Friday

Is Social Sharing the No. 1 Ranking Strategy? List of WordPress Plugins Just in Case

What’s the number 1 online marketing strategy today?

It’s social media sharing.

Uh, well, maybe . . . most probably.

Rumors and murmurings are filtering through the internet world insinuating that ‘sharing’ is now more powerful than backlinks. I did some research as to whether this is true or not, but couldn’t find any concrete evidence.

But, if it’s not true yet, it probably will be the most powerful ranking factor soon. And, the search engines definitely take your social engagement into account when ranking your website.

Marketers are even using social networks to by-pass Google’s search ranking. And, you really can’t blame them; Google is changing its algorithms too fast to keep up with. If you don’t hit the content and website mark on ‘all’ counts, you lose search ranking – you lose authority.

This is huge.

So, social media marketing is a critical element to ranking and authority.

To make the most of social sharing, you need Share Buttons on all your blog posts.

WP Chronicles has a great post listing 30 of the best WordPress social sharing buttons. It covers general sharing buttons (lists multiple social networks) and specific to networks buttons, such as Twitter.

The first five on the general list are:

Digg Digg is a floating share bar that has lots of features. It’s free and looks like a worth whle download. It's said to look like Mashable’s share buttons.

Shareaholic is a free plugin with lots of features and covers multiple networks. And, it has support.

Easy Social Share Button for WordPress is $14 and covers at least 20 social networks. It has lots of features worth checking out.

Flare is another free plugin and covers multiple networks, including all the biggies. You can customize the icons’ appearance; control which posts it appears on; it can be displayed on the top, bottom or sides of your post; and it follows the readers as they scroll down the page. This plugin doesn’t come with support. Pretty cool for a free plugin!

Filament.io is a three part plugin tool. It comes with Flare (share buttons), Passport (helps boosts followers), and “Ivy to make texts shareable directly from your blog.”
And, it offers analytics.

I signed up for the product, but if I read the information right, it hasn’t launched yet. I’m on a list.

I use Share Post and The Social Links. I think it’s time to experiment with different plugins though. I like the floating bar – it makes for easy sharing for the visitor. I know I appreciate this type of Share bar when I want to share another blogger’s post.

You really should check out WP Chronicles' list. Click the link below:
30 Best WordPress Social Sharing Plugins

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MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Content Curation as Part of Your Blogging Strategy
When Blogging Use Images Carefully – They May Be Copyrighted
Selling Online – Ecommerce Shopping Carts Basics

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Wednesday

The Top 5 Email Message Formats

Email marketing should be a part of your inbound marketing strategy. It’s one of the best ways to reach and connect with subscribers, customers, readers, and so on.

Email marketing is a direct marketing through digital means. It’s better than other direct marketing because it’s permission-based. This means the individual on your list willingly gave you his email address so you can send him messages.

Just like writing articles and blog posts, emails have different formats to use.

We’ll start with the top 5 email message formats.

1. The Welcome Email

This is the first email you will send your new subscriber . . . and it should be sent automatically upon signup.

The Welcome email sets the tone for what’s to follow. It’s the place to let the subscriber know what to expect and how often he can expect it.

Keep it short and sweet and conversational. You might also include one or two testimonials in it as social proof.

2. The Information (Educational) Email

To me, this is the most important email you send. The reason is because it’s your information emails that will cement your relationship with your subscribers. This is how you’ll distinguish yourself as an authority in your field and as the ‘go to’ person for help and guidance.

This type of email will build trust. Your subscriber will associate you with reliable, helpful, and updated information.

Some marketers consider the ‘information’ and ‘educational emails separate, but I think they’re too similar. Their purpose is to inform, to help.

Note: The Newsletter Email may also be considered a separate email and that may be the case, but I incorporate these three formats into one.

If you want to make a distinction between your information emails and newsletters, the newsletter may be more about telling your subscribers about updates to your business and/or add some personal tidbits here and there.

3. The Promotional Email

This is an email that every business, big, small, or home, should be taking advantage of. It’s purpose is to let subscribers know about what you have to offer. It should be short and sweet, and motivational enough to entice subscribers to make a purchase.

