Use a Blog To Generate Leads Part -2

How to Get Started With a Blog

There are many benefits and advantages to be obtained from blogging. Remember these things when you set out to create your blog.

If you are new to blogs and blogging, two good places to get started with a blog will be Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Both of these websites allow you to start a blog for free. Both are simple to use and will allow you to produce a blog literally in minutes. After some practice, it will be worthwhile to invest in a paid blogging program. But it is a good idea to learn how to use and personalize a blog using free tools. You will then have some better ideas about how a blog can be used to promote your business.

  • Blogging can give you a constant supply of new pages which search engines such as Google love. This is an extremely important reason to incorporate a blog into your business. It provides an easy way to get regular search engine rankings. This is often not quite so easy with a website.
  • Blogging is easy enough to do. However, remember that it is a regular commitment if it is to be done properly. If you do not have the ability or time to manage the blog, help is available. Many professional bloggers ghostwrite blogs for other people. Someone can be hired to do this type of work and it need not cost a lot.
  • Communication through the blog is essential. It is an informal way to speak to others and does not require too much commitment. However, it is vital to keep posts going but also to keep the dialogue going too! This can be rather difficult in some respects. Chatting with consumers is immensely worthwhile but not something everyone likes to do.

So far in this post and the previous one, I have covered some of the important basics of blogging. Now to make a start. Once your blog has been registered and a web presence for it has been established it is time to start posting. Depending on the way you are setting up your blog you may need to have hosting set up. I shall be covering some of the issues involved towards the end of this series of posts.

What will you talk about?

To generate leads to your website, you must create blog posts. These post must somehow, even indirectly, relate to your website’s topic and overall goals. For example, if your website sells bakery products, your blog should be bakery or at least food related.

Your blog will give you an opportunity to display your skills and knowledge and to establish yourself as an expert in the field. Do you need to be an expert to get sales and traffic? In most cases, the answer to this is yes. People will seek out people they can count on as experts, to buy from. If you are not an expert, why would they want to buy from you? However, to someone who knows nothing, an expert can easily be someone who knows a little.

Start planning a few posts!

Email Marketing Etiquette

Follow This Email Marketing Etiquette to Get Your Emails Delivered and Read

Email marketing can be a very effective way of bringing new customers into your sales funnel. But due to the widespread use of viruses and malware, most people are cautious about opening an email that comes from a source they don’t recognize, that is strangely written, or appears to have come from a non-English speaker.

You can reassure your prospective customers that the emails you send are safe and reliable by following a few simple email marketing etiquette rules:

  1. Do not make a sensation of your subject

The usual setting for Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc., will show who is the sender and the subject. Somtimes, the first few words of the email text itself will appear on the user’s email queue.

That makes the subject the first important element of your email. If it is exaggerated and makes extraordinary claims, or is otherwise sensational, there is a good chance that the email will be sent directly to the “Spam” folder or deleted by the user without being read.

The aim is to get the reader to open the email, so the subject must provide a reason for them to do so. Try to capture their imagination and engage their interest, but do not “go over the top”. Avoid using exclamation points/marks – especially multiple exclamation points/marks – as well as ALL CAPS and crazy colors because this will most likely tag your email as spam.

  1. Use the person’s name, if you know it

The greeting is the first thing the reader sees when they open the email. If you know the user’s name because you know them personally, they are already on your list use your autoresponder to insert their first name in the greeting, such as “Dear Jo” or “Dear Emily.”

Email tends to be less formal than traditional letter-writing, so in most cases using the person’s first name is perfectly acceptable. Using the person’s last name can often seem off-putting, such as “Dear Mr. Bloggs” or “Dear Ms. Smith.”

  1. Get to the Point

Emails are less formal than traditional letters and because people get so many emails every day, the person receiving your email probably has not time to give it much time, at least intially, therefore it is critically important to get to the point of the email immediately, starting with the first sentence.

It is necessary to give the reader a reason to keep reading. Do not waffle and waste time by beating around the bush or trying to build to the main point slowly. You have only a few moments to maintain the reader’s attention, so make the most of it.

