Tag Archive | "Focus"

Tips for a Successful Blog: Having Good Content

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Tips for a Successful Blog: Having Good Content


We’ve seen all the good design elements which make a blog useful and likely to be profitable for you. But now there’s one important thing that you need to figure out: the content of your new blog. Your visitors will come to your blog to read something that is interesting and informative in their eyes. Therefore, you will need to ensure that what you have on your blog will keep your readers happy and make them want to come back to it for more. Here is some good advice on how you can accomplish this:

Make Regular Posts

If you want your readers to stay interested in your blog, then you would need to make new posts on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean you have to post every day if you’re just going to end up repeating what you’ve said in the past few days. But you shouldn’t leave your blog without any new updates for several weeks, as people may think that the blog is “dead” and that you’re no longer actively maintaining it. By making regular posts, readers will be more eager to know when you’ve added something to your blog.

Keep Your Posts Brief and to the Point

If you have a lot to say about a certain topic, then it would be better for you to break it up into several different posts that discuss the main points you would like to make. You could have a “series” of posts that focus on a certain aspect of your niche.

Format Your Posts Well

One good example of this would be just reading this post. As you can see, it is formatted in paragraphs with sub headers. Nobody wants to read a wall of text, as it’s simply hard to follow. If you’re going to make a post that is say 500 words long, then you will need to divide it into paragraphs that are structured according to the points that you’re making in your post. So if you’re reviewing a new digital camera, one paragraph could deal with the performance and the other one about the price and availability.

Include Multimedia Content

While it’s true that blogs are mainly used for sharing text, it doesn’t mean you can’t include anything else. Adding a thumbnail image that is relevant to the topic at hand will make the blog post more attractive to readers. If you need to include a photo, graphic or diagram that will provide explanation or reinforce the point that you’re trying to make, then you can do so as well. Of course, it is possible to add video content to a blog post quite easily too. Some topics, especially if you’re showing the reader how to do something, such as installing a graphics card in a computer or navigating their way around a certain piece of software, could be much easier to understand for your blog visitors if you included a video in addition to text instructions. To save bandwidth, you can host the videos on an external video sharing service like YouTube.

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Selling Digital Products in Your Online Store

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Selling Digital Products in Your Online Store


We’ve seen that you can sell plenty of different physical products in your own online store. In fact, most e-commerce websites specialize in selling products that can be shipped to the consumer. But what about digital products which can be downloaded instead? Obviously, e-books and online courses come to mind. The majority of such digital products are actually sold on a website that is dedicated to one specific product, however it is possible to build a web store around digital products as well, offering a wide range of products such as e-books for download.

But this can be just as hard, if not in many cases harder than selling physical products. However, here are some tips for you if you would like to sell digital items.

  • Focus on a specific, well researched niche

Unless you have a very good marketing plan or already have a bunch of people that would be interested in buying your products (i.e. you have an email list or some past customers), choosing a niche that is too broad will simply lead to trouble. You will have a hard time attractive decent traffic that will convert well. For these reasons, you should avoid niches like “Make Money Online”. This is too broad. But you could, for example, do some products about “Making Money Online from Twitter”.

There are plenty of different niches when it comes to info products. These could be: learn to do magic tricks, how to maintain your car, teach your dog to do tricks, how to make money from real estate, etc. The more specific you are, the better.

  • E-Books are not the only product you can sell

While they are definitely the most popular when it comes to digital products to sell, you should know that e-books are not your online available choice. For example, you can sell things such as web scripts, website templates, software, etc. Basically, anything that can be digitally delivered to your customer will do the trick here. There is a lot of money to be made in e-commerce when selling virtual products and you need to go beyond simply thinking about e-books.

  • Combine physical products and digital ones

While some people may not recommend it, you should know that it is possible to successfully combine selling digital products together with physical ones. But your success will depend on just how you do it. Your digital products will need to be in the same niche than your physical ones. So if for example, your web store is in the business of selling pet products, then you can include guides about training your dog, or plans to build a recreational area for your dog in your back yard, etc. Basically, anything that is related to your original niche. You can sell these e-books, but they can also be used to add value to your merchandise. If a customer makes an order over a certain amount, for example, you can include a free digital product for them. This is a great way to make your site more competitive.