Important points to this type of email are to include some kind of urgency in the message. You might let the subscriber know that it’s time sensitive. Or, it may be a one-time-only offer.

4. The Lead-to Emails

These emails are similar to the Promotional email, but it’s more focused. It’s designed to lead your subscribers to your site to take a particular action.

Maybe you’re offering a webinar or workshop and want to bring your subscribers to an information and signup page.

These emails should be on the short side and be motivating, starting the CTA process before the subscribers get to the site. This is to help with conversion once they get on the site.

You might also use the lead-to email may to lead the subscriber to an About page to remind everyone what you and your business is about.

5. New Product Email       

This is as the name implies, it’s to introduce a new product or service that you’ve added to your business.

An important feature to this email is a ‘good’ image’ and powerful description.

You want to make the product or service look and sound enticing enough or helpful enough that it will prompt the subscriber to take action.

Along with these five top email formats, there are also:

Testimonial – reinforces your value to your community.
Product Advice – gives tips on how to use a produce.
Survey – lets you find out what your subscriber is thinking about – what they want/need.
Reorder – reminds the customer that it’s time to reorder.

If you haven’t used all these email message formats yet, get started today.

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More on Marketing

10 Must-Know Tips to Creating a Search Engine Optimized Website
The Google Panda Algorithm, Your Website, and Duplicate Content
Blogging with External Links - More Value to the Reader and More Ranking Power


Monday

Video Marketing – Hosted or Self-Hosted

Video marketing is a must today. It should be a part of your content marketing strategy. Using video is a great way to generate visibility and motivate visitors to take action. And, almost just as important, video keeps visitors on your site longer.

Why does this matter?
Google and other search engines keep tract of this website metric. The longer a visitor stays on your site, the better.

But, although using video as part of your marketing is now a must, how the video is hosted matters in the equation.

There are two ways you can host video:

1. Hosted

Hosting video is done through social networks like YouTube.

First, if you don’t already have a YouTube channel, create one.

Then simply upload your video to YouTube. Fill in all the blanks by creating effective keywords and a description. Then publish it.

One problem with this strategy is the traffic goes to YouTube.

You can embed the video on your own site, but it’s still connected to YouTube. What this means is after your video plays, the visitor will get promo for other YouTube videos, leading the visitor back to YouTube. This may motivate the visitor to leave your site and go to YouTube.

Again, the longer a visitor stays on YOUR site, the better. You don’t want to give them any reason to leave.

2. Self-hosted

On the flip side of ‘hosted’ is ‘self-hosted.’

Self-hosting is the process of uploading the video onto your own website (your own domain) and adding it into your blog posts or webpages.

One primary benefit: no distractions or prompts to leave your site. This is a BIGGIE.

Another benefit of self-hosting is when Google uses your video as the result of a search query, it’s your website link that will be displayed. This means the searcher will be clicking to your site, not to YouTube. Another BIGGIE.

YouTube statistics states that there are 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. That’s a lot of video. That’s a lot of competition.

If you self-host, you avoid that competition.

Granted, you’ll have to promote that video through social networks and possibly press releases and any other promotional strategy available, but the traffic will go to your site without any distractions to leave.

There is also the link building benefits. All those who click on your video link will be going to your site, not YouTube’s. If you’re garnering quality links, it will boost your ranking.

A combination of both

According to Conductor.com, “A full video SEO campaign should feature videos on your site, and sites such as YouTube. After all, YouTube gets over 1 billion unique visitors a month which is a huge bus to throw your content in front of.”

Based on the amount of visitors YouTube gets every month, it’d be a good idea to include this social media giant in your video marketing strategy.

There’s no guarantee that your traffic will jump, but you just never know.

So, there you have it, while hosting your videos on networks like YouTube has its benefits, it’s important to use self-hosting as your primary strategy.

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MORE ON CONTENT MARKETING

Email Marketing and the Evergreen System (it has to do with autoresponders)
Don't Make These Landing Page Mistakes and What to do If You Have
Content Marketing – Just How Fast Can You Write an Article? (8 tips)

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Friday

Graphics and Social Media Marketing

Graphics are an essential part of your marketing. This is especially true of social media marketing.

