Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Get Traffic to Your Website with Inbound Marketing - New eClass

It’ll soon be a new year and with that I’ll be offering a NEW online marketing e-class through WOW! Women on Writing.

As valued readers and visitors to this website, I want to keep you in the loop.

Just like the marketing arena is ever changing, so are my classes. The reason is to keep up with all those changes.

Beginning January 5, 2015, I’m offering a new 4-week e-class:

Website Optimization, Blogging Smart, Email Marketing, and Social Media Marketing

This 4-week, 4 module interactive class will be conducted through a Yahoo group forum. Each week’s lesson is uploaded into Files then we go over any questions, problems, and so on.

Screen-sharing webinar replays are included to help with understanding. There are also assignments with each lesson – I give feedback on all completed assignments.

Get Traffic to Your Website with Inbound Marketing covers all four fundamental elements of an optimized platform. And, it covers them in-depth.

If you’ve been struggling with these marketing strategies or just want to take things up a notch, this is the class for you.

For all the class details (what will be covered in each lesson), please go to: Get Traffic to Your Website with Inbound Marketing

This class is priced right, so be sure to check it out today!

Hope to see you in one of the classes!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Twitter as Part of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy – Process, Tips, and Benefits (A Case Study)

Information is all around us. And, that information can help us create, build, and tweak our marketing strategy.

In a recent article (I can’t remember where I read), it talked about social media marketing. In particular, it gave tips on using Twitter. The one tip I remember is to tweet eight to 10 times a day.

I put this strategy to the test in two ways:

1. I created a new Twitter account and posted about 8 tweets a day.
2. I increased my primary Twitter account (@KarenCV) tweets to about 8 a day.

Note: The tweets were focused primarily on #contentmarketing and #socialmedia. And, they linked to ‘valuable’ content (blog posts).

The Process

  • The process was random.
  • I would tweet one or two posts each morning.
  • I checked my Notifications.
  • I created a list of those who Favorited my tweets.
  • I thanked those who favorited my tweets in a Thank You tweet.
  • I would randomly throughout the day post another of my blog post links to Twitter.
  • I would randomly retweet or favorite posts of others.
  • I would tweet blog posts I read on other websites.
  • I stopped posting tweets around 7PM.
  • If I was busy on particular days, my tweeting decreased those days.

The Results

This process worked.

The new Twitter account quickly grew. It got lots of Favorites and Retweets. It even got on other Tweeters marketing and social media Lists. Along with this, I got New Followers every day.

The same thing happened to my primary account. In fact, that account got anywhere from 2 to 18 Favoritings a day, along with Retweets.

Fine Tuning the Process

I decided to handle the process in a more business-like manner with my primary Twitter account.

Using, I now prepost my tweets at two-hour intervals from around 6:30AM to 2:30AM the next morning.

I still randomly go into Twitter and retweet or favorite the posts of others (I need to tweak this process). And, I still use Thank You tweets for those who favorite my tweets.

This was a very recent revision, but I’ve already seen lots of activity. My Favoritings have increased to 5 to 22 a day and I'm getting more retweets and on more Lists.

Worthwhile Mention

I engage other Tweeters by retweeting and favoriting their posts. Along with this, I Thank each of those who Favorite my posts by mentioning them in a Thank You tweet.

I offer useful information through links in my tweets.

My next step is to find a program/service that will allow me to automatically retweet or favorite tweets of some of the tweeters I follow who always offer useful information.

6 Benefits of Using Twitter as Part of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy   

1. It offers great visibility.
2. It increases website traffic.
3. If helps boost your authority status.
4. I helps boost search engine ranking.
5. It has the potential to boost conversions, including mailing list subscribers.
6. It has the potential to generate sales (customers / clients)

Note: If the number of valuable tweets were increased, I’m sure the engagement and benefits would increase.

If you’re not on Twitter yet, get started today. If you’re on it, ‘take it up a notch.’ I’d love to know your results with it.

Let’s connect:

For definitions of some of the terms used in this post, check out:
Basic Twitter Terms and Definitions


Social Media Marketing and Time Management
3 Power-Packed Elements to SEO Ready Content
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I have a new e-class with WOW! Women on Writing just for you:

Website Optimization, Blogging Smart, Email Marketing, and Social Media Marketing

It's a 4-week in-depth and interactive class for only $97 - click the link to see all it includes.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Social Media Marketing - Basic Twitter Terms (including Favorites and Twitter Analytics)

I've been using Twitter a lot lately as part of my social media marketing strategy. Thought I'd shed some light on some of Twitter's terms.

Basic Twitter Terms and Definitions

The most common term on the social network is “Retweet.”

