Monthly Archives: January 2017

How To Use Pinterest To Grow Your Online Business

In this short article, we will go through five main things to know about using Pinterest to develop your new or existing business. These will be helpful whether you have a totally online business or are using online marketing methods for a brick and mortar business:

  • What is Pinterest
  • What you can do with Pinterest
  • Rich Pins
  • Promoted Pins
  • How to create your new business account

 What is Pinterest?

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are often the go-tos for businesses and brands. However, many companies will also benefit from the visual aspects of a platform like Pinterest.

A Pin is an image or video that people add in to Pinterest. People add Pins directly from websites or apps using the Pin It button. Any Pin can be repinned and all Pins link back to their sources, which is how you can get referral traffic.

Also, people organize Pins into collections called boards and share their boards with others. The same Pin might be added to lots of different boards across lots of interests, making boards a great place to discover new stuff.

People can follow all of someone’s boards or just the ones they like best. As they discover and follow more Pinners and boards, their feed becomes more relevant and personal to their interests.

In summary:

  • People “Pin” your content
  • They organize their and your content into their interests
  • People use feeds to discover their interests and discover Pins

What can YOU do with Pinterest?

 How is Pinterest able to help your business grow?

There are three main things Pinterest can do for you, the first is to drive traffic to your website. All Pins that you find on Pinterest will link back to their original websites when you click on them. 

 Next, is to create engagement with PinnersYou can create engagement with a beautiful Pin, useful description and also be an active “Pinner” yourself. Holding a Pinterest contest is also a good way to create marketing engagement for your brand.

The last one would be you can do an indirect sales to urge people to click on your Pin. Why indirect? This is because you are not allowed to put an actual call to action button on your Pin. If you do so, your Pin will not get approved.

Type of “Rich” Pins

Besides normal Pins, Pinterest also offers a feature named “Rich” Pins for you to categorize your Pins. Rich Pins are a special type of Pinterest Pin that is more informative. It includes detailed information rather than just plain images.

There are 6 types of Rich Pins available.

  1. Place Pins
  2. Article Pins
  3. Product Pins
  4. Recipe Pins
  5. Movie Pins
  6. App Pins

A “Place Pin” pin allows you to create a map with the content you share. In order to enable place pins, all you need to do is check off the “add a map” option when you create or edit a pin-board.

An “Article Pin” is very useful because Pinners can automatically see the article’s headline, author and a story description. It makes it more searchable and distinguishable from other content on the platform.

A “Product Pin” shows where the product you are pinning can be purchased, the current price and a direct link to the product page
or website. Plus, product pin’s prices’ are constantly updated.

In Pinterest, you can find any recipe
that you can imagine on the site and “Recipe Pins” take sharing food on Pinterest to a whole new level. Unlike regular pin, a Recipe Pin shows Pinners important information such as specific ingredients, cooking duration and serving info.

“Movie Pins” helps the Pinterest community to learn more about new and upcoming movies. It also includes in the essential information about the movie such as ratings, cast members, and reviews. Think of it as an online movie directory which you can save information on your favorite movies, categorized and organised and share them with the community.

“App Pins” helps the Pinterest community to discover more relevant apps and it can be done without ever leaving Pinterest through the App Pin. It is similar to the rest of the pins and the only thing is that it helps to pin apps. This is available for iOS in the US.

We can also advertise on Pinterest using a “Promoted Pin”. This functions like a paid ad and you can advertise to your audience by location, demographics, devices and even interest. It runs on cost-per-click basis.

Depending on what business you are in, the strategy which you can use is to organize your marketing collaterals of your brands to create a pin that can be easily shared across social media. Your marketing collateral covers things like articles, infographics, products, services and images.

When you’ve finished “pinning” them, promote it across to your target audience and watch them get consumed and shared by your audiences.

How to Create Pins That Compel Your Buying Audience

Pin what you love

What kind of pins do you want to create?

  1. Informative Pins
  2. Compelling Pins
  3. Pins that make people want to take action

I’ll also talk today about a few apps that might help you out.

Creating Informative Pins

Informative Pins have:

  1. Detailed descriptions
  2. How-to interest and instructions
  3. Clear test overlays

Every Pin needs to have a description that sets a context. The best descriptions are the ones that are informative and add value to your readers.

