Friday, October 31, 2014

Those Most Adaptable to Change Succeed – Marketing in the Digital Age

"It's not the strongest nor most intelligent that survives; the most adaptable to change wins."

While Charles Darwin wasn't thinking of marketing in the digital age when he said these words, they couldn't be more appropriate to the quick and ever-changing climate of online marketing.

I'm a writer as well as an online marketer and writing is an evergreen topic. There are steadfast rules that pretty much last forever. I've written articles on 'writing' years ago and they are just as relevant and factual today.

Online marketing is another story.

Technology and strategies can change overnight. And, search engines and/or social media channels can change their algorithms without any notice causing even more changes (and stress) for internet marketers.

Even marketing terminology changes.

That's why Darwin's quote can be applied to the marketer's life. If you can't adapt to the constant changes in marketing, you'll be lost – your business will suffer.

Because of this, it's essential to keep up with current strategies through ongoing reading and learning.

Here are a few of the top marketing sites that I read to help keep up with those relentless changes:  

There are many other sites out there that offer top marketing information, but I’m trying to keep this list short and sweet.


Content Marketing – Add Screenshots to Your Blog Posts to Increase Reader Engagement and Understanding.
Blogging and Conversion – How to Get More Juice Out of Your Efforts
Email Marketing and Call-to-Actions (CTAs)


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

4 Power-Packed Tips on Streamlining Your Product Creation Process

Everywhere you look, there’s a product or service being offered, especially online. The internet has made selling and the ability to earn money available to all.

If you’re not creating your own products to sell, you should be.

I get it though. You might think creating one product a bit daunting. And, to create multiple products may seem completely overwhelming.

Well, think again. Don’t let negativity or unrealistic thoughts keep you from jumping in and creating your own offerings.

Having created a number of my own information products, I know some of the tricks to keep the process simple.

Here are 4 power-packed tips on streamlining your product creation process.

1. Use content you’ve already written.

Been blogging for a while? Turn a specific topic into an ebook. Say you wrote 15 to 20 articles on cooking with wine. Format those articles into an ebook. DONE. You now have a product.

2. Repurpose your products.

Repurpose products you already created into other products. For example, if you wrote an ebook, turn it into a webinar, podcast, video, or a workshop.

Model what you’ve already done that’s been successful. If you already wrote a book, use the same template to write one on another topic. BAM. You’ve got another product.

Have you presented an audience-filled webinar, do it again with other information your prospects will want. Or, turn that webinar into a workshop.

You get the idea.

3. Keep your product package design uniform.

If you’re creating more than one product, and you should be, you want each product to quickly be identifiable with your brand.

Suppose you’ve written 5 ebooks and each has a different color and design. Guess what? They will not be quickly identifiable to one person or company.

But, it you have a specific color scheme and design for each of your products, you have a quickly identifiable brand.

This translates to your website also. Keep the color scheme the same for all your online and offline marketing.

This streamlines your process by removing the time and effort it takes to come up with new product packaging for each product.

Remember, model what you have that's working.

4. Have a ‘To Do’ list and stick to it.

Have a weekly ‘to do’ list. This will help you stay on course. What you don’t’ finish one day, add to your next day’s ‘to do.’

The ‘to do’ list streamlines your process by eliminating the time and effort needed to decide what needs to be done. No excuses, no thought process. It’s there right in front of you.

5. Create quality products (a bonus tip).

While this post is about streamlining your product creation process, you don’t want to skimp on quality. You don’t want to shortchange the buyer in any way. So, make sure everything you create has real benefit that delivers on what it promises in the title and description. Keep your buyer satisfied and she’ll be back for more.

There you have it, 5 power-packed tips to streamline your product creation process.

Get started today!


Content Marketing – Keep the Details Focused (don’t give too much information)
Email Marketing and Call-to-Actions (CTAs)
Do You Still Need a Website as the Core of Your Online Platform?


Monday, October 27, 2014

Business Success: Fine-Tune Your Content Marketing with Attribution Reports (know where and how conversion happens)

You’re sitting at your laptop, typing away. You know content is the absolute King of the internet jungle. And, you know inbound marketing is the best way to bring traffic to your website.

But, which of your content efforts are producing the most benefit. In other words, what post or website page or other strategy, or what combination of efforts are the ‘conversion powerhouses?’

You scratch your head. What type of content produces the most benefits – the most conversions? Where should you put your best effort and money?

Is it blog posts, is it paid ads, is it email marketing, is it social media marketing, is it other strategies? Is it a combination of strategies?

Fortunately for us marketers, there are tools to let you know exactly what’s working and what’s not. These tools will allow you to fine-tune your content marketing efforts.

One of those tools is the Attribution Report.

The Attribution Report

HubSpot has a great article explaining what an attribution report is and how to use it.

Basically, this report is an analytical tool that gives you details as to the ‘path’ a prospect takes that leads to conversion – on becoming a customer or client. It can even pinpoint the exact point of conversion.

You set the parameters and POOF, like magic, you know where to concentrate your marketing efforts.

How cool is that!

