Monday

Links in Blog Posts are Good, Right? Well . . .

I read an interesting article at Larry Maguire’s blog. It’s about using links in your blog posts.

We all know that external links and deep links are important for SEO, but should there be a limit?

I’ve seen posts that have links (external and deep) in almost every other sentence.

But, is this type of 'link stuffing' helpful? And, what on earth is the purpose?

There are at least three reasons you shouldn’t overdo the ‘in content’ links:

1. Google keeps track of everything.

And, all things must be equal.

Google is aware of how many inbound and outbound links are on your website. The search engine giant doesn’t’ want the scale to tip in one direction too much.

Unless you’re inbound links are somewhat equal to your outbound links, watch the number of external links you use.

Now, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t reference your sources – that’s a must. It means don’t link to too much content on other sites within your article.

Yes, it’s a good thing to want to give the reader a broader reading experience, but that can be done with reference links at the bottom of your article.

2. It causes reader distraction.

If you’ve tried to read a post with lots and lots of links, it’s distracting. And, what’s one of the number one marketing musts? Reduce visitor anxiety.

You’ve brought the reader to your site to do what? To read your article and to motivate that reader to take action.

If the reader has too many options right within your content to click on a link to leave, do you really think she’ll be back?

I don’t think so.

And, along with this, I find it annoying. Give me your content or take on a topic without the distraction. Again, it’s annoying.

3. You diminish that readers Page View Length on your site.

One website metrics is Page View Length. This is the number of seconds, minutes, hours a visitor stays on your website within one visit.

The goal here: You want the visitor to stay on your website as long as possible. You want the visitor to read your entire article. You want the visitor to click on other blog posts or pages on your site.

You want them to put their feet up, have a cup of coffee, and stay a while.

Having too many external links your blog post will make the reader do one of two things:

A. She’ll get annoyed and leave your site.
B. He’ll click on one of the links early on in the read and leave your site.

Either way, you’ve lost an opportunity and you’ve lost Page View Length.

So, really, what’s the purpose ‘link stuffing’ your blog post?

Unless you’re selling links (and, that’s an absolute NO-NO), what can the purpose be?
It’s not really good for your PageRank. It’s not really good for the reader. And, you’re reducing your Page View Length.

Again, what’s the purpose?

Two fixes.

If you think you’re doing your reader a service by offering so many external links to information, try another strategy.

1. Why not create a resource page filled with links to great content.

2. Or, simply list your sources at the bottom of your post.

Either of these strategies will help you create an easy-to-read and easier to understand article that still provides the reader with a broader reading experience.

TIP: While I talked about ‘link stuffing’ with external links, it’s the same for deep linking to other articles on your own site. Instead of having related links in your content, have a “More Reading” section at the bottom of your post. Again, this helps keep your article neat and clean.

To check out Larry Maguire’s post, visit:
Is Adding Links to Blog Posts Turning Readers Away?

~~~~~

Want to be a content writer? Want to learn how to boost your content writing results? Then you have to check out:

BECOME AN SEO WRITER IN JUST 4 WEEKS

This 4-week e-class will teach you to write super-charged articles and content that will be reader and SEO friendly, shareable, engaging, and will increase conversion.

Whether it's to make it a money-making part of your freelance writer’s portfolio or to boost your own content writing, this class is a must.

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

~~~~~
MORE ON CONTENT MARKETING

Don’t Make This Landing Page Mistake
Do You Have a Social Media Posting Schedule?

The 3 Most Powerful Subscriber Optin Strategies (for Bloggers)

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Friday

Is the Twitter Background Real Estate Important?

I’ll admit I hadn’t thought about Twitter backgrounds. I did have a Twitter header created, but again hadn’t given the background a second thought. Then I read an article at Devumi Blog.

Devumi explains that having a customized background does a number of things, including giving you another place to put your logo.

Other benefits include:

1. Brand uniformity, including your color scheme
2. Your contact information and/ or website address
3. A featured event

This social media real estate can be used for just about anything you think will make your company more engaging, make your account more appealing, increase its  conversions.

In marketing, the rule-of-thumb is that you need to have a bare-bottom-minimum of 7 touch points before a customer will take action in your favor. Touch points are some kind of contact.

While it may be stretching it a bit, having a customized background with pertinent information could be considered a touch point.