  1. Signing Off

The sign-off in an email is usually rather different from that used in a traditional letter. It is not usual to include a formal “ Yours Sincerely” or “Yours Failfully.”

It is perfectly acceptable to with just your name. Or you could use an informal phrase such “Best Regards” or “All the Best”.

Follow these general email etiquette protocols to increase the chances the person receiving your email will open it and read it. Ensure the content of your email pushes the person to the action you want them to perform, such as clicking on a link included in the body of your email.

Innovative Promotional Tools – 4

Join Online Communities – Join the Party

It is important to create a reputation for your online business in the same way as it is to build a brand for a bricks and mortar business. As a business owner, you need to get out into your community and meet people. Find organisations relevant to your business niche and become involved in their online communities and use promotional tools to help.

Introduce yourself to as many people as necessary and be prepared to “sell” your website to them in a few short sentences. One of the best ways to make friends online – or in the real world, for that matter – is to offer help.

For example if you offer to write a testimonial for their website or to provide a free sample of some of your products, they probably will be open to the idea of helping you in return.

Be Nice, Get Paid

It is also important always to be friendly and helpful to everybody you encounter online because you never know who is going to be a potential customer. In many cases the only point of contact people will have with you will be your online persona, so ensure you are consistently outgoing and always offer to assist people in whatever way you can.

Once you join online communities, find out what you need to do to get into positions of leadership. Not only will this help build your reputation and add to your resume, but it will put you in a position to make policy decisions which can be beneficial to your website and business in the future.

Innovative Promotional Tools -3

Innovative Promotional Tools

Podcasting the Power of Audio and Video

A series of audios or videos, normally devoted to a certain topic is known as a Podcast. These can be created using the audio and video tools included with most modern computers, laptops, tablets and even smartphones and can be distributed free on YouTube, iTunes and other free distribution networks.

Podcasts can also be sent to your subscriber list or links to your podcasts posted on a web page or blog.

In the same way as blogs, podcasts provide an effective way to target people who have an interest in a particular niche subject. Therefore they can be an effective way to promote your website. Som

Videos
Powerful Videos

e podcasts can be highly elaborate — including professional-quality editing, musical scores and other production values – however, most are simply people talking into a microphone, smartphone or video camera about a topic that interests them.

 

Unlike blogs, podcasts give you the opportunity to speak directly to your listeners or viewers. This can make it easier to engage them emotionally and show your personality. This can be an effective way of branding your website. Podcasts can be played back later by users on portable viewing or listening devices.

During the early years of the internet, audio podcasts were the podcasting method of choice, but now that video playback capabilities are universal, video podcasts or videos have become the medium of choice.

Innovative Promotional Tools -2

Free and Effective Way to Connect with Passion Markets

An effective way to promote a website is to create your own blog. It is an easy way to attract people who already have an interest in the niche or topic you are discussing. Provide valuable information and rich content in your blog to build a relationship with your readers and ultimately direct them back to your website or offer.

Blogging is an entertaining and interesting occupation and it is easy and enjoyable to become immersed in a community of people who are friendly and knowledgeable about your niche subject.

Innovative Promotional Tools -1

Blogging?
Write Your Blog??!

Innovative Promotional Tools You May Not Have Considered

Blogging has become one of the most popular ways for people to share ideas. It helps you to engage in dialogue and interact with those who share common interests. Blog posts are usually short pieces of text published online according to a regular schedule. They address a particular subject, for example, food, sports, raising children marketing or any other topic.

It is estimated there are around 450 million blogs being published on the internet. Blogs can be created on blog hosting sites such as WordPress or Blogger or your own domain. There are many easy-to-use free tools and pre-made “themes” to make a blog look professional and help to create and maintain it.

Blogs can include many types of media such as pictures, videos, audio recordings, slideshows etc. Bloggers can make their blogs more interactive and entertaining by including polls and contests and also by encouraging their readers to leave comments and interact with them online.