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Improving Conversion Rates on Your Website: Some Tips – Part 2

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Improving Conversion Rates on Your Website: Some Tips – Part 2


Besides issues that are more related to your products rather than your marketing, there are also certain things on your site which could affect your conversion rates. Obviously, you will want as many visitors as possible to purchase something from you when you are selling something online. Here are some more things to do which can increase your conversions:

 

  • Create landing pages specific to your marketing campaigns

 

If you have advertising campaigns going on which focus on a specific product, or a specific promotion, then you need to create a landing page that reflects it. Don’t simply direct people to your “home” site and then let them find what they want by themselves. Sure, some will. But many others won’t and will simply leave.

 

So let’s say that you sell clothing online and have a promotion in which jackets are 50% off. You will want to create a landing page specific for that promotion and then from it, direct visitors to the jacket section of your website.

 

  • Use live chat

 

While not all of us can have people available 24 hours a day to chat with site visitors, if you are able to this is definitely one good way to increase your conversion rates. When someone is browsing your site, by using certain live chat scripts, you can interact with them and ask them if there is something specific they are looking for or if they need some help navigating through your site. Many people will appreciate the fact that you are giving them personal attention and will feel re-assured that there are actual human beings behind the site they are visiting. This is basically called “proactive” live chat, because you are engaging with the website visitor before they contact you.

 

If you have limited resources, you can also use a “reactive” live chat support model. This means putting a button on your site that allows the visitor to chat with you if they have a question. While it may not seem like much, it can make a difference in conversions. Once again, you need to remember that people are not that patient and do not have big attention spans. Putting up a prominent live chat button with representatives ready to answer their questions could have a very positive impact on your sales, as many people don’t really want to wait several hours to get a response by email, and during that time, there are high chances that they will actually go look for the same product or service from someone else.

 

There are still many other things you can do on your website to improve conversions. Tomorrow we will discuss some other on-page factors that can be used to increase the conversions that you get from your traffic.

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Attracting Local Visitors To Your Website: More SEO Tips

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Attracting Local Visitors To Your Website: More SEO Tips


Yesterday, we saw that there are certain ways that a local business can employ to attract local traffic that will be useful to them. One of these ways is by doing SEO on your site. Now SEO may seem like it is something complicated, but in reality it is not. There are some very simple things that you can do to make your website look more attractive to search engines and thus rise through the rankings faster than you would have ever thought possible. Also, if you need to do some SEO on your site and don’t want to do all of the work yourself, then there are service providers which can do some of the SEO work for you cheaply.

When we talk about SEO, there are a few things that you need to consider if you want to do proper SEO for your small business website. There are two categories of factors which will affect your position in search engines. One is on site factors and the other one is off site factors.

On Site Factors

How your site will do in terms of SEO will depend on how your overall site is designed and the content on it. If you run a local small business, it is better to focus on targeting keywords that have your main product or service name, in addition to the name of the city that you service. That way, you will have less competition that you need to beat to get to the top of search engine results. This is especially true if you are in a relatively small city, then you might only have 2 or 3 competitors. Also, remember to add content to your website regularly. You may want to add a few articles related to your niche that are optimized to your main keyword and the name of your city too.

Off Site Factors

The main off site factor is the amount of backlinks that your site has. Backlinks are the amount of links coming from other websites and that point towards your site. However, quantity is not the main focus here. Quality is more important. The backlinks need to come from reputed sites which have some kind of relation to your niche.

Learning SEO

There are plenty of detailed, yet easy to understand guides on SEO available online. You can find these simply by doing a Google search. Or, you can look through internet marketing forums to find some useful guides, as well as additional advice on SEO techniques that you may want to use.

Outsourcing SEO Work

Doing SEO for your site will involve doing things such as writing articles, building backlinks and submitting your site to business directories. While these could easily be done by yourself, the main drawback is that they take time to do. If you want to outsource these relatively cheaply, then check out some internet marketing forums, as these have a section where people can buy and sell various kinds of services. You can also look at a site such as Fiverr, where you can outsource many tasks for just $5 each.

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Attracting Local Visitors To Your Website: Do Your SEO First

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Attracting Local Visitors To Your Website: Do Your SEO First


One of the main attractions of advertising your business in the online world is that you are able to reach people all over the world. Anyone, from anywhere can visit your website and do business with you. However, for certain small businesses, this is not what they need, especially if they only do business in a certain local area. Therefore, for them, receiving visitors from all over the country and all over the world will be quite useless and will simply result in wasted time and wasted bandwidth on their website.