This is the process of clicking on the ‘retweet’ button of a tweet you like or find valuable. By clicking on that button, you are sharing that tweet with your followers. Retweets appear on your Home page as part of your tweets list. In other words, others can see what you retweeted.

The individual you retweeted will get notified that you retweeted his tweet. It’ll specify which tweet got retweeted. This is good information to know.

This strategy has been used just about since Twitter was founded in 2006.

The purpose: to share valuable or entertaining tweets with your followers.

The shorthand for Retweet is RT.

In the example below, you can see that I retweeted Jeff Bullas’ tweet about Facebook. He had 13 retweets for that particular post (tweet) on that day:

The Retweet icon is initially grey. When you click on it, it turns green.

Closing in on the Retweet popularity is “Favorites.”

Favoriting a tweet is kind of like highlighting or making a tweet of someone else (or your own) special. Interestingly, this tweeting strategy started to pick up speed in 2013, especially with small businesses.

When Twitter rolled out their new Twitter Analytics in 2014, favoriting look a giant leap. In fact, I get more favorites than I do retweets.

When you favorite a tweet, it doesn’t appear on your Home page list of tweets.

The purpose:

To make the author of the tweet aware of you and let her know you liked the tweet
To save the tweet so you can click to the information later
To save the tweet in order to remember to thank someone who mentioned you
You can also favorite your own tweets for emphasis

The most popular shorthand for Favorites is FAVs.

In the example below, you can see that Jeff’s tweet got 5 Favorites on that particular day.

The Favorite star is grey until you click on it then it turns gold.


Mentions are when someone adds your twitter handle (your username) in a tweet.

The purpose: to bring that person to the attention of your followers.

No shorthand that I’m aware of.

In the first example below, you can see that the user (Paradiso Presents) simply mentioned me in regard to content marketing. In the second example, the user (Gavin Head) mentioned that I was a part of “The Inbound Marketing Daily.” 


Favorites, Mentions, and Retweets are visible on your Notification page. Just click on the Notifications icon at the top of your Twitter page.

In the example below, I was able to see that 5 people favorited that particular tweet on that particular day.

You’ll also get notified of favorites, mentions, and retweets in emails from Twitter.

Twitter Analytics

The bare-bottom basics of Twitter Analytics is to keep track of the interaction or engagement your tweets have on Twitter.

In the example below, it shows me how I did over the last 28 days.

Aside from the number of impressions, it lists your tweets, along with the impressions and the engagement of each. It also includes an engagement rate.

The engagement rate is the ratio of the number of impressions for a tweet to the number of engagements. So if I had 100 impressions and 20 engagements on a particular tweet, my engagement rate would be 20 percent for that tweet.

This knowledge gives you power . . . social media marketing power. It lets you know how many users are able to view your tweets and which tweets are working, get engagement.

Impressions are the number of times users saw the Tweet on Twitter. Crazy that Twitter can determine this stat.

Engagements are the number of times a user interacted with a Tweet. This includes clicks anywhere on the tweet (link, hashtag, username, etc.), retweets, favorites, following, replies.

Why does ALL this matter?

Simple: visibility, authority, traffic, conversion.

Aside from Twitter keeping track, Google does also. This in turn can affect your rankings.

The powers-that-be are watching every move you make!

Note: I also have a post scheduled for 12/15/14, explaining the testing I've done on Twitter. It includes the process and results.



Website Ranking – Basic Metrics (Elements)
Blogging – The 5 Most Popular Blog Post and Article Formats 
Do You Still Need a Website as the Core of Your Online Platform?



Visit: Karen Cioffi, the Article Writing Doctor

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Writing Books and Making Money – 7 Must-know Strategies of Successful Authors

I listened to a teleseminar by Steve Harrison of Quantum Leap recently. He has helped a number of heavy-hitters, such as Peggy McCall and Guy Kawasaki.

The focus of the call was on the differences between ‘rich authors’ and ‘poor authors.’ 

Of the differences Harrison gave, below are some of the most important.

7 Strategies and Tips that Successful Authors Use and Unsuccessful Authors Don’t

1. Plan it out

Of the differences between rich and poor authors (and marketers), the single most important factor is a focused plan. If you’re planning any journey, you can’t reach your destination without first planning how to get there.

Authors who achieve their goals have a plan, and it’s focused.

2. Exposure

The second most important success factor is exposure. Successful authors know the importance of generating visibility. You need to have an effective platform from day one. Your platform includes your website, your niche branding, your marketing efforts, joint ventures, and so on.

3. The subscriber list

Third on the list is to create and build a subscriber list. Successful authors know they need a list. It’s the people on your list who will most likely buy what you’re offering. You in turn need to provide ongoing and helpful information to your list.