As you scroll through your accounts, have you noticed that attractive and grabbing images catch your eye? That’s what you want – the ‘grabbing’ factor.

Maximize Social Business posted an interesting article on the top tools to use to create great images. There are seven that will get your posts noticed.

Here’s a quick list of what’s on their list:

1. Canva (canva.com) is a program you can use even if you don't have 'design' skills. And, even if you don't know Photoshop you’ll be able to handle this tool.

I actually signed up for Canva a couple of months ago, but haven't really gotten into it. While it seemed easy enough, you have to pay for each image you want to include in your design. When I get some time, I’ll go back and give it a try.

2. Over (madewithover.com) is an app for Android and iPhone. It allows you to design right on your mobile device. Their landing page describes the tool as “Add text and artwork to photos.”

3. PiktoChart (piktochart.com) is a tool to make infographics. It's free and has lots of customizable themes to choose from. This is something I'll be looking into. While I'm not crazy about infographics, they are popular.

Why I'm not a fan of the infograph is because sometimes they can be more time-consuming to find the information you want compared to reading a 'properly formatted' article. But, again, this is a popular content format.

4. Skitch (evernote.com/skitch/) is an app for digital devices that allows you to markup a photo and more. This is another tool that looks useful.

5. Quotes Cover (quotescover.com) allows you to design great Memes or graphic quotes. I use memes in my blogging, but I've been using Logo Creator to design them.

I think though that I'll check out Quotes Cover. It looks similar to Logo Creator in that you can size your design to social medial headers if you want. This is a great marketing feature. With a tool like this, you can change your headers as often as you want. Special promotion, holiday season, a sale . . . throw up a new header.

When I look into it, I'll do a comparison between the two tools.

6. PicMonkey (picmonkey.com) allows you to edit images and create collages. Logo Creator has the same capabilities.

7. Pixlr is similar to PhotoShop, it's a desktop tool. According to Wikipedia, "Pixlr is a cloud-based set of image tools and utilities, including a number of phot editors, a screen grabber browser extension, and a photo sharing service."

Not sure which is easier though. This type of tool allows you to be as creative as you want to be. I have PhotoShop, but since I started using Logo Creator, I haven't used Photoshop. While Photoshop has more features, it's a little difficult to learn.

To find out more about these seven graphic tools, go to Top Tools to Create Stunning Social Media Graphics.

I mentioned that I use Logo Creator and I love it. This tool allows me to make social media headers, memes, images, book covers, logos, opt-ins, and so much more. I make all my blog post images with it also.

It’s a tool I highly recommend and it’s only $17 (last time I looked). And, you get lots and lots of images and designs you can customize to make unique. To check it out, go to LogoCreator.

Below are a couple of images I made with Logo Creator:

The image above is two images combined for a creative look.

This image was created using special font features.

This image uses two images and text tweaks





The image at the top of this post is also an example of what Logo Creator can do.

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MORE ON SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

The Shotgun Social Media Strategy
Social Media Marketing and Time Management
Basic Twitter Terms and Definitions

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Wednesday

10 Must-Know Security Tips to Protect Your Content, Websites, Social Media Accounts, Email Accounts, and More

With the New Year here, it's important to know some safety tips for your online accounts.

It seems more and more businesses and people are getting hacked. The most recent I heard of was a savvy pro-marketer. All his computer files, programs, and other data was actually held ransom. He paid the hackers $500 to get everything back.

Sounds crazy, right?

Well, unfortunately, this is a way of life today. These hackers have sophisticated programs and techniques that can hack almost anything.

And, once in your computer they will have access to your banking information, your credit card information, all you data, all your clients data, and so on, and so on.

Introducing a cyber attack to your computer can be as simple as downloading software on the internet or clicking on a link within an email.

In fact, with home automation (another online ‘convenience’) these hackers can get into a lot more than your computer and online accounts. The can virtually enter your home.

According to an article at DailyMail on cyber attacks, the criminals don’t “have to use sophisticated techniques to break into home appliances, including your front door.” (If  it’s on the system.)

But, I digress. Let’s get back to protecting your online accounts, including your email.