Think of it this way. If you run a local landscaping business, you don’t need people from the other end of the country seeing your website. It will be as useless to them as it is to you. The visitor will simply see that you don’t serve their area and then leave your site. For them, seeing your website would have simply been nothing more than a waste of time. But how do you target visitors that are only from the area that you do business in? There are many ways in which this can be accomplished. We will take a look at some of the techniques that you can use to make this happen.

Proper Local SEO

Sure, there are many different ways to get people to see your website. With dozens of different advertising options, many business owners don’t focus much on SEO, considering it too complicated to perform on their own and too costly to outsource to a professional firm. As you will see, both of these assertions are not necessarily true. In any case, even if you don’t expect search engine traffic to be your main source of clicks, doing some SEO work on your site is recommended, even if it is just the most basic type.

Basic SEO is not complicated at all for a local business. It simply consists of targeting the right keywords in the proper way. Therefore, you should optimize your content towards keywords that are more “local” than simply general keywords. So if you run a landscaping business in Boca Raton, Florida, you would optimize your content for keywords such as “Boca Raton landscaping” or “landscaping in Boca Raton”. By doing so, you will only be competing for rankings with local businesses, which is easier than trying to rank for the more general “landscaping”. Furthermore, a person doing a search for (product or service) + city is more likely to be in buying mode and seeking out a place where they can GET the service in your city. Even if they are not ready to make a decision yet and are just comparing prices, they are much more likely to contact YOU if they notice that your business offers the best value. On the other hand, someone searching for “landscaping” could simply be looking for landscaping tips and tricks and not interested in hiring anyone’s services.

But is it really hard to do SEO for local businesses and is it really costly to get help? These are topics that we will discuss in the second part.

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Article Marketing – How To Be More Efficient – Part 1

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Article Marketing – How To Be More Efficient – Part 1


If you are using article marketing in order to increase the popularity of your business online, chances are you will need to write a decent amount of articles on a regular basis. While some people don’t have any problem with article writing and actually enjoy it, others seem to have trouble creating enough unique content to get their marketing efforts rolling. Is it possible to write articles faster? Here are some tips:

Get rid of distractions.

A lot of people aren’t able to write articles fast enough simply because they are so easily distracted and not focusing on the task at hand. Turn off the television. Close your email. Close your IM clients. Close any website that is not needed. Doing so will allow you to better focus on what you are doing and complete the required work a lot faster.

Organize everything beforehand.

Taking advantage of the power of article marketing is a great thing. But you need to be very organized in order to have the maximum success. All aspects of your campaign should be carefully planned beforehand. And this means before you sit down and starting writing articles.

Here is what you should do:

Think of what you will be writing about. Will the articles be more of a product review? Or will they instead be general information articles that will give information on the niche of the product you are promoting?

Do the necessary research. If you are already quite familiar with the topic, then you may not really need to do this and can write a great article off the top of your head. That’s great, but what if you are promoting a product on a niche you are not that familiar with? For example, if you are an affiliate for an “alternative energy” Clickbank book and don’t really know much about that. You will need to do some research to get ideas for your content.

Here are some sources of information for you to use:

The product’s website / sales page. You will get insights as to what it does, how it works and how it can help people solve a problem that they have. On some Clickbank products, you will also find a few articles written about the niche in the “affiliates” section of the website (usually a small link at the bottom). Use these to get some inspiration.

Wikipedia. The free encyclopedia. A great resource for information on various topics. For example, if you are writing a review of a certain cell phone model, you can find information about it’s technical specifications, features, the countries where it is sold, etc.

Article directories – Go Articles, Ezinearticles, etc. Here you will find some articles already written by others on your niche. What are they saying? A great source of info.

Google – I hope you already know what this is. Simply type some keywords related to your product or niche to find content that is related to it which you can use in your article.

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A Successful Business Product

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A Successful Business Product


In order to make money online with a product it has to be successful. To make a successful product you must consider products that will attract the most attention, products you are extremely knowledgeable in, and can enjoy creating.

Attracting Attention
Do some online research and you can easily find products that are sought after in today’s market. If you are looking to create a product for use on a social media site, it would only be fitting that you focus on the more popular sites for social networking, like Facebook and Twitter. If you were to focus on a media site like MySpace, it is a less popular subject today than it once was, therefore it will not make as much profit as possible.