While only about 75-100 characters of your description will appear in grid view, you can include up to 500 characters.

Next is to offer instructions and information such as how-tos. Step-by-step instruction and tutorials help break down complicated projects and makes it easier for your readers to read and share the pin.

This strategy works very well, regardless if you are a product or service based business. If you are a restaurant owner, share simple recipes on Pinterest that would lead readers back to the main website where they can book a table at your restaurant to try new recipes.

If you are a service or experience based business like a hotel, provide informative tips on how to keep linen clean and fresh or everyday short cuts to help manage laundry and housekeeping. Be creative.

A simple step to deliver persuasive information would be adding a clear text overlay. Text overlays can give Pinners a snapshot of what the pin is about, especially when a Pin’s purpose isn’t obvious from just the image.

You need to make sure that you make the text part of the design and large enough to read easily on mobile or in a grid view. Also, you definitely need to minimize the amount of text in an image.

Creating Compelling Pins

Compelling content is King

Next is to create compelling Pins. First, use high resolution, professional-quality photographs and illustrations. Do not use images that are poorly lit, blur, distorted or appear amateurish. Also, you need to take note on the colour contrast and lighting. Make sure your Pins are able to express the features of your product correctly.

Size and shape do matter. Pins look best when they are vertically oriented. I recommend an image aspect ratio of 2:3 to 1:3:5 and a minimum width of 600px.

Pins get cut off in feeds if the ratio is greater than 1:3:5. So, make sure the image is not too tall (although I DO see a lot of tall pins). For example, an image that is 600px wide should be between 900px and 2100px height.

Also, you need to pay attention to your composition. Do not use more than four separate images in a Pin. Image should have a focus or a clear theme, not just an assortment of random images of your products. Adding too many images in one Pin only creates confusion when people look at it.

Help Other People Take Action on Their Interest

Helping people to take action on their interest that is in line with your business can sometimes be a challenge however there are 3 simple steps which you can take to persuade and influence your target audience to take action.

The first would be a link out of your Pin to places or websites that helps people. For example, a recipe Pin should lead to the real cooking instruction and a product Pin should lead to where a Pinner can make the purchase.

All of these of course would be kept within the context of growing your business. So if you run a restaurant for example, you would want the link out of the pin to lead to your restaurant. You could also consider having a cross promotion with another business nearby that would complement and add value to your product as well.

For example, a bookstore could do a cross promotion with a nearby coffee shop. Coffee and books go well together especially when there is good coffee. Viewers that come from Pinterest to respective businesses can read and enjoy a cup of coffee at a discounted price.

The second is to make your Pin a Rich Pin when possible. Rich Pins have extra details like price, availability or ingredient right on the Pin so people can do more with their Pins.

This would help your audience make decisions faster and qualify your customers easier. You would want to tend to people who are your customers instead of spending resources, energy and time dealing with people who are not going to buy from you. Am I right?

The last thing is to avoid time-sensitive information. Pins last forever, so steer clear of including words like “new” that will not always be relevant. For example, you should not write this in your description: This weekend only: Buy one Oxford and get the second one for half price.

Recommended Apps

Here are two recommended apps to design and beautify your images. The first one is Pixlr. It is a free photo editing app that comes with tons of features and effect. You are able to edit your photo like a pro and add awesome effects to create stunning images.

“Pixlr” app

Next would be PIP Camera. It provides beautiful magazine-like templates that are appealing and eye-catching. Also, PIP Camera provides beautiful collage templates too, making editing multiple images into a collage an easy task.

Pip Camera app – for great Pin images

In summary, your pins need to grab attention through quality design and good copy. This is because Pinterest is image drive and I recommend investing a little bit more time and resource in creating a beautiful image. The thing is that if your Pin does NOT cut across the noise of all the thousands and thousands of pins on Pinterest, it will NOT get noticed and clicked by readers which would then result in a potential loss on leads and sales.

Niches Where You Can Make Some Money (And How To Use UberSuggest To Find Them)

Finding your own little part of the online world

What is a “niche”? And how do I find one that is profitable?