10 Safety Tips to Protect Your Online Accounts and More

1. This is critical – make sure your password is at the very least 10 characters. And, be sure to mix them up. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about: use capital and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers. And, super important, don’t use any kind of sequences, like abc or 123.

2. Another critical measure – change your passwords on a regular basis. Don’t wait until you get a warning or you’ve been hacked. Cyber criminals are smart . . . and clever. Given enough time, they can figure out your password.

3. Don’t make your security answers obvious. If the question is “Who is Batman’s sidekick?” You can be sure a hacker will guess Robin. If the question is “Who is Donald Duck’s girlfriend?” Don’t answer with Daisy. If it’s common knowledge . . . it’s common knowledge.

4. Keep your passwords unique. This means don’t use the same password for two or more accounts and don’t reuse passwords. If you have trouble coming up with unique passwords, you check out a tool that PC Tools offers: https://identitysafe.norton.com/password-generator/

5. Check with your email service provider to see if they offer a login activity feature. Both Gmail and Yahoo do. This tool will give you recent login activity. Knowing if unauthorized users are in your accounts is a huge deal. It allows you to take immediate security measures.

6. A BIGGIE – Always, always, always sign out of your internet accounts. Whether it’s your email, your social media accounts, you’re websites, online groups, or other, be sure to log out when you’re done. A number of online services, like Google and Yahoo, allow you to stay logged on, even after you move on. This is an unsafe practice. Log out when you’re done.

7. Keep all your passwords safe. It may be convenient to list them on your computer, but don’t do it. Keep a ‘hard copy’ list or keep it on a zip drive (see below for a warning).

8. Don’t open emails you’re not sure of. If it looks suspicious, delete it. And, don’t respond to any emails that request personal information or request you change your password.

9. Secure your computer with antivirus software. It may not prevent a high-tech attack, but it should prevent low-end stuff from happening.

10. Protect your mobile device too. It’s a wise move to use a password on your device and you might want to lock it also.

Note: When using a zip or external drive, if you keep it plugged into your computer and you’re attacked, the hacker will take over your zip drive also. This is what happened to the pro-marketer I mentioned earlier. So, if you do use an external drive be sure to backup your work and then remove the device.

A couple of extra tips or at least my thoughts.

Don’t use cyber automation for your home.  Referencing the DailyMail article again, General Manager of Proofpoint’s Information Security division David Knight says, ‘Many of these devices are poorly protected at best and consumers have virtually no way to detect or fix infections when they do occur.”

Use the cloud. There are a number of offsite services you can use to keep your data safe from loss. Services like Carbonite.com and Dropbox.com backup your data on a regular basis. This way if you get hacked or something goes wrong with your computer, you won’t lose vital data.

I hope these tips help keep you ‘cybersafe.’ Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or maybe lots, lots more.

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MORE ON CONTENT MARKETING

Content Marketing – Tim Ferriss on Blogging
Take Blogging Up a Notch (It’s more than just writing text)
Email Marketing – The Number One Step to Powerful Email Messages That Really Lead to Opens and Conversions (The Welcome Message)



Monday

Businesses Need Content Writers - You can be One

It's true. No matter what the business. No matter what the size. All business runs on content. This means all businesses need writers.

And, you know what?

If you can write content that is optimized and formatted properly, you can be one of those writers.

Here are a few statistics from Social Media Today:

  • CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing.
  • Nearly 50% of companies have content marketing strategies.
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don't.
  • Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads than traditional outbound marketing.

This ‘all’ means one thing for you, the freelance writer: OPPORTUNITY.

Just so you really ‘get’ how much opportunity is in SEO (content) writing, this type of writing is in all marketing content. And, that content covers:

  • Text
  • Webpages
  • Landing pages
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Newsletters
  • Blog posts
  • Articles
  • Reports
  • Books
  • Presentations
  • Speeches
  • Videos
  • Animation
  • Podcasts
  • Product guides
  • Product descriptions

This list can go on and on.

If you’re wondering what SEO writing is about, it’s about generating and increasing:

  • Visibility
  • Website traffic
  • Readership
  • Shares
  • Authority
  • Ranking
  • Conversion (sales and clicks on your client’s call-to-actions)

If you’re new to the freelance writing arena or you want to add a new profitable skill to your portfolio, Become an SEO Writer in Just 4 Weeks is just what you need.