Knowledgeable
Products you market online should be related to a niche that you are familiar and knowledgeable in. Your consumers want to know that you are an expert in the particular topic you speak about. In order to ensure your consumers a product they would want to pay for you need to deliver information that is not easily accessible in other places. If a consumer finds value in your product you are more likely to receive recommendations and repeat business.

Creativity
Use your creativity to market your product and share information in ways that other sources do not. Since you will be dedicating a lot of time and attention to your product you need to make sure it is something you enjoy doing. The more you can enjoy creating one product the more information you deliver to your consumer, who can easily tell if you are passionate about your particular topic of choice.

Consider these three things before you develop any product to market online, especially if you are looking to generate money from your product!

Image source:http://www.syjytv.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/make-money-online.jpg

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Hiring Good Contractors on oDesk

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Hiring Good Contractors on oDesk


Hiring outsourcers can either be an awesome experience or a complete nightmare, sadly I have been on both ends of the spectrum. Good contractors are hard to come by, but if you look in the right places you are going to have a much better chance of finding someone within budget and that is capable of doing the work to your satisfaction.

Today we are going to focus on outsourcing websites such as oDesk, Elance, and Guru.

Putting Out Jobs Requests

The first step of finding someone to do work for you is your job request. This is the most essential part and the area where you will make or break your chance at getting a good contractor.

Make sure you are extremely specific. If you want a native English speaker, make that a requirement. If you want someone for less than $5 per hour, make that a requirement. Make sure the task you are requesting to be completed is extremely detailed so that potential contractors can assess whether or not is worth their time and if so, what their price to complete the task is.

Choosing a Contractor

If you are looking for a long term contractor this is the time to really focus in on what you want and make sure the person is qualified to do what you are asking them to do. One great way to make sure you have the right person is to put 4-5 of your best candidates on a trial basis. What you do is simply ask them to do a task (for a reduced amount, say 50% of their asking price) and do part of the task like that. If they get hired you will hire them for their asking wage, if not you pay them for the work they did. This helps the hirer make sure they have the right person, and as a contractor makes them work harder to try and get the long term work.

Clear Tasks

Make sure you are very clear with the tasks you give to your contractors. From the start you need to give very clear and concise directions to your contractor. Ask them to explain back to you what you are requesting, so you can make sure they understand the task (especially if it is a long term task). Don’t be afraid to ask for changes or to send videos showing them how you want something done.

Once you have a good contractor, hang on to them and make sure they are happy. Keep the work coming for them and you will have a great working relationship.

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How Many Blogs Should You Own?

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How Many Blogs Should You Own?


The number of blogs you should own is up for debate in a lot of forums and blogs that I read, so I thought I would weigh in on the topic.

I write for about 4 or 5 blogs as a writer personally, and I make sure that I do not take on more clients than that. I love the writing aspect of blogging, but not the promotion and business end of it. I prefer to write great content that brings visitors back again and again, and leave it up to the site owners to get the readers (you!). There is so much more to running a successful site than writing content and you must be conscience of that before jumping into 10 different niches.

With that being said, I think that the happy number of blogs you should own, at most is 4 or 5.

Why?

It really is simple, if you get stretched to thin trying to write on to many different topics and niches you are going to burn out really bad, really fast. It takes a lot of work to manage a successful blog. You need to write new content every day, do social media and promote the new posts, bookmark, do SEO, comment on other people’s blogs, post on forums related to your niche, and more. You simply can’t do it for more than 5 blogs, you will burn out.

Of course, if you hire out help for writing content, promoting the blog, SEO, and other aspects of your business, you can do more. But as a general rule if you are running the blog yourself no more than 4 or 5 blogs.

The reasoning behind this is because it takes about 1.5 hours per day to write that new content for each blog. Maybe closer to 2.5 hours, depending on your niches and how comfortable you are writing able them. So factoring that in, you have 2 hours per day in sheer writing on average, plush everything else you have going on. One tip, if you have 5 blogs, rotate your promoting every day. On day one promote blog A, day two blog B, etc. That way you can focus your energy on that one blog and not try to do everything at once.

Once you start getting traffic to your first few blogs you can start to expand, at this point you should have some cash-flow and be able to outsource some hired help to manage your blogs and update them for you. Focus your attention on what you are passionate about and write for those niches only at first, then build into other areas.

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