Your “niche” is the area of the online world you wish to work in. If you have an existing online or offline business, then this is your niche. Bear in mind though, that niches can be sub-divided – so if your business is “shoes” then there’s lots and lots of sub-niches:

  • sports shoes
  • running shoes
  • tennis shoes
  • ladies’ shoes
  • mens’ shoes
  • comfort shoes
  • court shoes
  • dress shoes
  • heels
  • children’s shoes

Even in an area like “running shoes”, there are further sub-sub-niches:

  • road running shoes
  • racing shoes
  • trail shoes
  • full comfort shoes
  • zero-drop shoes
  • barefoot-style shoes

Each of these represents some level of a niche, even in an existing online or offline business.

If you are starting a new online business, then you have to decide what your niche will be.

Getting some niche ideas

Finding a niche in the online world

You can start by simply writing lots and lots of ideas. Lots and lots.

There is hardly an area of human imagination that doesn’t have its little spot in the internet. If you can think of it, you can write about, post about it, and just maybe, sell some products about it.

Ferrets? Yes. Fly fishing? Absolutely! Survivalism, yes. Nootropics (smart drugs). Worth millions. Diabetes – $300 Billion. Cellulite removal. Paleo diet. Arthritis. Scrapbooking. Knitting.

If you have an interest, start your list there. If there is something you are good at, start there. If there is something you have knowledge about, start there.

There is an excellent tool called UberSuggest which can help you with niches and sub-niches.

Let’s say you’d like to write about “running”. What sub-niches could you write about in this broad area?

Here’s some of the suggestions from UberSuggest:

  • running music
  • how to train for a marathon
  • running games
  • running apps
  • running accessories
  • running at night
  • running calculators
  • running socks
  • running shoes
  • running with dogs
  • running earphones

and many, many more.

Now, you could in UberSuggest add a “buyer term” like “buy running …”, and now see the suggestions change to show you searches where people want to buy something related to your potential niche:

buy running shoes
buy running shoes online
buy running shoes online india
buy running shoes near me
buy running machine
buy running shoes online canada
buy running shoes online australia
buy running shorts
buy running spikes
buy running trainers
buy running armband
buy running accessories
buy running apparel online
buy running accessories online

Will my niche be profitable?

Find a niche where people buy stuff

So, you’ve found some area where you’d like to market online. Better still, you’ve found a few to test to see if they might be profitable.

The first thing is to see if there is something you can sell. Again, if you have an existing business, you know what you are selling. If this is a new niche just for online marketing, you need to find some products to sell.

One place to go is Clickbank. Clickbank is primarily a retailer of digital products, but even for our topic of running, Clickbank has plenty of possible products:

There’s a couple of products immediately, paying you $16.10 and $17.95 per sale.

Where else can you check to see if your niche is profitable?

Amazon. Go and check Amazon to see if there are plenty of products in your niche. You can be an Amazon affiliate, but the commissions are quite low. The purpose of checking Amazon is to see if there are good, popular products people are buying.

Check Google. Are there advertisements down the right hand site> These are people paying to advertise. Check through a few pages to see how many advertisers.

Simple Summary

Here’s two simple ways to think about a niche likely to be profitable.

  1. Solve a problem – the worse and more intense the problem, the more people will be likely to spend money
  2. Feed a passion – some people are crazy for their interest, whatever it is. Look for irrational people who will spend money over and over again.

Overlap (if you can) what you are good at, or have some interest in, with a niche with products to sell, and a problem to solve or a passion to feed.

That should be a profitable niche.

Selling Opportunities On Pinterest – Why Your Business Should Join The Third Biggest Social Network

Funny sells on Pinterest – so does Fitness, Family and Fashion

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is like an online pinboard. At home, you might have a cork board, magnetic whiteboards – whatever – and on that board, you “pin” things that catch your eye.

Some inspire you. Some amuse you. Some remind you of something. Some might be a clipping of a special price, or a new product or service that might help you.

Pinterest is the online version of your home pinboard. There are some unique advantages, especially for marketers.

The first is that people can and will “share” your pins if they find them useful and interesting. They will “repin” them, capturing from your board and sharing them on their board. Hey Presto! A whole new audience for your online business, product or service.