Effective Ways to Promote Your Website

Effective Ways to Promote Your Website which Cost Nothing

There are many paid methods for promoting a website. Just a few of these are: Pay-Per-Click, Pay-Per-Action, Banner Ads, Facebook Ads, Google AdSense and Sponsored Tweets, etc., etc.

However, those starting out as internet marketers do not have the resources, financial or other, to launch a paid marketing campaign. The Internet however, does provide a variety of no-cost marketing methods which can be just as effective, if not more effective, than paid techniques.

Free marketing methods tend to take longer to produce results than paid methods such as advertising, but the benefit, other than the cost saving, is that their effect tends to last longer. When paid marketing is used there is usually a steep drop-off in traffic once an advertisement expires. Free marketing methods can continue to funnel visitors to your site for months or even years after they have been put into place.

It is not necessary to spend large sums to promote a website and have it ranked on the first page of the Search Engine Results Page for your niche. All that is required is some persistence, patience and a little luck to funnel thousands of visitors to your website every day.

Search Engine Optimisation

The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) process is used to improve the visibility of a website to search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and so on. These search engines are used by people every day to search the Internet. SEO uses organic techniques to increase the search engine’s ability to index the website and rank it higher on the Search Engine Results Page.

The most important SEO technique is to include the best keywords for the niche being addressed by the website. For example, if the page promotes a hair dressing business, the site should include keywords such as “hair dressing”, “hair cutting” etc. in various places, including the headline and sub heads.

In this way, when somebody uses a search engine to look for hair dresser’s websites, if the website has been optimized with the appropriate keywords, it will appear near or at the top of the SERP for those keywords.

Search engines use programs known as “spiders” or “bots”, to crawl sites on the internet, indexing each page according to its content and ranking it based on a set of criteria, called the search engine algorithm. The algorithm is a secret and is being modified constantly to prevent people from fooling the spiders. However, there are certain SEO techniques which will improve the web page’s ranking.

Libraries of books and training courses are devoted to the study of SEO. Also, there are numerous SEO consultants who can be hired to optimise a site.

Online Directories

Online directories are clearinghouses for information about businesses. They are usually categorised by location or genre. For example, there are online directories for businesses in certain locations and there are directories for specific types of business.

These directories will often publish information about your business for free, including your website address. This can be a good way to attract customers to your webpage, especially those who are either already in your geographic area or who are looking for products and services in a specific niche.

Some of these directories, such as White Pages and Yellow Pages, will find your business on their own, but it will be necessary to find and contact others.

Use Google to search for directories in your product niche and visit all those you believe to be significant. If they look to be suitable for promoting your business and website, find where it explains how to make submissions.

If this is not easy to find, go to the “About” page. There you should find contact information for the site administrator, including their email address. Send them an email explaining what your business is about and let them know you would like to be included.

5 Ways to Drive Traffic

5 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Site without Spending a Penny

Content Is King

Once you have decided upon the strategy for your blog, it is time to develop the process to get people to read it and then recommend others to do the same.

This is not so simple so how do we go about it?

Keep Driving
Drive Traffic

Your blog will not attract large numbers of “likes” and followers overnight. It will require a consistent stream of useful content and some socialisation tactics on social networking sites to attract the traffic.

Of course, everything is easier when you have Bill Gates’s bank account.Your blog can be given a considerable boost if you can pay for social media advertisements, paid searches and affiliate campaigns.. However, if your financial situation is rather more precarious it will be somewhat more challenging to take the centre stage.

If you are short of money but have a lot of time, you can immerse yourself into something you know, and blog about it. Write every chance you get but ensure you write content which has some meat and meaning to it.

You should aim to produce content at least once every day and write a minimum of 300 words that would be amazing, but not so difficult as it may sound. Some time ago the State of Inbound Report from HubSpot suggested that brands which create 15 blog posts per month generate an average of 1,200 new leads per month. Whether this is a personal blog site or and eCommerce site that much traffic would be fantastic, so go on with it!

So, what should you write about? If you do not have too many ideas below are some tips to get you started.