4. Model strategies that are proven to work

Fourth up is to use what’s already proven to work. There really are experienced writers and marketers who have developed strategies that are proven to work. Those who are successful know they need to model those strategies or learn from people who are more experienced.

Take courses, classes, and workshops. Attend webinars. Listen to teleseminars and podcasts. Learn, learn, learn. Model, model, model.

5. Seek help if you need it

Authors and marketers also know the value of having a support team and learning what they need to know to move forward.

This can be an overwhelming business and it’s oversaturated. It’s nearly impossible to do everything yourself. If you try, something will have to give – no one can do it all.

Finding competent and reliable help when needed is important. It may be getting help with your marketing plan, or maybe help putting your book together, or maybe optimizing your website, or maybe learning how to write effective content to bring traffic to your site.

6. It’s not about the book

Successful writers and marketers need to realize they will most likely NOT get rich from writing books. It’s the doors books can open that can lead to success. You might go on to give workshops. You might go on to become a coach in your niche.  You might go on to do presentations and seminars. The idea is to know you need to create and sell higher-end products or services to make money.

Along with this, you need to make these offers visible. One of the best places to do this is at the end of your book and in your subscriber welcome message.

7. Walk-the-walk

And finally, you must take action. Your plan needs to be executed. You need to take calculated actionable steps in order to achieve success.

A successful author doesn’t necessarily sell lots and lots of books; she knows how to make the system work. She knows it’s about making your book be a platform for making money.

Use these tips and make your book writing become a profitable business.


Content Marketing – Add Screenshots to Your Blog Posts to Increase Reader Engagement and Understanding
Selling Online – Ecommerce Shopping Carts Basics
Book Marketing – Effective Back of the Room Sales


Monday, December 8, 2014

5 Power-Packed Email Marketing Strategies

If you haven’t noticed yet, the world is wired (and wireless). Just about everyone is online.

Seriously, ‘the proof is in the pudding’. Numbers show that 90% of all adults are online.

So, how do you get noticed by all those possible leads?

Well, the first step is inbound marketing strategies. And, within that strategy, you should be utilizing you subscriber list. To do this, you need to send emails on a regular basis. This is email marketing.

Warning: subscribers don’t want to be bombarded with emails, so make sure when they sign up you let them know how many emails they’ll be receiving on a weekly or monthly basis.

Email marketing is an essential part of your marketing strategy and those emails need to be powerful. They need information-content that is effective . . . that works.

What is an effective email?

An effective email is one that will help you establish a relationship with your subscribers. It will help make you an authority in your industry/niche by providing needed, valuable, and doable information.

It will motivate the reader to click on your links and even more importantly, say YES to your CTA (call-to-action).

Tip: Effective emails don’t oversell. The content to promotion ratio is 80/20 or 85/15, but I like to follow the 90/10 or 95/5 ratio.

I offer information content that will help my subscribers. At the end of the email, I include a brief CTA to my services or an affiliate product. It depends on what’s relevant to the content.

Okay, I laid some important ground work here. Now, on to the six powerful and essential elements you need to make your emails motivating - powerful. In other words, that will get the reader to click on your links.

The 5 Power-Packed Email Marketing Strategies

1. Don’t make it too long.

To keep your subscribers happy, keep your emails relatively short, very focused, and super helpful. Everyone is busy, so don’t send long sales letters. Make every word count.

2. Keep it conversational, personal.

Part of email marketing is to develop relationships. Keep your emails conversational, as if you’re talking to a friend. In addition, your subscribers appreciate tidbits of personal information. Obviously, don’t give your home address or phone number, but occasionally add bits of your hopes and dreams . . . your successes, your failures.

3. Give your subscribers a ‘golden nugget’.

Make your content, the information you’re offering, valuable. Offer a tip or strategy that your subscriber can apply immediately. It might be:

  • A marketing tip
  • A writing tip
  • A strategy to reduce stress
  • A workplace tip
  • Tips on a healthier lifestyle
  • Tips on buying or selling a house
  • Links to more actionable information

You get the idea. No matter what the industry or niche, offer a ‘doable now’ tip.

Jeff Herring, the Article Marketing Guy, says to give your prospect “one actionable gold nugget.”

I try to do this in at least 95% of my emails. Even in those that are more promotional, I find some tidbit of value to give my readers.

Tip: Again, don’t oversell. If you do it right, the ‘nugget’ will speak for itself. Your subscribers/readers will want more from you.

4. Add links here and there.

Keep in mind that readers may not read to the end of your email. Because of this, add two or three links within the content that will send the reader where you want him to go.