The Devumi article gives step-by-step instructions on how to change your Twitter background image. To check it out, go to: Create Stunning Twitter Backgrounds

~~~~~
MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING

How Quick Does Your Site Load? Does it Matter?
Social Media Marketing – Quantity or Quality
Boost Your Optin Rate Today – It’s All in the Lead Magnet (the offer)




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Wednesday

Tip of the Day - Knowledge is Power

No matter what you're into, what niche or industry you're in, knowledge is power.

As content writing and marketing is in the turbulent marketing waters,  I'm always reading, taking courses, and joining pros in their membership groups.

It's work, time consuming, and can be expensive.

But, what's the alternative?

As a business owner you MUST keep up with what's going on in your industry.

Granted some industries stay steadfast, but even those businesses must market themselves. This means keeping up with changed or new marketing strategies.

The 'knowledge is power' quote is attributed to Francis Bacon, in his Meditationes Sacrae (1597).

But, Thomas Jefferson is known to have used it at least twice:

Thomas Jefferson to George Ticknor, 25 November 1817
Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Cabell, 22 January 1820

Other interesting quotes on knowledge:

"Today knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement."
-Peter Drucker

"There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge . . . observation of  nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination."
-Denis Diderot

Sources:
(1) http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/knowledge-power-quotation
(2) http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_knowledge.html

~~~~~
MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING

Social Media Publishing – Titles Matter
Don’t Make This Landing Page Mistake
Website Metrics – 5 Tips to Keep Your Head Above Water




Monday

6 Power-Tips to Easier Content Curation

I’ve written about content curation before, telling how useful a marketing tool it is.

Well, it still is.

Generating content on a regular basis is a must. In fact, in a study on blogging frequency, it noted that businesses that posted 16+ articles per month had 4 ½ times more leads than businesses that posted under 4 times per month.

For smaller companies with 1-10 workers, posting 11+ times per month had a substantial boost in leads also.

So, it’s a no-brainer. You must produce content and produce it as often as you can. This is how organic inbound marketing works.

While it has its benefits, content curation does take some work. Below are 6 tips on how to work it effectively.

1. The content you curate must be on topic with your site’s focus.

If you’re blogging about alternative health, then that’s the content you want to find and curate.

If you’re blogging about baseball, the same thing holds true.

It’s pretty simple; keep it on topic.

2. Have a system in place.

You want to be able to find and utilize content easily. This means you need to know where to find it and how to use it.

Create a system that includes easy-to-follow steps. This might include:

  • The days you’ll be curating.
  • A list of sites or sources to find content.
  • A template to ensure you have your own valuable input to add to the curated content. (This is a must. Google frowns upon duplicate content, unless you include relevant and valuable additional content. You might put your own spin on the topic or give the gist of what the curated piece is about.)

3. Finding content.

Places to find content include your social networks. Use #hashtags to get content in your industry/niche.

Another great option is your email inbox. If you’re like me, you have lots and lots of relevant businesses sending you articles you can curate every day. Take advantage of them.

You can also use sites BuzzSumo.com. This site allows you to use keywords to pull up top information in your niche. It’s a bit costly, currently at $79 per month. But, if you can afford it, it’s well worth it.

4. Automate your sharing.

If you don’t build it (write and publish your content), they won’t come.

But, even if you build it, if they don’t know it’s there, they won’t come.

You MUST share your content, whether curated or original. This means posting to your social networks when your piece is first published.

It also means sharing that content and all your other content on a regularly set schedule. This calls for social media automation through services like SocialOomph and Hootsuite

This ensures you are visible and providing helpful information to your social networks on a regular basis. Remember, out of sight, out of mind.

5. Monitor your results.

As with any marketing strategy, you must monitor what’s working and what’s not.

Check if you’re getting engagement: Retweets, Favorites, Likes, Connects, and so on.

Tweak your strategy or what you’re posting about based on your analysis. This will help you provide information your readers want . . . and want to share.

6. Keep it fresh.

You should keep your content fresh. Provide the most recent information, studies, statistics, and so on. Be the person or business people in your niche go to for updated information.
   
I do this with my email inbox. I subscribe to a number of heavy-hitters in my niche. If they’re writing about it, it’s ‘blogging’ worthy.

Summing it up:

Content curation is a great content marketing strategy that can help you provide your audience with fresh content. And, it gives your reader a broader reading experience with two viewpoints. Give it a try today.