It’s an in-depth e-class that will show you how to:

  • Create properly formatted and search engine optimized content
  • Create content that’s readable and shareable
  • Use graphics to further optimize content
  • Use anchor text, deep linking, and external links
  • Optimize blog post images and videos
  • And, so much more

This is a class that every writer can benefit from. But, the freelance writer can take it a step further. She can make herself an asset to potential clients and even existing clients.

The class is interactive and student friendly. To find out ALL this WOW! Women on Writing e-class offers, CLICK HERE!


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Reference:
http://socialmediatoday.com/brianna5mith/2039861/20-marketing-statistics-will-influence-decisions-2014



Friday

Self-Talking Yourself Into Being a Better Writer, A Better Marketer

I’ve long believed the benefits of positive thinking and positive projection. Now, in line with these philosophies, there is positive self-talk.

In an article at NPR.com, “Why Saying is Believing,” it explains the importance of not only talking to yourself, but how you talk to yourself.

Researchers delved into the influence that referring to the ‘self’ has on how the individual thinks, feels, and even behaves.

Interestingly, the studies are finding that talking to yourself as ‘I’ or ‘me’ can create stress.

Why does this matter?

According to “psychologist Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan led the work, studying the pronouns people use when they talk to themselves silently, inside their minds.” Kross went on to explain that the subtle linguistic shift from ‘I’ to your name can have “powerful self-regulatory effects.” (1)

As an example, suppose I say every morning: “I’m going to take actions to get 50 new subscribers to my mailing list this month.” According to the studies, this is creating subconscious stress on fulfilling my goal.

If instead I said, “Karen, you’re going to take actions to get 50 new subscribers to your mailing list this month,” I’m reducing the stress by kind of making myself someone else who’s being talked to. Kind of like being coached or advised. And, the ‘talking’ tends to be done in a milder, less demanding way when done this way.

So, how will this help you with your writing and marketing?

Well, why not give it a try. Even if its only benefit is to reduce some stress in your life, it’s powerful. On the other hand, if it reduces stress and helps motivate you to take action to work toward building a successful business, then it’s super-powerful.

I'll be giving it a try.

References

1. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/10/07/353292408/why-saying-is-believing-the-science-of-self-talk

2. http://selfcontrol.psych.lsa.umich.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/KrossJ_Pers_Soc_Psychol2014Self-talk_as_a_regulatory_mechanism_How_you_do_it_matters.pdf 

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MORE ON WRITING

Don’t Overspice Your Copy
Freelance Writing Work: The Possibilities
3 Reasons You Must Use Subheads

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Wednesday

Is It Possible to Get More Visibility Juice Out of Your Social Network Shares?

I’ve written about optimizing your blog posts, but I don’t think I included metadata for more visibility.

Metadata, according to BoostBlogTraffic.com, is “data about data.”

You can’t get any simpler than that.

What this means is you have the opportunity, within your blog post optimization tools, to explain what your post is about.

Here’s where you can find the description tools in Blogger and WordPress - the first image is Blogger, the second is WordPress:
















Whether you use Blogger.com, WordPress, or other content management system, it provides a description area where you can input what the post is about.

You can and should use a keyword in the description. And, you should make the copy powerful. Powerful means to make it enticing to the reader – enticing enough that she’ll click on your link whether it’s visible through social media channels or a search results..

Here are four examples from my blog posts:

The post title: Video Marketing – Hosted or Self-Hosted?

The description: Using video as part of your content marketing strategy is a must. But should you self-host those videos or have them hosted?

Notice I have two keywords in the description: they're in red.

The post title: Why You Absolutely Need a Website as Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy

The description: You've been told you must have a website as part of your marketing strategy. But, do you know why?

In this metadata examples the keywords I used are in red.

The post title: Life and Marketing are Like Riding a Bicycle

The description: You have to constantly keep up with new and improved marketing strategies if you don't want to lose your balance.

For this post I used the keyword 'marketing strategies'. The reason is because the post isn’t really specific to a particular marketing niche. When you have a title that’s a bit ambiguous, you need your description to fill in the blanks.