Blast AM explains Google's attribution modeling as “the science of determining the value of each customer touch point leading to a conversion. It helps you understand the customer journey and justify your marketing spend.”

The Touch Point is where a prospect first enters your website to conversion. Google Analytics calls this an Interaction Point.

Website Metrics

The attribution report and other analytical tools offer critical information to measure your business content marketing performance. Every business, big or small, needs to know how they’re doing. They need to know where their strengths are and where their weaknesses are. This is just good business practice.

Even gives you lots of information. And, some of it is free. Here are several website metrics they measure:

  • Your Global ranking
  • Your ‘country’ ranking
  • Bounce Rate
  • Daily Pageviews per Visitor
  • A visitor’s Daily Time on Site
  • Where your visitor’s are located (geography)
  • And, so much more

HubSpot and Google Analytics both offer Attribution Reports. Each uses their own terminology, but the results are the same: lots and lots of invaluable information that will help make you a content marketing powerhouse.

Google Analytics offers free website metric measurements. To sign up, go to (This tool involves adding code to your website though.)

I added this tool to two of my websites, but If you’d like to go the easy route start with Simply input your website URL in the box and it pulls up your rankings.

Get started today tracking your essential website metrics.


Blogging – The 5 Most Popular Blog Post and Article Formats (Part 1)
Website Ranking – Basic Metrics (Elements)
Content Marketing – 10 Tips on Creating Landing Pages That Boosts Clicks and Encourages Sharing


Friday, October 24, 2014

Content Marketing - Don't Make These Landing Page Mistakes and What to do If You Have

Just about everyone knows the importance of having a website. And, the landing page is the first thing a visitor will see. So, it better be reader and search engine optimized.

As a website owner there are certain mistakes that you need to look out for. Here are 5 of them:

1. Overwhelming content

You don't want a website landing page that has too much content or information. Keep it simple and to the point. The visitor needs to very quickly ascertain what your site is about and the benefit it has for him.

In addition, search engines don't like long landing pages. 

2. Too many call-to-actions (CTAs)

A subscriber recently asked me to check his website. There were fairly large buttons all over the landing page, top to bottom. I didn't bother to check them to see if they were all CTAs, but even if they weren't, it was a turn-off. It was confusing.

Make everything  you do on your website short and sweet, especially your landing page. Give the visitor only ONE option (CTA) at a time. Too many choices creates visitor anxiety - this is always a no-no.

3. Your landing page heading doesn't reflect the website's theme/niche/industry

I'll use an old site of mine as an example of this error.

The URL is
The website name is Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained.

Okay, quickly, what do you think the site is about?

Investment? Real Estate? Health? Sports?

Get the idea. The title is non-specific. It's confusing.

The URL, website name, page titles, and so on, should all reflect the theme of the site.

Why does this matter?

It matters for at least two major reasons:

a. It makes the search engine's job much more difficult to define and categorize your website.
b. It's confusing for the visitor.

4. Jam-packed sidebar

This mistake goes along with #1. You don't want the visitor to be distracted or confused by too many sidebar tidbits or ads.

Again, keep it simple.

5. Website color design

The best color scheme for your website is a light background with dark text.  It's much easier to read, which makes it much more reader friendly. This tip is from Marketing Experiments.

This one always surprises me. I still see sites with dark backgrounds and light text.

Companies like Marketing Experiments base their information on tons of research. Why wouldn't everyone take advantage of their expertise.

Okay, there you have it, 5 landing page mistakes you absolutely need to avoid.

For a broader look at avoiding website errors, along with lots of statistics, check out
7 Landing Page Mistakes That Destroy Conversions over at Brandon Gaille.


Blogging – The 5 Most Popular Blog Post and Article Formats (Part 1)
Is Guest Blogging Still an Effective Link Building Strategy?
Website Ranking – Basic Metrics (Elements)


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Did You Write a Book? Sell It Through Your Blog

How to Sell Books Through Blogs

Guest Post by Kim Staflund

In today's digital environment, selling books through blogs is viable and preferable for many authors. Here's more information on how to sell your published books through blogs.

• Interest: You need an audience that has an interest in your book. A series of blogs can help to not just develop, but engage that audience. Let them know what you have to offer, even if you don't provide it until they buy the book.

• Engagement: You need a social media platform for engaging that audience, and it's tough to do that on your own. It's great to have your family and friends interested in your message, but promoting your blogs via social media can help you reach more people.

• Quality Content: Blogs provide a venue for actual content. Many readers won't be convinced of their need to purchase your book from short promotional Facebook posts and Tweets. They need to see more quality content, and a blog allows you to provide it. Answer a question or solve a problem and you have hooked a reader.

• Understanding: With blogs, you'll feel more understood, because people are reading and grasping your book's message. If the reason you're writing is to help others, you'll at least partially achieve your objective through blogging.

• Humanizing: Blogging allows your readers to connect with you as a human being, and that means they will internalize your writing and return to you for answers to life's questions. Whether that means positive or negative messages, fiction or non-fiction stories, or theoretical messages or practical how-tos is up to you, but regardless, blogging helps your audience see you as a human being who is trying to resolve issues connected to life, work, and family.