The second advantage is that people can buy right from Pinterest with “Buyable Pins”.

Recent research shows that 93% of Pinterest visitors use Pinterest to plan purchases. 87% of “Pinners” have purchased something because of Pinterest.

Even if you don’t have the Buyable Pin facility (currently only in the US) Pinterest remains an exciting way to spread the word about your online business.

Food sells on Pinterest also

People who come to an online store via Pinterest sharing are 10% more likely to buy. Pinterest referrals spend 70% more money that people referred from non-social channels.

You might think Facebook is the king or queen of online and social marketing. That depends. If you actually want to sell something, go to Pinterest. Pins drive more buying traffic than any other social traffi. Pins are referred overall about 3.5% of the time. That’s actually a lot. Facebook trails well behind at 0.15%. Even YouTube is only 1.05%.

The great majority of Pinterest users are women, up to 94% by some statistics. This means some topics immediately recommend themselves: fashion, design, recipes, home decor, hobbies and crafts. Also inspiration, education, holidays, travel and childens’ products.

Many of the women who are online use Pinterest, some suggest up to 43% of the women who go online use Pinterest regularly. They are predominantly urban, and range across all age groups. When surveyed, 81% said they trusted Pinterest, 73% Twitter and only 67% said they would trust a recommendation via Facebook.

People spend a lot of time exploring Pinterest, much more than other social media sites. The average is 89 minutes on Pinterest. Compare that to 21 minutes on Twitter, or 17 minutes on, say, LinkedIn.

32% of Pinterest users have college degrees, and 64% have incomes over $50,000 per year. That’s a good buyer’s demographic, with lots of disposable income. 50% have children.

Pinterest is responsible for 17% of the money spent via social media. That’s a lot, considering it is a smaller site than Facebook or Twitter. People visiting Pinterest like to buy. They like to see actual prices of products and services. Pins with prices get 37% more likes than Pins without prices.

69% of online consumers who visited Pinterest found a product, service or recommendation which lead they to actually buy. That’s much higher than the equivalent Facebook statistic which is around 40%, and Pinterest visitors spent around twice as much as similar visitors to Facebook.

There are 10 times more “repins” on Pinterest via the “Pin It!” button, than those who “Tweet This” on Twitter.

Pinterest is the place to be for brand recognition. Pinterest is great at capturing new customers and keeping them. Look over the series of numbers above and think about ho well your online business could do with some Pinterest exposure.

Setting Up Your LinkedIn Company Pages for Profit

Take advantage of LinkedIn’s Company Page feature

Today we are going to jump right in and talk about using LinkedIn “Company” pages for promoting your business.

Did you know that personal profiles aren’t the only types of accounts you can make on LinkedIn?

You can also set up pages for your company or business. Just log into your account and click on the tab that says “Companies”. From there, adding your business or company is as simple as filling in the blanks and adding all the pertinent information for everyone to see.

It’s easy to set up and it’s free so there is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the feature. I know I have said this before, but always remember that LinkedIn is a business-focused social networking site. This means that you will be interacting with individuals who are either owners or employees of a business enterprise. This makes LinkedIn a great platform for marketing purposes.

It doesn’t matter if your business operates online or offline. Or if it offers either products or services. You can effectively create an online presence for it on LinkedIn. It has a lot of tools and resources that you can use to help you build and market your business.

 Here are a few tips on how you can optimize your company’s profile page for the LinkedIn crowd:

Step 1

Make sure that you include all the relevant information about your business. These include your products and services, location, contact numbers, links to your business website or blog, and other important data. The objective is that when somebody views your business profile, they will find all the information they need. The majority of those viewing your page will be LinkedIn users and most of these users are professionals so make sure that you meet them with a professional-looking business profile as well.

Step 2

Use the correct category for your business. This is very important because the number one way that people find business pages on LinkedIn are via the site’s search function or via the categories menu. If you listed your business profile under an inappropriate category, it will be very hard for people to find it.

Step 3

Connect your other web accounts with your business page. For instance, you can connect it with Twitter so that your Twitter followers will be updated when there are changes made on your business page. You can also grab the RSS feed of your blog or website and place it on your business page. There are a lot of other tools that you can use to make your page more interactive and interesting. These entice people to keep coming back to your page.