Sources:
Blogging Frequency and Lead Generation through Inbound Traffic
9 Ways the Pros Use Content Curation

~~~~~
MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING

Content Marketing Success – You Can Do It, You Can Do It, You Can 

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Content Curation as Part of Your Blogging Strategy

Social Media Marketing – Quantity or Quality




Friday

Start Your Small Business Today - 4 Excuse Busters

You want to start a home or small business. Or, maybe you want to take an existing business to the next level.

 But, but, but.

You’re just not sure you can. You think about it and think about it.



  • Do you have the drive?
  • Do you have the money?
  • Do you the skills and/or knowledge?
  • Do you have a business plan?

The questions can go on and on.

You know what this is called, don't you? PROCRASTINATION!

The interesting thing about businesses online is that a number of them can be created for a minimal financial investment. Sometimes no money is needed.

The crucial element, more than time, money, or anything else, is to take that first step.

Don’t have the drive? Create a plan and read it every day. Take action steps every day. Once you see your time and effort paying off, you’ll become more and more motivated.

Don’t have the money? Start low-scale or go for a business that doesn’t involve any money. A number of service businesses can be started for very little cost.

Have something in mind that will cost money?

There are government small business grants that you can look into:

You might also look into small business loans.

And, there are even big business contests you can enter, such as, Wells Fargo Works and Chase Mission Main Street Grants.

Don’t have the skills or knowledge? Think again.

It’s common knowledge that if you read just one book you know more on that topic than the majority of people. This makes you an expert on that particular top to a lot of people.

This is a start. Build on it.

Money Smarts says there are two ways to take it further:

1. Read one book per month on a particular topic for one year.
2. Study the topic each day for half an hour for a year.

Make it a ‘learn as you go’ strategy. Start now and learn as you build your business. You can do it.

Don’t have a business plan? Create one.

There are lots and lots of ‘how to’ business plans and examples out there. Below are two of them:

A Remarkably Simple Business Plan from Copyblogger.com

A Simple Business Plan from Entrepreneur.com

You can also find examples through the U.S. Small Business Administration:
https://www.sba.gov/tools/business-plan/1

Bottom line, you don't really have valid excuses. Just start your small business today!




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Wednesday

The ‘Miss You’ Emails

Lately, I’ve seen a few ‘Miss You’ emails from marketers. These are from marketers whose emails I haven’t opened in a while or emails that I’ve opened, but haven’t clicked on any links.

Hey, I’m busy. I scan my emails and save lots and lots of them to read later. I often though don’t get the chance to go back and read them, because a new batch of emails arrives in my inbox the next day.

Basically, the marketers are telling their inactive subscribers, “Hey, get off the fence.”

I don’t like these emails. I understand the philosophy behind them, but I don’t particularly agree with it.

They are telling the subscriber, if you don’t take some kind of action, they don’t want to be bothered with you.

Why are these marketers using this strategy?

Email Marketing Fundamentals

1. You build a subscriber list of hopefully targeted readers.
2. You use that list to develop a relationship with your subscribers.
3. You offer what you have to sell to your list.

It’s well known that it’s your subscribers who will purchase what you sell.

But, what about those subscribers who don’t read your emails?

What about those subscribers who never buy from you?

The New Trend

It’s seems the current trend is to get rid of the dead weight.

But, is it really dead weight? What harm to the list are subscribers who don’t buy? Or, subscribers who don’t open an email in a while?

  • Does it prevent new subscribers from joining in? NO.
  • Does it stop other subscribers from being active? NO.
  • Does it prevent other subscribers from buying? NO.
  • Is it more work for the marketer, having the inactive subscribers on board? NO.

  • Is it possible circumstances (financial, time, or other) have prevented that subscriber from taking action? YES.
  • Is it possible the inactive subscriber will all of a sudden read a title that motivates him to open that email? YES.
  • Is it possible that suddenly the subscriber will want what the marketer is offering? YES.

So, what’s the problem?

A Kick in the Butt

My take on this strategy is that the marketers using it are trying to give the inactive subscribers a wake-up call. “Hey, at least open my emails. Click on a link or two, now and then.”

My other thought is that they really don’t want to be bothered with inactive subscribers. Why keep giving them free information without any compensation.

Either way, I see the point. But, again I just don’t agree with it.

If I’m missing something here, I’d love your input.