TIP: The description for this post could have been better. I’m assuming I was in a rush when I created it. But, I can always go back and tweak it. And, I should make it a point to do it sooner than later.

For this post, the description is:  Using metadata will give your social network shares (your blog posts) more visibility juice.

The keywords used are in red.

Interesting SEO tidbit: To have added more clarity to what I’m trying to say to you, the reader, I would have written the keywords I used for each description instead of saying, “they’re in red.”

But, if I included the keywords twice, it would most likely have been picked up by Google as over-keyword-usage. And, I might have gotten a slap on the hand. Good old Google.

So, in essence, I'm not really writing for the reader, I'm writing for Google.

The Keywords
The keywords I use are ones that will inform the search engines and readers what that particular post is focusing on. It’s a quick and easy way for the reader to determine if my post is even something she will be interested in.

The Copy

The description copy is what needs to be powerful. While the keywords will get the reader in the ‘motivation mood,’ it’s the actual copy that will turn that motivation to action and prompt her to click on my link.

More Metadata

While optimizing your blog post description is essential, your web pages also have a metadata tool.

It’s ‘optimization smart’ to utilize every tool and opportunity you have to make your content as visible to search engine bots and readers as it can be.

To read more information on metadata, check out Boost Blog Traffic’s post:
The Simple Blog Tweak that gets You More Social Shares Right Now

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MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING

Content Marketing – Optimize Your Blogger Blog Posts
Website Ranking – Basic Metrics (Elements)
Powerful Email Messages That Actually Lead to Opens and Conversions (the Autoresponder Series)

~~~~~

Want to get your inbound marketing working for you?

You'll do just that with Get Website Traffic with Inbound Marketing.

This is a 4-week e-class through WOW! Women on Writing and covers: optimizing your website, blogging smart, email marketing, and social media marketing.

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Monday

What is Website Optimization and the SERP?

I’m sure there are hundreds and hundreds (maybe even more) of definitions of website optimization.

One of those definitions is from Webopedia.com:

Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) -- including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine.

To put it in its simplest form, think of a light bulb.

The bulb is created – it exists – it has the potential to bring much needed light.

But, if that bulb doesn’t have electricity powering it, it won’t work. It won’t light.

This is true of your website.

Almost every website has SEO (search engine optimization) features. These features allow you to create keywords, titles, subtitles, categories, content, webpages, optimized images and video, and so on.

Consider these features the power to your website – the electricity.

All those features, when created properly and working together, give the search engines tidbits of information to grab onto. The search engines take that information and determine what your website is about, what it’s offering, and if it’s a quality site.

The search engines use that information to categorize and index your site.

Why is this so important?

I’ll use Google as the catch-all for search engines.

Once Google has you categorized and indexed, it can then use your website content (usually blog posts) as the results of an internet searcher’s query.

Let's use one of my posts as an example.

If a person decides she wants to know about “article marketing,” she’ll put that keyword in Google’s search box. In seconds, Google scours its millions and millions of tidbits of information to find the best fit for that query (search).

If you’ve been content marketing right, you may very well be on one of Google’s first SERPs (search results page).

When I input “article marketing” in Google’s search box in December 2014, I came up on Page One, as the image shows:


(Sorry the image is blurry - not sure why that happened.)

There are a couple of reasons how I was able to get on page one, but that’s for another topic.

This is why optimization is SOOOOOOO very important.

Being on a search engine’s results page is what will help bring traffic to your site, build authority, and boost lead generation (potential clients/customers to your website).

A Bit More About the SERP and Search Engines

SERP is an acronym for ‘search engine results page.’ This is the page a search engine will send a person (a searcher) to when he enters a search keyword or term in the search box. Ideally, you’d like to be on page one of the results. This may not always be realistic, so getting on page two or three is next best. After page two or three, your chances of being found through a search results are slim to none. Most people stop looking at results at page two or three. I know I do.

How do you get onto the SERP?

This is where search engines come in. Search engines have spiders that crawl (search) content. The content they crawl includes domain names, website titles, subtitles, pages titles, post headings, categories, tags, content, and even images on WordPress sites. Every little nook and cranny in your website is searchable by these bots.

If your website’s focus is freelance writing, hopefully you have content within the elements mentioned above that makes it clear your site is about freelance writing. The spiders find keywords or terminology within your content, which it uses to categorize and index your site. Then, when someone does a search for that keyword the search engine can connect your site to it and provide your link.

This of course is if you’re providing quality content and following Google’s rules.

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MORE ON CONTENT MARKETING

Content Marketing – A 20-Point Website Checklist
Content Marketing Success – You Have to Walk the Walk
Do You Still Need a Website as the Core of Your Online Platform?



Friday

Is Facebook Worth Your Social Media Marketing Time? What About Twitter?

I never used Facebook like most other marketers. While I have a page, I don't hold my breath expecting traffic . . . or money from it.

This is not to say I don't post to it regularly, but the platform has too many hurdles to jump over to make it worth my time and effort (for me anyway).

What are some of the hurdles with Facebook?

To start, I don't like the fact that they track every one of your online movements (that FB is privy to). It's a big privacy issue.

Next, they show their users posts based on what they assume those users would like or be interested in. These assumptions are based on their data gathering of your personal and business moves. The company’s assumptions though may not right.

Next, since they do the same for everyone, my posts aren't reaching their potential, not by a long shot. I think the latest statistic is around 2% of your posts actually reach your users.

Finally, and I guess understandably since it’s a business, the platform is becoming a 'paid for visibility' platform. If you pay for your posts to reach more users they will. If you don't, well . . .

I’m sure there are those reading this saying, “She’s crazy.” And, maybe I am, but I’m not alone.

In an article at FastCompany.com, the author explains:

The crux of the research suggests that brands are wasting their time, effort, and money on Facebook and Twitter to diminishing returns. A study conducted by the firm from earlier this year found that posts from top brands on Twitter and Facebook reach just 2% of their followers. Engagement is even more measly: A mere 0.07% of followers actually interact with those posts.

According to the article, the vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, Nate Elliot, is advising businesses to stop wasting their time, resources, and money on Facebook.

So, at this point, I feel my Facebook decision was and is a good one.

The Problem

Yes, there is a problem.

What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

Once one social media channel takes a new direction, especially if it’s a giant like Facebook, the others will follow.

The Fast Company article also slams Twitter for not meeting your business visibility and engagement potential.

Twitter has its own advertising platform also. What does this mean? If you pay, your tweets will get more visibility.

The days of the free social network visibility seems to be heading for distinction. Time to get out your wallet or find alternative ‘visibility’ avenues.

I really feel between Google's unreliable and constantly-changing algorithms and social media giants charging for visibility, it's putting the home business and small business at a great disadvantage.