 Once the LinkedIn page for your business is up and running, don’t just stop there. Make it a point to promote it wherever you can, whether it’s inside or outside LinkedIn. We’re talking about promoting a business here so the more platforms your LinkedIn page is connected to, the better. You can create a widget of your business page and have it embedded in your website or blog. This way, visitors to your website can easily connect with your LinkedIn profile with just a click of a button, provided of course that these visitors have LinkedIn accounts as well.

LinkedIn “Groups” and “Events” – Make Your Very Own Targeted Market

Get involved in LinkedIn’s Events

In this lesson we will go over how to start making connections via LinkedIn’s groups and events features.

When it comes to using LinkedIn many businesses seem to underestimate the “Groups” and “Events” features. The majority of the social network’s users are more bent on making personal connections via messages and one-on- one interactions. One-on-one interactions are great but you are not taking advantage of LinkedIn’s full potential if you are limiting yourself to such traditional strategies.

This is where the “Groups” and “Events” features enter the picture. You can tap into these features to double or even triple the amount of connections you make on the site. LinkedIn has constantly improved these features to make them accessible to anyone. As long as you are a member of the social network, you can be a part of any group or event.

 First let’s take a look into the “Groups” feature and how you can use it to make connections. A LinkedIn group is just like any group. If you are familiar with Facebook groups, they are pretty similar with LinkedIn groups. It’s just a bunch of LinkedIn users who share the same interests, hobbies, or causes.

Get involved in a LinkedIn group – a targeted audience

There are two common ways that you can get yourself involved with a group. You can either create a group or you can join one that’s been created by another user. There’s no limit as to how many groups you can join. No matter what industry you are in, there are likely dozens of groups for it on LinkedIn. Use the site’s in-built search functions to look for these groups that are relevant to your interests or niche.

Obviously, making connections with users who belong to groups you are interested in is much more effective than making connections with random members. In essence, it is targeted marketing. You will be talking to people who will actually listen to what you have to say.

For instance, let’s say that you are in the business of selling video games. You can log into your LinkedIn account and search for groups about video games. You can then join these groups and start connecting with the other members. When you talk about video games, there’s an instant audience for you. Of course, there are certain rules and regulations in these groups that you need to follow to make yourself a helpful member.

The “Events” feature on the other hand is used to draw more attention or exposure to an upcoming event. Whether you are conducting an online webinar, an offline conference, or you just want to let people know that you will be having a booth in some trade show, creating an “Event” on LinkedIn would be very helpful.

 

Setting up the “Event” is not particularly difficult. As a  matter of fact you can have it live in a couple of minutes. Then all you need to do is invite all your connections to become a part of it. You can also make use of external tools like Twitter and Facebook to promote the event.

LinkedIn’s “Groups” and “Events” features are invaluable tools for making connections. You should take advantage of them whenever you can.

LinkedIn for Business – Can I Make Money With It?

LinkedIn – great for networking

In this first lesson let’s talk a little about how to set up a good LinkedIn profile for your business.

When it comes to building your presence online there are plenty of reasons why you should create a profile for your business on LinkedIn.

First of all, LinkedIn is a business-focused social networking site. The majority of its members are online entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers, and all sorts of business-oriented individuals. This fact alone makes the social site a must-have for your own business. If you are not building your presence on it, then you are missing out on a lot of business opportunities.

Whether you are promoting a new product or service, looking to hire new employees, or simply marketing your business as a whole, LinkedIn provides you with a plethora of tools and resources that you may use to help you accomplish all these things.

Creating a LinkedIn profile for your business is an effective business

strategy. Here are a few tips on how you should go about it:

Profit by getting your LinkedIn strategy right

Step 1

Setting up a business profile on LinkedIn is free so there are no related costs that you have to be worried about. Just log in to the site using your personal account, find the “Companies” menu and just follow the instructions from there on. LinkedIn’s wizard will guide you throughout the whole process.