~~~~~
MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING

Your Email’s Lifespan and Other Must-Know Tidbits
Do You Have a Social Media Posting Schedule?
Perseverance is the Key to Marketing Success



Monday

The Marketing Soup – Persuasion, Leads, Strategies, and Adaptability

Since the 1950s, the foundation of marketing has been the Four Ps: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.

While the internet has changed and marketing strategies have taken on a new look, and many new ones have popped up, these four elements are still at the helm of an effective marketing plan.

With this is in mind, Danny Brown has developed his own marketing strategy: PITS (Persuasion, Intent, Traction, and Sketchability). I added my take on his strategy.

1. The first and probably the most important in any marketing plan is Persuasion.

It goes back to the question: Which is more important, the product or the sales copy?

While you absolutely need a quality product, if you don’t have effective copy ‘selling’ that product, it won’t go very far.

It’s the copy that allows the reader to envision what the product can do for him – it paints the picture.

It’s the copy that will guide and motivate the reader to take a desirable action – usually leading the reader down the YES funnel to your call-to-action (CTA). In other words, it will result in conversion.

Along with these qualities of persuasion, another benefit or power of copywriting is it’s evergreen. It’s one of those marketing tools that is universal and will always be needed.

2. Intent is the second on the list.

Intent can be compared to targeted leads. They’re people who are more likely to take action and actually subscribe and/or buy. They have intent. And, it’s these people you need to target.

According to Brown though, there are two camps of potential customers: Consider and Intent.

We’ve already established that those with intent are more likely to buy. But, it’s just as important to get those in the Consider camp over to the Intent camp.

To entice those ‘on the fence’ people to take the plunge, you need effective copy. You need persuasion.

This can be accomplished through powerful CTAs that may include time-urgent copy. An example of this is: This offer expires in 3 days. It may also include copy that triggers your readers’ wants, desires, or needs.

It’s also accomplished through storytelling. You need to make a connection, show how you were once there and how you can help them move forward now.

3. Next up on the list is Traction.

I consider traction the marketing strategies used to get your product out there. The strategies you use to create and build visibility. This includes getting people interested in what you’re offering.

How is this done?

It’s pretty much done through the current basic marketing strategies available: content marketing, website optimization, social media marketing, and email marketing (all of which falls under inbound marketing).

4. The last on the list is Sketchability.

I equate sketchability to flexibility and adaptability. You need to be able to adapt to new circumstances and the ever-changing marketing arena.

This pertains to your products and marketing strategies.

Products evolve. Or, they may lose their need or importance. If this happens, you need to be able to: Reinvent your product or create a newly desired / needed product.

A great way to have your finger on your audience’s pulse is through communication, such as initiating:

Surveys
Polls
Online Q and As
Live events (online and in person)

Summing it Up

No matter what the terminology, there are fundamental marketing strategies that must be adhered to in order to:

  • Create a ‘quality and wanted’ product
  • Get that product visible
  • Motivate your audience to action

The strategies listed here will do the trick.