5. The essential CTA (call-to-action).

Every email you send out MUST have a CTA. The CTA should direct the reader to a landing page, a product page, a service page, an affiliate product, an offer, a blog post, a survey . . . you get the idea. You must direct the reader to take some kind of action.

The CTA can be in the form of anchor text, a URL link, an opt-in box, or other.

If it’s an opt-in box, make the copy effective. It should be the answer to the readers’ questions, the solution to their problem. And, keep the copy stress-free. You might use:

  • Yes! I Want It
  • Find out how
  • Instant Access
  • Get It Here
  • Start Now

The reader must think that by clicking that CTA there will be a valuable benefit with NO CATCHES.

Bonus Tip: Use qualifiers.

Qualifiers allow you to connect with the reader. They show that you were once in their place. This is a ‘kind of proof’ that what you’re saying is doable.

You can add the qualifier in a postscript as a P.S or PPS, or in a separate email of its own.

Summing it Up

These six email tips will help you create powerful emails. So, get started using them today.



Marketing with Press Releases – Tips on What to Avoid and What to Do
Online Marketing – Is Blogging Worth the Time and Effort?
Writing and Marketing for Success

Friday, December 5, 2014

Life and Marketing are Like Riding a Bicycle

"Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance,
you have to keep moving."

I love Albert Einstein quotes. He was such a brilliant man.

This particular quote is pertinent to everything in life, including your marketing efforts.

In fact, the marketing arena is ever-changing. What worked yesterday may not work today. What didn't exist yesterday, may very well exist today.

Marketing is what most of us online are bicycling after - striving to keep our balance with.

Think about the last 10 years or so.

Social Media - networks have popped into existence, changing the way we plan and execute our marketing strategies.

Here is a brief list of just some of those networks:

  • LinkedIn 2003
  • Delicious 2003
  • Vimeo 2004
  • Digg 2004
  • Flickr 2004
  • Reddit 2005
  • YouTube 2005
  • Twitter 2006
  • Tumblr 2007
  • Pinterest 2010
  • Google+ 2011

Next, think about the marketing strategies that have come and gone:

  • Writing content that was keyword focused (keyword stuffing)
  • Linkbuilding strategies
  • The shift from outgoing marketing (push marketing) to inbound marketing (pull marketing)
  • The shift from 'it's all about the company' to 'it's all about the buyer'
  • The shift to flying with minimal analytics to monitoring every move you make
  • The shift from traditional book publishing to self-publishing
  • The use of permission-based duplicate content to now having to avoid it
  • Having the option to use social media marketing to having to use it
  • Panda, Penguin, rankings, YIKES

The list could go on and on and on and . . .

You absolutely have to keep moving, not only to keep your balance, but to keep your head above the murky marketing waters.

Keep on ridin'




Book Marketing – Yesterday and Today
Blog Post Template – The 8 Standard Components (Part 1)
Content Marketing – Shareability, Sharing, and Paying-it-Forward

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Even Tiny Action Steps Can Produce Huge Results

"Someone is sitting in the shade today because 
someone planted a tree a long time ago."

This Warren Buffet quote inspires me. It 's simple, yet so amazingly powerful. 

1. A tiny seed can create something as massive as a tree, even a sequoia tree. 

Think of the giant sequoia tree in California, USA. It averages around 26 feet in diameter, weighs around 4,189,000 lbs. and reaches heights of 275 feet. According to Wikepedia, "Record trees have been measured to be 311 feet in height and over 56 feet in diameter. The oldest known giant sequoia based on ring count is 3,500 years old."

The seed of the sequoia tree is 0.16–0.20 inches long, 0.039 inches broad, and 0.039 inches wide.

Hard to imagine, isn't it.

Well, this can easily relate to writing, to content marketing, to business . . . to just about everything in your work and life.

Small positive actionable steps, no matter how tiny, can create massive results. You may think your writing and marketing efforts aren't moving you forward, but think of how long it takes that tiny seed to grow into that tree that gives shade.

2. What you sow today can have benefits for many tomorrows. 

Time will pass whether you take action or not. If you have an idea, take action now. Don't wait for tomorrow or until you have more time or until you have more money. Take action now. The benefits may turn out to be bigger than you could possibly imagine.

You may reap the benefits of your writing or content marketing or business efforts far into your future, so take that initial step. Or, maybe it's expansion that you're thinking about, or a new strategy.

Keep in mind though that every living thing needs sun, water, and food to grow. So, when you take that step (plant that seed), be sure to give it the nurturing it needs to become what you believe it can be.

Plant that seed today!



Social Media Marketing and Time Management
Content Marketing Success – You Have to Walk the Walk
Content Marketing with Article Directories and Ghostwriters


I can help. Check out Karen Cioffi, Freelance Writer