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 http://nothingventurednothinggained.org.
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.

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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: http://EzineArticles.com/8540258

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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 Alexa.com.

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 Statcounter.com

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.

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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
http://www.jeffbullas.com/2013/05/17/5-great-examples-of-calls-to-action-for-your-facebook-cover-photo/

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Written A Business Book? 13 Steps To Push It To Bestseller Status

Written A Business Book? Use These Steps To Nudge It Toward Bestseller Status

Guest Post by Douglas Kruger

Work hand-in-hand with your publisher and you can ensure that your business book sells out. Here are 13 ways new authors can nudge their books toward bestseller status:

1. Take ownership from Day One
Start with the right outlook. This is your baby. The more deeply involved you are willing to get with the sales and marketing process, the greater your chances of success. Don't relinquish the fate of your book to the publishers. Be part of it.

2. Meet the team

Offer to drop by the publisher's offices and present a quick talk for the staff. Your goal is to build good will, to strengthen relationships and to put a face to your particular project.

This is a valuable step, considering that publishers release a number of new titles every single month. Fail to position yourself as a memorable character in their minds and you will simply have been 'one of the five from last April.'

3. Offer to get involved as much as possible

Most authors don't take the initiative and mention their willingness to be involved in PR. Publishers will generally ask, and even recommend that you do get involved, but once again, if you are one of six new authors published that month alone, there are limits to how assertively they will push the point.

Take charge by asking exactly how they might be able to use you. And keep on doing so. Offer to speak at book fairs, attend events and be interviewed by the media as often as possible.

4. Approach the media with the right arguments

Media coverage is arguably the most potent tool in your promotions mix. The more coverage you get, the better your book will do. Most publishers already have a sizeable list of media contacts and will gladly send copies of your book to all of them, but once again, don't rely on this as your only source of publicity.

You can triple the total media coverage by getting heavily involved as well. It's not hard to do. Contact every imaginable radio show, TV show, newspaper, magazine, trade publication, newsletter, blog or source of courier pigeons that might conceivably publicize the title.

In each case, make a compelling argument for the relevance of your material to their particular market. Be creative in finding angles. If they cater to young businesswomen, find a reason to appeal to that market. If their readers are retired men, think of a creative way to play up angles that will work for them.

5. Orient your message around their gain

PR is infinitely more effective when you discuss 'what they get,' rather than 'what you've written.' The same holds true for most forms of communication. A good speech, for instance, is oriented around value for the audience, rather than around the speaker's knowledge or delivery. So whenever you publicize your book, try to lead with 'what they get.'

6. Maximize each instance of publicity

Think creatively, and you can get much more than just one instance of publicity out of each media hit. Take a TV interview. Before it happens, announce through your various social channels that you've been accepted as a guest on the show. Later, announce the upcoming date. Then take some photos at the studio and post those online. Then mention when it will be aired. Then record the airing and upload it to YouTube and post the link. If you're shameless, you can even take screen-shots from the interview and post those at a later date.

Turn each interview into a running narrative, a compelling storyline, and you will radically increase your return each time.

Not only should you maximize the mileage you get out of each media appearance, but you should also use each one to help secure the next one. You now have a YouTube link to an interview? Send it to the producer of another show on which you'd like to appear, and so on.

And why not get multiple appearances with each media source? If there is a new development in the book's sales cycle - for instance, it becomes a bestseller, or it is included into the curriculum of a business school - go back to those same media outlets and offer a second, follow-up story.

7. Think big... and small

Big media appearances are extremely flattering and often very effective, but don't forget that your local newspapers, local radio station or even your school or workplace publication may be keen to hoist up their champion. Every appearance counts, as you strive for weight of numbers.

8. Turn your content into article-samples

Not all publicity has to be 'about' the book. Some of it can actually be the book. Creating articles based on chapters from your book is a great way to give free value and entice readers to want more. Similarly, you can offer interviews to the media based on specific chapters or ideas, rather than basing them upon the book as a whole. Done cleverly, this can result in a series of articles, rather than a single promotional piece.

9. Use the publisher's social media

Publishers have their own social media outlets, and they generally have greater numbers of followers than authors might. Whenever you tweet or post about an instance of publicity, or an idea from your book, be sure to use their channels as well. Post to their page (with permission, of course), or use their Twitter handle. Send useful content to their PR person to post on your behalf. Give them the content and visuals with which to promote you.

10. Use networks

Are you a member of any social groups? Online business communities? Posting into these groups (tactfully) can be very effective. And don't stop at simply post your own content; ask the editor or the owner of the group whether they might consider a feature on your new book. Or, again, turn chapters into articles and continually submit content.

11. Be visual

Whenever you promote your book, particularly on social media, try to think of ways to be as visually interesting as possible. Can you include high-resolution photos of the cover, of yourself, of a novel background? Can you link it to some video? You can even pay digital animation specialists (usually an amount of around US$15), to create a small animation, based on your book cover.

Consider changing your social media banners, profile photos and landing pages to show the cover as well.

12. Sell directly

Do you have any clients who might be willing to order in bulk? Sales of a couple of hundred here and there add up quickly. Provided your book meets a specific need, conference conveners are often very willing to buy your books as gifts for delegates. A useful book is actually a more valuable gift than, say, a branded folder.

13. Speak anywhere that they will have you

Speaking about your book at events is a great way to

a. Publicize them; and

b. Sell them directly.

Professional speakers have an advantage in this area, but the option is open to any author willing to appear at an event. Offer to speak anywhere on your book. Chambers of commerce and business networking events are particularly good, but you can also seek out any form of club or network with an interest in your topic matter.

Some publishers will support you by going along to handle live sales at the event on your behalf. But it is a reasonably simple matter to do it yourself, even if the publishers are not involved. Try to organize a speed-point in order to accept credit cards.