Step 2

Make sure that you complete all the necessary information in the registration process. Don’t leave any space blank. If you have a logo for your business, then add it. Don’t forget to place the location of your business as well. This is especially important if your business is a brick and mortar one. Including your business location is very critical if your online presence is for marketing purposes only. You have to let people know where they can find your physical store if they are interested in doing business with you.

Step 3

Take time to write a brief but very informative description of your business. See to it that the description includes information about your business offerings, whether these are products or services or both. Most people don’t have the time to read through long texts so make the description as brief and as straight to the point as possible.

Step 4

Place your business under the correct category. LinkedIn members will be using the site’s search functions to look for businesses on the site. If you placed your business in the wrong category or industry, your targeted customers or partners won’t be able to find your business profile.

Step 5

If you have a business or company blog, get the feed of your blog and include it on your business LinkedIn profile. Anyone who follows your profile will be updated on the latest posts on your blog. If you don’t have a business blog, now is the time to start one. Putting the feed on your LinkedIn profile will keep the page fresh and entice other LinkedIn members to keep visiting your business profile.

Step 6

LinkedIn will pull all the other accounts, feeds, and links on the site related to your business profile and connect them all together. These include your job listings, current employees, and even former employees. With that said, it’s crucial that you monitor these things to make sure that everything that is being connected to your profile are professional and look legitimate.
When it comes to setting up a LinkedIn profile for your business keep these simple tips in mind and you will have a winning profile in no time!

Offer a Bribe to Get An Email Address – Fair Exchange?

Offer a free gift in exchange for an email address

In earlier articles, we have spoken of “Landing Pages“, which are the first pages your visitor sees on arrival at your site.

Then we talked about “Squeeze Pages“, which are special pages which “squeeze” our new visitor into our sales funnel, and collect their email address on the way. This allows us to build an email list, which represents an asset to our business.

Why would our visitor give us his or her email address? Generally, we hope to offer them a free gift or “bribe” of such value that they are willing to swap their email address to get the gift.

The gift is generally some free content, but depending on our business model could be some physical product, or a discount of some sort. Especially in internet marketing, we are offering some content in the form a free report, or informational video.

It is good if the bribe has high perceived value to our visitor, but low cost to us. An informational product delivered electronically only costs us our time. Once we produce the report, we can use it over and over again.

If you have already written an ebook or short product, use this for your gift. You may also have access to someone else’s report that you can offer. You could buy or find some Private Label Rights (PLR) information written by someone else which you can edit or adjust so it represents your business, without having to write all the content.

It is better not to spend not too much time on creating this product. In actuality, as surprising as it seems, many people will subscribe to your list and never read your content in any case.

Creating your Free Report to Give Away

Fair exchange is no robbery

Presumably you have been creating content for your online business. This could be articles, or posts to a blog, or content-based emails to your list.

Here’s one way to create your free report from your own content, content you have paid for, or PLR.

  • Take your last 5 articles, or 5 articles which are related to each other on some topic or theme.
  • Arrange your articles in some kind of understandable order, say easy to advanced, or one end of a process to the other
  • Compile the 5 articles into one document
  • Create an header for the collection, and add a footer to make the 5 articles into a single document
  • Write a title for this mini-ebook. Focus on the benefits of reading the ebook to your readers
  • Rename each of the articles so they are chapters of the mini-ebook
  • Create a table of contents
  • At the end of the book (and in the footer if you like) add a link to one or more of your sales/product page. You might also be able to put affiliate links in the report if it makes sense to do so.
  • Convert the mini-ebook into a pdf. Most “office” type applications will allow you to export a Word or equivalent document as a pdf. Alternatively, there are online pdf creators.
  • Upload the pdf to your website so that you can then send a link to the free report to your new subscribers.

If you are using one of the better known autoresponder systems, once your visitor subscribes, they will be sent to a “Thank You” page. You can put a link on this page so your new subscriber can download the report they signed up for.

Alternatively, you can have an automated email sent as soon as your visitor subscribes. This first email can contain the link to the free report. This forces and “trains” your subscriber to open your emails.

Here is an example from a friend and marketer named Sean Mize. This example has some older style of content, given that article marketing is not used for internet marketing so much now. However, in this report “Your Article Writing and Promotion Guide” you can clearly see how Sean has complied 5 previously written articles into a mini ebook.