To read the full Fast Company article, click the link:
Brands are Wasting Their Time and Money on Facebook and Twitter

Other sources:
Your Simple Guide to Launching a Twitter Advertising Campaign

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MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING

The Shotgun Social Media Strategy
Content Marketing and Animation – A Successful Combination
Email Marketing – My Switch to GetResponse (for better opt-in boxes)




Wednesday

Goal Setting: It’s Not About Ideas – It’s About Making Ideas Happen



"It's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen." ~Scott Belsky


We’ve just entered a brand new year. This is the time to think about where you’ve been and where you’re heading. It’s time for ideas.

According to Business Dictionary, an idea is “a thought or collection of thoughts that generate in the mind.”

They’re usually derived from intent, but they can also be unintentional.

Ideas are the foundation of all advancements. And, they’re at the foundation and growth of your business.

While ideas may be the initiating force behind success, they’re powerless without action.

Action is the implementation of an idea. Action is taking deliberate steps toward an end. Action is what makes dreams a reality.

So, how do you turn an idea into an actionable plan?

Four basic steps you will need to take to get started.

1. Create a plan.

First: Take that idea and actually write it down, don’t just type in your laptop or computer, actually write down what you’re idea or goal is. Then you can put it in your computer.

This IDEA should be considered your long term objective.

Second: Divide your long term goal into short term goals with actionable steps you can take to reach your objective.

Suppose your objective is to boost your social media marketing in order to build a large and loyal following with conversion potential. Divide that into sub-categories. They may be:

•    Two to three social media channels to devote more time and effort into
•    Who will handle this strategy (if you’re a solopreneur, it’ll be you)
•    Time to be allotted to this new strategy
•    Budget for this new strategy
•    Create user engagement and connections
•    Actionable steps needed to accomplish this new goal

Why write your goals and action steps down?

According to an article on writing at Entrepreneur.com, “Warren Buffett has described writing as a key way of refining his thoughts.” And, “Richard Branson once said, ‘my most essential possession is a standard-sized school notebook,’ which he uses for regular writing.”

Along with this, an article, 5 Reasons Why You Should Commit Your Goals to Writing, explains, “Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants. She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.”

Writing goals down takes more thought than typing This makes you more conscious of what your goals are. It adds, if you will, emphasis to what you want.

So, it’s easy to understand that writing your ideas / goals down is a key to fulfilling your goals.

Third, keep your goals and action steps front and center. You need to see them daily (throughout the day) as a reminder of your intent.

TIP: Make sure your action steps are realistic and doable. Nothing will squash your motivation and efforts more than not being able to fulfill your action steps.

2. Implement your plan.

You goal and actionable steps are on paper and in your computer. Now it’s time to actually take action. Follow through and post more to the social media channels. Engage with other users by Retweeting, Following, Liking, Sharing, and so on. Take all the actions you’ve listed in your plan.

3. Keep it up – persevere.

Whatever action steps you do, do them wholeheartedly and regularly. Don’t give up because you don’t quickly see results. Give it time to determine if the steps you’re taking are the right ones for you and your business.

4. Analysis and Revise.

While you do need to give your actions time to generate positive results, you also need to test what you’re doing. Determine what’s working and what’s not. Then revise your plan accordingly.

Don’t waste time on efforts that aren’t working. Try a different approach or marketing strategy.

Your time and efforts will be much more productive if you regularly test your results.

Summing it up.

There you have it, four basic steps to creating and implementing a business plan. Take the time to write your ideas / goals down and create and implement actionable steps to help you achieve them.

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MORE ON MARKETING

Twitter as Part of Your Social Media Marketing
Even Tiny Action Steps Can Produce Huge Results
Content Marketing - Are Long Sentences in Your Blog Posts Good or Bad for Your Rankings?

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Want to get your inbound marketing moving forward?

You'll do just that with Get Website Traffic with Inbound Marketing.

This is a 4-week e-class through WOW! Women on Writing and covers: optimizing your website, blogging smart, email marketing, and social media marketing.

It's interactive, in-depth, and priced right. Check it out today. Just CLICK HERE for details.

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Monday

Create and Publish an Optimized Blog Post to WordPress

I have a few Slideshare presentations under my belt now. Slideshare is a great way to create a 'video' without the 'video necessary' tech stuff.

The way I create a Slideshare presentation is to first create a PowerPoint presentation. Once that's complete, I simply upload it to Slideshare. It's so easy and quick.

My newest presentation is on creating and publishing a WordPress blog post. Since blogging is an essential part of your content marketing and inbound marketing strategy, it's something everyone selling online should be taking advantage of.

This presentation shows each step you need take to create a 'blogging right' post. It includes the title, URL, content, categories, tags, image, and so on. It even includes deep linking and anchor text.

So, let's get to it:





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More on Content Marketing

Website Optimization – What Colors Will Evoke the Visitor Action You Want?
Are Long Sentences in Your Blog Posts Good or Bad for Your Rankings?
Don't Make These Landing Page Mistakes and What to do If You Have

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Need help with your content and inbound marketing?

Get Website Traffic with INBOUND MARKETING in Just 4 Weeks is a must. It includes website optimization, blogging smart, email marketing and social media marketing. Plus a Bonus Lesson!

It's a 4-week, in-depth and interactive class - CLICK HERE to see all it includes.



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Thursday

New Year GIFT

Today is the first day of the rest of your life and the beginning of a new year -make it all it can be!


HAVE A HEALTHY, HAPPY, AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!





Here's a useful gift for the New Year!

Click here: Content Marketing in to 2015 – Top Six Strategies



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