Also, try to create hype for the book before the event. One way to do this is to film a small video promo, in which you greet members of that particularly society and mention that you are looking forward to speaking for them at their upcoming event. Send this video to the convener for use.

Once again, lead with value. Tell them what they will get out of your presentation.

Think of your book as a rolling snowball. The more publicity you get for it, the more publicity will come to you. Every event, every tweet, every feature and every interview is well worth your while. The number of sales from each in isolation may seem tiny, but your total reputation is growing. Keep rolling it down the hill and, with the collaboration and help of your publisher, you could end up with an avalanche on your hands! Above all, remember this: It's your baby. Be responsible for its ultimate success.

Douglas Kruger is a professional speaker and business author. He is based in South Africa, but speaks all over the world. His newest book with Penguin Books SA, titled, 'Own Your Industry - How to Position Yourself as an Expert,' sold out in bookstores nationwide after only two months on sale. See Douglas in action at http://www.douglaskruger.co.za. Buy his book through Amazon.com. Connect with him on Twitter using @douglaskruger, or email: info@douglaskrugerspeaker.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8597157

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Content Marketing- 5 Powerful Traffic-Generating Strategies

The greatest way to drive traffic to your website is through content marketing.

If you’re not sure what content marketing is, it’s simply a marketing strategy using content to create inbound traffic to you and your website. It’s also the strategy of using effective copywriting techniques to motivate your readers to take a desirable action.

Content marketing includes copywriting, SEO writing, webpage writing, blogging, newsletters, emails, and so on.

Now, on to the 5 powerful traffic-generating strategies.

1. BLOGGING

Blogging is powerful. It’s a highly-valuable organic inbound marketing strategy.

The number one rule is to keep your blog active is to post two to three times a week and make the content valuable to your reader. If you’re able to, post more.

Optimize each post optimized and share each to your social media networks.

What many bloggers don't realize is that you need to generate visibility in order to boost website traffic and authority. Sharing through the social media networks helps do this.

Article Directories

While article directories don't hold the same visibility power they once did, they can still drive traffic. Ezine Articles is one of the better ones, but you can do a Google search to find others - just check their Alexa.com rating before bothering to join.

You can write original content to the directories or you can use your reprints.

2. GUEST BLOGGING

Find 'authority' sites with great traffic and ask the owners if you can provide a guest post. Many sites will have a Guest Post page with their guidelines.

To make sure the sites you’re querying are ‘high-quality,’ check their Alexa ranking. Go to http://alexa.com and input the site’s URL. Alexa will bring up its rankings.

I’ve mentioned Alexa twice now, so let me explain what it is.

Alexa is an analytic tool that measures your overall website ranking, length of visits, bounce rate, pageviews and much more.

Keep in mind the lower the overall ranking number the better. There are millions and millions of websites. In fact, I think there are over one billion now.

Google’s worldwide ranking is #1. One of my websites is 252,146 Globally and 60,724 U.S. (as of 10/4/14). Just to give you an idea of what to look for.

As of 10/4/14, Ezine Articles Global ranking is 1,158. That’s pretty darn good.

Note: The rankings can change daily.

3. YOUTUBE

YouTube is one of the top-traffic-generating venues. In fact, it may be the #1 top-traffic-generating venue.

Part of your marketing strategy should be to create videos and post to YouTube. Your videos don't have to be elaborate of professional, but they should be helpful to your target market.

Just take a look at these statistics from YouTube’s website:
• More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
• Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that's almost an hour for every person on Earth
• 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
• According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
Does this make you want to go over to YouTube and start uploading video? It should!

4. SOCIAL MEDIA

Using social media networks, considered social media marketing, is crucial to your marketing success.

Post to Twitter 5 to 8 times a day. You can retweet your posts, you can post a quote from a 'famous person,' you can post a quote from your book, you can retweet someone else's tweet. Keep your account very active. Twitter is a high-visibility-generating social media site.

You should also be on LinkedIn and join a couple of groups - participate in the conversations.

And, be sure to sign up with GooglePlus. What's great about Google+ is that when you share your post to your account there, it has a higher chance of getting on Google's first SERP. This is always a huge plus.

There’s also Facebook. If it’s worked right, it can be a very powerful tool

And, don’t forget Pinterest.

There are many others out there, but it’d be impossible to work them all.

My suggestion is to find the top two or three networks that you find worthwhile and work them. If you try to keep up with ALL of them, you’ll be spending all your time on social media marketing. (Unless you have staff specially dedicated to this.)

Tip: Have effective bios for all your social media accounts. And, for those venues that allow customized headers, you should get one created. Fiverr.com is a great place where you can do this for only $5 each.

5. YOUR CTA

You must include a CTA (call-to-action) in everything you create. It’s the CTA that will direct the reader to take action: To click on your opt-in link; to buy your book or product; to use your services.

Without this direction, your reader will visit and leave. She won’t think of taking any other step. It’s up to you to lead her, to motivate her to say YES to your CTA.

These are five high-traffic-generating strategies that you should include in your content marketing. Get started today.

Reference
https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Perseverance is the Key to Marketing Success



There are many quotes that stress the importance of perseverance, but I think this one says it all.

It may be your next actionable step, it may be tomorrow, it may be next month or next year. If you continue working toward your marketing goals you will reach them.

The problem arises when doubt, a lack of self-confidence, or discouraging words make their way into your focus and thoughts. When they become more powerful than your drive or motivation to keep moving forward you can run into trouble.

That's why I love this quote. Just when you think things can't get any worse, when you think your marketing efforts aren't producing any results, when you think your business is about to tank, it can turn around into something better than you might have imagined.

So, keep on persevering!

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