost), there exists a forum where Ghost users talk to each other and ask comments on how to use Ghost. I figured that since my site was about Ghost tutorials, I could answer questions on the forums by linking to my relevant how-to article.

The key here is that you don’t want to come across as being spammy. Don’t just post up any random link just because you want a few clicks on that link. Make sure that your link is relevant and is actually of benefit to people who will click on that link! For example, some people posted on the Ghost forum “how do I install Ghost on Webhost XYZ?” I didn’t just plaster the entire thread with spammy links. I simply said “this tutorial (insert my link here) will show you step by step how to install Ghost on Webhost XYZ”.

If your forum comments and links come across as spammy, NO ONE will click on the link. People aren’t dumb – they can easily discern a spammy link from a beneficial one. In addition, forum admins will quickly remove any links that are deemed spammy.

So what you want to do is find a forum that is very relevant to your niche. Whenever someone asks a question that one of your website’s articles can answer, put a link on that thread to your site. If your link is helpful, people will definitely appreciate it and you’ll notice a nice surge in traffic.


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Avoid these 3 Email Communication Mistakes http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/14/avoid-3-email-communication-mistake/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/14/avoid-3-email-communication-mistake/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:00:21 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34467 With so many businesses online, email communication has become the norm. Actual business letters have become a rare occurrence, because of the ease and swiftness of using email in everyday business manners. Just because email is a quick and easy way to get in touch with clients and other businesses, it doesn’t excuse you from using correct business etiquette.   Avoid 3 Email Communication Mistakes Your email may be the only first impression a potential client may have of you, and making major email etiquette mistakes can cost you a client or major sales. Forgetting Basic Grammar Spelling and grammar may seem like unimportant details compared to the meat of your possible business deal, but few things brand you as an amateur like sending out a poorly proofread email. Potential clients, seeing your sloppy grammar and misspelled words, can only wonder what other aspects of your business you treat so casually. Attention to ...

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With so many businesses online, email communication has become the norm. Actual business letters have become a rare occurrence, because of the ease and swiftness of using email in everyday business manners.

Just because email is a quick and easy way to get in touch with clients and other businesses, it doesn’t excuse you from using correct business etiquette.

 

Avoid 3 Email Communication Mistakes

Your email may be the only first impression a potential client may have of you, and making major email etiquette mistakes can cost you a client or major sales.

Email Communication Mistakes

  • Forgetting Basic Grammar

Spelling and grammar may seem like unimportant details compared to the meat of your possible business deal, but few things brand you as an amateur like sending out a poorly proofread email.

Potential clients, seeing your sloppy grammar and misspelled words, can only wonder what other aspects of your business you treat so casually. Attention to detail is always important, and never more so than when you’re trying to communicate in business.

Use spell-check and a grammar website, and then read over your email yourself after using those processes. Spend additional time checking smaller words to make sure they are used correctly. Words such as “you” and “your” are frequently typed incorrectly, as are “to,” “too” and “two.”

A spell checker won’t pick up these mistakes, as they all read as legitimate words. Show your clients the courtesy of spending a few extra minutes in order to craft an email without simple mistakes.

  • Not Checking the Tone

Email communication is always open to interpretation unless you spell out every item in great detail. Read your letter for tone as well as content before sending it off to a client or business partner.

If you write anything that depends on facial expressions or tone of voice to communicate its meaning, change it until the meaning is perfectly clear. It is very easy to fall into a misunderstanding when you don’t see the person’s face during communication.

Avoid all forms of humor, inside jokes, comments on controversial current events and anything else not strictly business related. Business emails aren’t meant to be fascinating novels.

They should contain straightforward information with enough detail to convey the information, and nothing more.

  • Formatting Incorrectly

The way your email looks is almost as important as the information it conveys. Begin with the subject line. Never leave it blank. Use a business-like statement that lets the recipient know exactly what the email is about.

Use a business return address instead of a personal one. No one will take you seriously if you send out client emails from “sexyguy2334@xxxmail.com.” Take the time to create an email account specifically for your business. Do not write the email in all capital letters. Writing in all caps means you are shouting, and any internet-savvy email recipient will know this and respond accordingly.

Personalize the email with the recipient’s name, but use a businesslike approach instead of a casual one. Sign your name at the bottom of the email, and add a return address and phone number at the end for further email communication.


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7 Essential Facebook Business Apps for eCommerce Websites http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/13/7-essential-facebook-business-apps-ecommerce-websites/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/2014/04/13/7-essential-facebook-business-apps-ecommerce-websites/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 15:00:46 +0000 http://www.bloggingtips.com/?p=34464 If you are into online business then you are sure to use social media to promote your business. And for that, Facebook is no doubt a popular choice. If you own an online e-commerce site, then you will be certainly looking for new ways to market it. To start with, you need to set your Facebook business page and customize applications to boost the sales of your online business. However, do not think that as soon as you organize your Facebook business page, you will be driving high sales. It will take its time, but it’s sure to bring promising results. Creating a Facebook Business Page is different from setting a personal page, and to get started you need to learn some quick tips. And as soon as the page gets ready, you can use it for interactive business sessions. 7 Essential Facebook Business Apps Turn yourself into a prosperous online business ...

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If you are into online business then you are sure to use social media to promote your business. And for that, Facebook is no doubt a popular choice.

If you own an online e-commerce site, then you will be certainly looking for new ways to market it.

To start with, you need to set your Facebook business page and customize applications to boost the sales of your online business.

However, do not think that as soon as you organize your Facebook business page, you will be driving high sales. It will take its time, but it’s sure to bring promising results.

Creating a Facebook Business Page is different from setting a personal page, and to get started you need to learn some quick tips. And as soon as the page gets ready, you can use it for interactive business sessions.

7 Essential Facebook Business Apps

Turn yourself into a prosperous online business owner with these apt Facebook applications that should be a part of your Facebook Page.

Online Business | Facebook business apps

1. Networked Blogs –

A useful Facebook app used to support any online business website maintaining their own blogs.

With this app, you will be able to promote your blog on Facebook, and can post the blog feed to the Wall and Page simultaneously.

2. Payvment –

A perfect e-commerce solution for online business owners helps to add a storefront to the Facebook Business page.

This has dashboard built directly into Facebook to manage the store, products and as well as online sales. Currently 328,000+ users are using this app.

3. Facebook Notes – 

A widely used application that helps you to tag others in your notes so that the viewers can leave their individual comments.

This is a good platform to send information to your Facebook fans about product launch, tips, guidance, and the areas of your expertise.

Facebook Notes provides you with RSS Feed, so that the Notes appear on your blog or other social networking platforms.

4. Assistly –

It allows you to control and monitor customer conversations on your Facebook business page. It is able to pull all the customer service conversations through email, phone, Twitter all just dragged into one place.

5. UserEcho – 

This is a feedback widget for both Facebook and Twitter that will help you to gather customer responses and in return reply or at times get engaged in some conversation or allows you to organize a conversation.

6. Integration with Twitter – 

With this app you are able to link Facebook and Twitter. If a third-party Twitter application is used, it will let you connect your Twitter account to the business page directly.

If you use this app, it will facilitate publishing of updates from Facebook pages to twitter accounts. You also have options to share updates with Twitter followers and control the type of update that you like to appear on your Facebook page.

7. MailChimp –

If you want to market products to your customers then this app will let you create a mailing list and sign-up form, and lets you add that tab on your business page.

You, being the admin, can automatically post campaigns to the Facebook Wall, and sent it to the customers who are subscribed on your email service.

Conclusion

This are the most used and widely popular apps that owners of online business websites like to have on their business page.


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