To read Danny Browns article, go to:
Is Your Marketing the PITS?

~~~~~
More on Inbound Marketing

Your Email’s Lifespan and Other Must-Know Tidbits
Do You Have a Social Media Posting Schedule?
Website Metrics – 5 Tips to Keep Your Head Above Water




Friday

Social Media Results - How Do You Know If You’re Reaching Your Goals?

Social media is one of the top marketing strategies. Just about everyone is taking the time to work Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and so on.

But, how do you know if your social media efforts are generating results?

It’s true that working social media will boost website traffic and will create connections and engagement, but is that enough? Will these benefits translate into conversions?

And, how can you tell?

Convince and Convert has some great tips that will help you proof your social media impact.

Tip 1: Determine how much traffic you’re actually getting from your social networks.

Use a web analytics tool to determine where your traffic is coming from.

Analytic tools/services you might use include:

  • Google Analytics
  • Alexa
  • StatCounter
  • Blogger’s Stats

Tip 2: Use attribution reports.

Knowing where your traffic is coming from is essential information, it’s just as important knowing what that traffic is doing once they get to your site.

Attribution reports lets you know exactly where a visitor to your site goes and what he does. This analytical tool can even give you the point of conversion.

So, suppose John Doe, Jr. finds you on Twitter. He enters your site on a particular blog post page.

You have a subscriber opt-in at the end of that post which he clicks on. This is the point of conversion.

Now you know at least 4 things:

  • You got traffic from Twitter
  • The visitor landed on your blog post about ‘e-commerce shopping carts’
  • He took action while on that blog post
  • Your social media marketing is converting

Google Analytics has an Attribution Modeling Tool.

Tip 3: Around the corner and across the street.

What? I know this doesn’t quite make sense.

Well, the Convince and Convert article suggests that the “last-click attribution” may not be a true value of where that conversion began. “Most of the time when we are using social media, we are not in the ‘buy now’ mode. Instead, we are in discovery mode, which may be the most critical part of our decision to ultimately convert.”

Yep, it gets a bit confusing . . . and muddled.

Just to throw a ‘wrench in the works,’ suppose one of my connections on Twitter sees my tweet on the Content Writing e-class I offer.

She has a friend who wants to take a course on content writing, so she sends the link to my sales page.

The friend uses the link and signs up for my class. If the link has a tracking feature, Twitter will get credit for the conversion.

But, what if my Twitter connection clicked on the link first and then sent her friend the actual URL to my sales page. When the friend used that link, the conversion would be attributed to a direct link.

There’s more.

Convince and Convert goes into setting up link parameters, native insights, hacking your share buttons, and the problem with mobile applications.

To read it all, go to:
How to Prove Your Social Media Impact

~~~~~
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Wednesday

The Money is In the Details – Writing Copy Right


In a great article from AWAI, the author said, “The money is in the details. Every product has a story, history, and a process with which it's created in addition to its inherent features and benefits. And just like with acting, incorporating them will generate a hugely compelling piece.”

So, what exactly does this mean?

Well, think of Anthony Hopkins’ role as Hannibal Lecter. Do you think he simply walked on stage and created that captivating ‘wanna watch, afraid to watch’ character?

Absolutely not.

Surely he studied for the role, finding out everything he could about that type of personality.

This holds true for writing also.

I once did a product guide and description for a particular product. Before I started writing, I did my research. I learned everything I could about the product: its features, its benefits, how it could help people, reviews of the product, and so on.

The research made it easier for me to write a motivating description and helpful product guide.

But, suppose you’re writing about a new product.

The AWAI article explains that “every product has a story, history, and a process with which it’s created in addition to its inherent features and benefits. And, just like with acting, incorporating them will generate a hugely compelling piece.”

So, whether you’re a copywriter or marketer, you need to find the details in the product you’re writing about. Try to find a unique tidbit about the product that will make it stand out, that will grab the reader.

As an example, marketing legend Joe Sugarman was hired to sell a new digital watch, the first of its type to have a constant glowing display. He did his research, but then took it a step further. He wanted to know why this type of watch had never been created before.

Finding the answer to that question was the “Ah Ha” moment.

It turns out the technology (a laser technique) “to seal the [glowing] material” in had just been developed.

That was it. That was what Sugarman could use to put a completely unique spin on the new watch.

“He titled the ad "Laser Beam Digital Watch."

Sugarman’s sales copy generated millions in sales.

Next time you're writing copy for a service or product, think details. Look for the USP (unique selling proposition) that will convey its unique benefit and/or feature.

To read the AWAI article, go to:
The Secret to Becoming Your Role as a Writer

Other sources:
http://www.joesugarman.net/

~~~~~

WANT TO BECOME A CONTENT WRITER?

Check out BECOME AN SEO (Content) WRITER IN JUST 4 WEEKS
This interactive, in-depth e-class will show you how to write super-charged articles and content that will be reader and SEO friendly, shareable, engaging, and will increase conversion. Make it a money-making part of your freelance writer’s portfolio. And, it’ll show you how to find prospects and work.

CLICK HERE for the details.


~~~~~
MORE ON CONTENT WRITING

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 ~~~~~
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Monday

The Three Most Powerful Subscriber Optin Strategies (For Bloggers)

We all know about the subscriber optin box. It’s the portal to your email list.

But, how’s it going with the sidebar optin and/or the feature box optin?

If you’re like most of us marketers, could be better.

So, if these two optin strategies aren’t bearing the fruits you’d like, what else could you do?

Three newer optin strategies are here, knockin’ down barriers and getting you inside inboxes.