• Connections: Blogging about your writing offers opportunities for other writers to connect with you, which can offer valuable support in terms of making your work known to others as well as creating a support system for you. Writers who've been there and done that can make your path to publishing success much shorter! You'll meet writers who've hired graphic designers, agents, and others who can help you on your journey.

• Marketing Funnel: Blogs allow you to direct interested readers down a marketing funnel towards purchasing your book. Most users won't buy on the first visit; they want to get to know you first. Let readers engage with you through blogs until they develop enough trust to buy and promote your book.

• Reader Promotion: Readers who like your blog content will promote you to other readers, even if they don't buy your book, and this further develops your audience.

• Blogs become Books: Blogging allows you to further develop your writing in response to reader feedback. You may come up with your next published book via blogging.

• Selling Books: There's no reason you can't sell books through your blog. Add a PayPal link or other shopping cart option and make it easy for interested readers to buy your book!

Blogging is an excellent option for promoting and selling your books.

Polished Publishing Group (PPG) is a professional book publisher dedicated to serving serious-minded authors around the world. Watch for our new book, How to Publish a Bestselling Book... and Sell it WORLDWIDE Based on Value, Not Price!, in August 2014! eBook ISBN: 978-0-9864869-9-9 | Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9864869-8-2

Article Source:


The Author Website – Keep it Simple and to the Point
7 Elements of an Effective Landing Page Designed to Increase Your Mailing List P1
Book Marketing – Create a Blog


Monday, October 20, 2014

Is Your Social Media Marketing Increasing Your Website Traffic? (Tools to help you find out)

I recently read an interesting blog post at Social Media Examiner. Its focus was on how to increase social media shares.

If you’re a content marketer, this should be of interest to you. It sure is to me.

Today’s marketing is about discoverability and shareability. This means you need to be involved with social media marketing.

All the search engines ‘watch’ how you do on the social networks. Are your blog posts being Tweeted, Retweeted, Favorited, Liked, Shared?

You get it. Is there activity; is there sharing?

All this matters.

But what also matters is how this translates into traffic to your site.

It’s kind of obvious that if you have good activity on the social networks it will translate into more traffic for your website. The more people who get to see your blog post title, the more people there will be who will have the opportunity to click on your link.

That’s how it works.

So, how do you tell if your social media marketing is bringing in more traffic?

The answer is through analytics.
Now, I can hear some of you shaking your heads and thinking ‘OH NO! ANALYTICS.’ But, there are services that make it simple to keep track of everything from visits to your site, to pageviews, to length of time on your site per visit. And, they’re free.

Free Web Traffic Analysis Tools

One of my favorite tools for the non-techy is

You can get all sorts of information on how your website is doing, such as:

  • Global ranking
  • U.S. ranking
  • Bounce rate
  • Pageviews
  • Daily time on site
  • Where most of your visitors come from
  • Sites linking in
  • Where visitors are coming from

Another free tool is

This web traffic analysis tool will tell you:

  • The number of daily, week, or monthly visitors to your site
  • How many unique visits
  • How many first time visits
  • How many returning visits

There are also paid versions of these tools that provide even more analytical data.

And, if you’re on Blogger, they also have a ‘Stats’ feature that offers great information on how your blog posts and pages are doing. It’s in the Dashboard.

This type of information [from analytical tools] is crucial to your marketing strategy.

Why is that you ask?

Well, if you know that most of your traffic is coming from Twitter, your social media efforts should be more focused on that channel. If it’s from Facebook, then that’s where you should be focusing. Then keep monitoring your numbers to see if your strategies are working.

This though doesn’t mean to forsake all the other social channels, it means to direct a larger amount of your allotted social media marketing time and effort on what’s working.

Summing it Up

It’s important to know if your social media marketing strategies are working. And, although keeping track of your web traffic analytics will be a little time consuming, it will help you direct your focus on what works. This in turn will help you bring your business to the next level.


Tips on Content Writing – Think Like a Newsman
Content Marketing and Animation – A Successful Combination
Content Marketing – A 20-Point Website Checklist


Friday, October 17, 2014

Social Media Marketing - Did You Know You Can Now Include a CTA in Your Facebook Cover Photo?

One thing that you as a marketer can count on is online marketing is constantly changing, especially social media.

Jeff Bullas has a great article on a new Facebook ruling that marketers will love.

You're now allowed to include a CTA (call-to-action) in your header.

How 'marketing cool' is that.

The first thing a visitor will see when he lands on your page is the header. Now Facebook has given you the okay to make that header conversion powerful.

Bullas' post goes on to give 5 'heavy hitter' examples of putting this practice into use.It's a worthwhile read. Check it out at:

5 Great Examples of Call-to-Actions for Your Facebook Cover Photo



Email Marketing – The Number One Step to Powerful Email Messages That Really Lead to Opens and Conversions (The Welcome Message)

Outsourcing Articles as Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy – Is It Right For You?

Blogging – The 5 Most Popular Blog Post and Article Formats (Part 1)