1.   Create Epic Titles

To grab people’s attention, you must have blog compelling topics and titles. The blog titles serve as bait to get people to read your post. Use crazy, add a little drama or use catchy phrases. They must sparkle to result in full reads, conversions and social media shares.

Think of it from your reader’s point of view. Would you click on a blog entitled “Sure-Fire Ways to Become a Millionaire in Six Months?” See what I mean?.

2.  Write content that people feel compelled to share

Your content should be compelling, engaging, informative and relevant . Ensure your blog provides significant value to your readers. If they find value and feel “I learned something from that” they are likely to return and maybe bring their contacts with them as long as you continue to provide fresh content. Do not lure them in with a great title and then provide shallow, unfounded information or biased rants.

3.   Cover the Following Topics

If you have some ideas for topics, go ahead and start writing. If you are a bit stuck here are some topics which may provide a kick start. These topics are always popular because they provide people with substantial information. People want to learn, they look to be entertained and feel something from what they read. The best thing to do is to have a mixture of these types of content and you will certainly be pointing in the right direction.

  • Lists or Educational Posts: Tips and tricks, guides and how-to’s should be the main focus of your content marketing. It is important to have empathy with your audience and to think about the posts you think are relevant to them?

Help them lose weight. Help them solve problems. Suggest how they can improve their relationships. Be aware of which topics are hot in your niche and be sure to offer something new, unique and with substance so that your audience will want to know more from you.

  • Interviews and Q&As: Find an expert and interview them. If you sell digital products find and interview an expert in the field.If you sell physical items, find someone who is experienced in using, fitting maintaining the product.

Understand your interviewee’s opinions on the focus and future of your industry. Study their view and opinions. Evaluate them and then start forming your own.

  • Reviews and Case Studies: A very useful was to provide useful content in a blog is to review new products and services available on the market. Use case studies which feature win-win situations with a client or examples of other people or businesses who are doing things correctly and successfully.

Many people have problems with their weight, so a review of diets, diet pills or fitness products should generate a high number of clicks.

  • Sensational Reports: Help your audience to make decisions by expressing an opinion about hot and trending topics, sensational issues or current events. Pique your readers’ interest by writing a story so big that everyone will want to write about it.

Provide facts, comparative analyses, pros and cons to help your audience make informed decisions. However, since everyone will be writing about it, ensure that your offering has something extra to establish yourself as a reliable source of that information.

TechCrunch has a remarkable reputation of being on top of the really interesting news ahead of everyone else. They have sources contantly on the prowl. If you must do this in the name of journalism, carry on.

  • Content which Humanises Your Company or Brand: Talk about how your company participates in non business events or inform your audience about your stance on the main issues of the day. With these types of post, the target market will understand the human side of your brand and that behind the formal exterior is a brand concerned with issues other than purely business.

Starbucks showed that they are one with the world in commemorating lives lost during the Paris attacks in their Facebook post.

Writing
Keep Writing

4.  Optimise Content with Keywords and Tags

Keywords and other SEO elements should be Incorporated into your blog because that golden nugget which could shoot your content to the stars. On-page optimisation attributes are important and these include title tags, meta tags, heading tags and image tags.

Keep up to date on search engine dynamics and algorithm changes, but always write for your target audience. In addition, ensure your content is keyword-rich (not keyword-stuffed) and written in such a way that it reads naturally.

5.  Guest Blog

Guest blogging lives on despite what some might have us believe. Don’t write it off just yet as there is still a big opportunity if you tap into this niche.

Guest posting on reputable sites can still boost your online credibility. Just be wary and avoid using spammy tactics in your guest blogs to avoid ruining your reputation. As this still works, you could invite other bloggers to guest blog on your site. Just make sure you only approve high-quality, authentic content without spammy links to avoid problems with Google so proceed with caution.

So there it is, five ways to help you generate traffic without spending anything other than some time. As you are doing it let your personality appear through your writing. Personality will grab your audience attention and make your blog stand out from a sea of gibberish online content.