1. The blog post optin.

I’ve written about this one before. It's not brand new, but it does work.

What’s the best way to get someone who’s reading your blog post to be motivated to opt in to your email list?

Have an optin at the end of your post.

This not only works, it’s the most logical. You have the reader right where you want her – reading your content and interested in the topic.

It’s the perfect time to offer a topic-related lead magnet. It’s a follow through of the content.

Here’s an example:

Want to find out more about list building? Get free access to “10 Powerful Tips to Getting Subscriber Optin Conversion.”

Again, it’s a logical next step. The reader is obviously interested in email optin strategies or she wouldn’t be reading your email marketing post. It’s a pretty good bet that she’ll be interested in more strategies to help her get more subscribers.

2. The slide-in or pop-in optins.

You must have seen this type of optin. You land on a web page, just start to read, and a second later an offer slides in or pops up to the center of the screen, blocking what you were just reading.

I’ll admit that I’m one of those people who don’t like the slide-in, but according to studies, they actually work.

Some plugins or themes have slide-ins that take up your whole screen when they slide or pop in.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a slide-in opt-in. I just look for how I can Exit out. What really gets me annoyed is I’ve come across a couple of them that I had to leave the site – couldn’t find the “X.”

But, again, this type of opt-in works. Not on me, but on others.

3. Your email or newsletter optin.

Firepole Marketing has a great article on using your existing subscribers to help build your list.

Since your subscribers already value and read your email, they’re likely to share them with their friends and/or audience. This broadens your marketing reach and subscriber pool exponentially (depending on the number of subscribers you have).

So, how do you get your subscribers to share your emails?

Most email services provide Sharing buttons for your emails. Simple as that.

Your subscriber can easily share your newsletter.

Now, to get those who receive your newsletter or email from your subscribers to opt-in, and click on the link to read the full article, you need topic-related opt-in offer. 

Firepole suggests “catchy yellow boxes.”

Below is an example, if your post is about email marketing:
Another option is to use the opt-in boxes your email service provider offers. Below is an example of one of the opt-ins I use:


I’ll probably switch it up a bit and create a horizontal rectangular ‘yellow box’ opt-in. I actually like how it looks. It’ll be good to test to see which works best.

So, there you have it, the three most powerful subscriber opt-in boxes. Why not do your own opt-in box test. Create a couple of different ones and see which convert best.

Final note: Be sure the opt-in offer is relevant to that particular blog topic. I have a great article that explains in detail how to do this:

Boost Your Optin Rate Today – It’s All in the Lead Magnet (the offer)

Source:
Content Upgrades Increase Conversion Rates

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MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING

Social Media Publishing – Titles Matter
Website Metrics – 5 Tips to Keep Your Head Above Water




Friday

Social Media Marketing - Quantity or Quality?

We’ve kind of been trained to think that all marketing numbers matter, especially when it comes to social media.

How many Twitter followers do you have? How many Facebook followers or fans do you have? What about Google+ or Pinterest?

While these numbers used to be important and in some instances still are (even if just for show), quantity isn’t all it used to be.

I’ve seen Twitter users with 56K or 40K or other astronomical amount of followers. Depending on the user, these numbers may be legit. Take, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Mashable, TechCrunch, Hubspot, and other super-heavy hitters, these sites/users may very well have 100K followers or more.

But, the average Joe? I don’t think so.

In the case of Joe Doe, Jr., if I see he has 60K followers, I think twice.

Did he buy most of those followers?

Okay, I’ve deviated from the point of this article. Let me get back on track.

Why do numbers matter?

Having a large following on social media is kind of the same as having a large subscriber list. It provides more reach, more connections, and more possibility for conversions. It’s the conversions that are at the crux of all marketing endeavors.

It’s simply percentages. The more people in your pool, the more chance you have of making conversions.

Also, in some instances, such as submitting a manuscript to a publisher, having a large social media following may make the difference between the company taking a chance on you or not. Publishers want their authors to have a platform that will help sell books.

Why numbers don’t really matter?

Okay, so we’ve established the more followers, the better your chance of traffic, building authority, and conversion.

But, if 90% of your followers aren’t interested in what you’re offering, what good is having them in your marketing pool?

I get new Twitter followers every day. While I could simply follow them back, what would be the point? And, how do I know what type of users (people) they are.

I get follows from people selling social media followers. What do I do? I block them.

But, again, I’m getting off course.

The point here is that some of those followers have nothing to do with my niche. In fact, some of them I don’t want to be associated with.

So, the question is should I ‘follow back’ just to get more followers?

NO! No! No!

The only way numbers matter is if they’re targeted numbers. They need to be people who are interested in what you have to say and offer. It’s these people who are actual leads. It’s these people who are potential customers or clients.

WERSM backs this up.

According to an article on their site, “The era of accumulating ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ as a measure of numerical pride on social media has LONG been gone.” (1)

The article actually brings out another excellent point. Those ‘fluff’ followers won’t even read your posts, let alone sign up for something or buy something.

What you should be concerned about.

Create relevant content that your followers will be happy to share and will be motivated by to take the conversion plunge.

This is like any other marketing strategy you undertake, it takes work, it takes time.

Tip: Focus on one or two social networks. Determine which ones work best for you and work them. Don’t try to be effective in them all.

Reference
(1) http://wersm.com/please-stop-counting-your-followers-and-fans/

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Boost Your Optin Rate Today – It’s All in the Lead Magnet (the offer)
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Wednesday

An Absolute Must-Avoid Landing Page Tip

This is just a quick tip on the importance of a simple website.

I found the webpage below through a Tweet. I clicked on the link because I wanted to read the article, but guess what?


The crazy-hectic background and left sidebar made me look here, there . . . I didn't know where to look. And, that was it for the article. I quickly exited the site.

The article may have been exceptional, I’ll never know. And, neither will lots of other people who click on a link to an article on this site.

Distraction is a NO-NO in marketing. This site's distraction is one of the worst I've seen. It drives people away.

And what’s funny is title of the article.

A scientific study supports the simple is better website strategy:

In a 2012 study conducted by the University of Basel, Switzerland, and Google, researchers discovered that users / visitors create first impressions of a website in well under one second. In fact, it's in under a half a second. And, it was determined that simple websites are perceived by visitors as more attractive.

Remember to keep it simple!

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MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING

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Monday

How Quick Does Your Site Load? Does Speed Matter?

I've written about some of the website metrics Google looks at as factors for ranking your site. There's page views, time on site, bounce rate, and there's page speed.

I found a great infographic that talks about page speed and why it's so important and it's shareable (I love shareable content!). Unfortunately though, the image wouldn't size properly for this blog (appeared too small), so I'll list some of the statistics and link to the infograph.

To start, you can test your website speed with PageSpeed Insights Tool (1) from Google.

As far as page speed mattering:

47% of users want and EXPECT your site to load in less than two seconds
57% of users will leave a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load
75% of online buyer chose a competitor's site, rather than having to wait

Websites that load in 3 seconds have:

50% higher bounce rates
22% less page views, resulting in 22% fewer conversions

Website that load in 5 or more seconds are blown out of the water with:

Over 100% higher bounce rates
35% less page views, resulting in 38% fewer conversions

So, you can see that page speed absolutely matters.

But, what causes a slow loading page and how can you fix it?


(A snip from the infograph)

Some of the infograph's solutions, which I haven't listed, are a bit involved.


But, the first place to start is to check for too many graphics, animations, slide-in otpin plugins, and other 'bells and whistles' that aren't necessary.

Westhost.com (2) offers some suggestions also:

1. Page size: anything you have on your page adds 'weight' to it, slowing it down. That includes, text, plugins, widgets, videos, animation, and so on.

2. Third-party objects - this will include social buttons, share buttons, and so on.
Static / Dynamic content - Even something as simple as the type of web page you use can add weight to the page. Static pages load faster that dynamic pages.

3. Flash driven sites are notorious for overloading web pages.

Check into these elements to see if any of them may be adding to your loading time.

Simple works best for the search engines and for the readers, so keep your site clean, neat, and simple.

To read the infograph over at RankJane.com, go to:
Google PageSpeed Insights Infographic
http://rankjane.com/google-pagespeed-insights-for-dummies-infographic/

Sources:

(1) PageSpeed Insights
(2) 5 Reasons Why Your Website is Slow
5 Common Causes of Slow Website Performance
https://zoompf.com/blog/2013/04/top-5-causes

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MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING

Website Metrics – 5 Tips to Keep Your Head Above Water
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