With a lot of hard work, right tools, and sound know-how, you’ll soon drive traffic to your website and gain a steady number of visitor and even customers, too.

Remember the only wrong action is no action.

The Many Facets of Internet Marketing

Many Facets of Internet Marketing

In looking around the whole Internet Marketing scene, it seems to me that there are so many parts obligatory or optional which must be fitted together to make the whole thing work. When we look at the list and try to work out what piece fits where. It is no wonder that 97% of people who attempt to make money online fail to make anything at all.

  • Contact List (List)
  • Autoresponder
  • Squeeze Page
  • Funnel
  • Traffic, free and paid
  • Domain Name
  • Hosting
  • Website
  • DNS
  • Mail Accounts
  • Blog
  • Capture Page
  • Capture Form
  • Upsell
  • Down Sell
  • One Time Offer (OTO)
  • WordPress

I’m sure that there are more and no doubt I shall discover them as time goes by. However, my aim is to start to find out about these topics and others and to write about what I have discovered over the next few weeks.

If you are interested in following my journey and my general ramblings, why not sign up using the form towards the top right hand corner of the post and I shall let you know when I have further pearls of wisdom to impart.

I have started this journey to give myself some degree, if not total, financial independence and to gain some Time Freedom to be able to do some of the many things I still want to do in my life.

See you again soon.

Seven Ways to Get More Visitors to Click Through to Your Web Page

To paraphrase legendary Liverpool Football Manager Bill Shankley, “Getting customers to click through to your web page isn’t a matter of life and death … it’s much more important than that!”

A click through page is used to drive visitors to the next step in your sales funnel. Therefore, it should include at least these elements.

A Clear Call to Action Button (CTA)

A huge mistake many marketers make is to make it difficult for page visitors to act on their CTA.

Use big, bold buttons in a prominent position on the page so it is easy for customers to do what you want them to do.

A Compelling Headline

The headline should include your keywords and should match the title tag of your page closely in the HTML. If not, customers are more likely to click away from your page without clicking through. Customers should see consistency when scanning your page.

The headline will usually appear in search results. Therefore it should push visitors to take the next step and click through to where you want them to go.

Use Short Paragraphs or Bullet Points

People do not want to wade through miles and miles of text. This is the Internet after all.

Give page visitors the bullet points which explain the selling points or use short paragraphs which communicate your message efficiently in as few words as possible.

Do Not Include Other Navigational Links

The purpose of a click through page is to get visitors to click through where you want them to go.

Do not include any other options by including links to other pages, references, etc. This provides too many distractions and opportunities for your visitors to leave your page and go elsewhere.

Include AT LEAST Two CTA Links

People like to think they have several options. Provide them with at least two buttons to click, both of which will lead to the same place. This will make them feel empowered. It also will improve your conversion rate.

Links can also be included within the text which appear over or under the Call To Action.

Use Exit Pop-Ups

Use a widget which gives a pop-up which will appear whenever somebody tries to click to another page besides your CTA. It gives one last chance to convert a customer who was already leaving anyway, so it’s worth a try.

Social Proof

This is sometimes called the “bandwagon approach”. Social proof feeds on people’s nornal desire to be part of the cool crowd.

You should use testimonials from clients, logos from companies you do business with or credible third party organisations, etc. These are not always necessary on a click-through page, but in some cases they can add credibility and value to your web pages.

Use Simple Images and Photos

Do not overcomplicate your page with too many different images or pictures which are too “busy”.

The images used should complement the content on the page and support the headline at the same time.

Put Your “Best Stuff” Near the Top

Many people will not scroll to the bottom of your click-through page. It is important therefore to ensure that the most compelling arguments, the best benefits and any other top-drawer persuasive ideas you can use to convert your visitors are placed near the top.

I hope you found these ideas useful. Do experiment with different layouts and settings but bear in mind the Seven Tips above. Remember that when you have made changes or have put the page up for the first time, give it a little time to settle before making any more changes.

I shall be adding more tips and information to help increase the effectiveness of your web site or blog. Please feel free to add your own comments and experience.