The content (for it’s time) is excellent and useable, and would more than compensate a subscriber for offering up their email address.

 

 

Build Your Squeeze Page – Build Your List

We wrote an earlier post about a website “Landing Page”. A Landing Page is the page a visitor arrives at when first visiting your site.

A “Squeeze Page” is a special type of Landing Page where the sole object is to have your visitor give us their email address. It’s called a Squeeze Page because the visitor is “squeezed” into our sales funnel.

Normally, this is the ONLY action and purpose of the page. In a really strong squeeze page, there would be no other action possible, no advertising, and no links to other parts of your website. Most especially, there should be no alternatives to your visitor than to opt in to your email list.

First we squeeze their email address, then we squeeze them into our sales funnel

The basic idea of a squeeze page is to leverage your traffic. You have attracted a visitor to your site. They have seen the content you offer ONCE and might then leave, never to be seen again.

If, though, we can squeeze their email address out of them in return for a bribe of free content, then we can contact our visitor over and over again. Our visitor then becomes an asset to our business, and potentially a future income source if we can continue to deliver adequate value.

A good squeeze page can get between 30% – 60% conversion rate – which is the percentage of visitors who land on your squeeze page ho sign up for your email list. This also depends on the traffic source, with the more targeted the traffic source, the more optins likely.

However, studies have shown that adding one outbound or inbound link to the squeeze page drops the conversion rate by half. Asking for your visitor’s name as well as email address also drops the conversion rate significantly.

How Do I Build My Squeeze Page?

WordPress makes it easy to build your own Squeeze Page

There are a few ways to build your own Squeeze Page.

There are some complete solutions to the problem. You will pay for these but they may save you some work. The three leading examples are:

  1. LeadPages
  2. Optimize Press
  3. ClickFunnels

As well as letting you build squeeze pages, these solutions also offer tutorials and training programs. They may help you track what happens when visitors arrive at your site, and where the traffic come from.

If you want a free solution, then install WordPress on your website. WordPress will then allow you to use the many plugins and themes which will let you build a decent squeeze page.

While you can do your own search of WordPress plugins, one of the current excellent plugins is WP Lead Plus X. Like all WordPress plugins, installing this plugin is extremely easy. From inside WordPress, navigate to “Plugins” – “Add New”, and search for WP Lead Plus X.

It takes less than 3 minutes to get WP Lead PLus X up and running. WP Lead Plus X comes with a number of templates to build various types of landing pages. And like many WordPress plugins, this one is free.

WordPress has a pop-up plugin designed to work with the autoresponder Aweber. This one is called Optin Cat, and is also free.

There are paid or premium plugins to create your squeeze page, and given you are paying for these, they come with extra facilities. You should consider these extra capabilities to see if they are worth you spending your money.

The plugins below all provide “pop up” functionality, so your optin box pops up over your main Landing Page to encourage your reader to sign up to your newsletter.

  1. WordPress PopUp (FREE/$19) The paid version allows you to add extra targeting, specifically geographic targeting.
  2. Optin Revolution (FREE/$47) This plugin has native support for Aweber, GetResponse and MailChimp. The paid version allows split testing of different forms and analysis of the incoming data.
  3. Popup Domination ($47) supports all email services, allows split tests, analysis of data and exit popups.

WordPress functionality makes building your Squeeze Pages reasonably easy. Building an email list means you are building an asset for yourself and your future business.

A Landing Page That Makes You Money

When your visitors land on your site, will they read, buy or optin?

What is a Landing Page? Your Landing Page is the page where your visitors first arrive at your website. Don’t waste this opportunity.

A Landing Page which is optimized for your desired action can get anything up to 47% more actions than one which is not well written, according to some statistics. What is your desired action? You know that according to your business model. It could be a sale, an optin, registration for a webinar, or to consume some content.

We also have to say that once you made your first attempt at a Landing Page, you should then test, test, test to try and improve your results. There are various way to “split-test” your trial Landing Pages to see whether a change to say, headline, colors, or opt-in form improves your results.

Headline

The first element of your Landing Page is your headline. Some copywriters will write hundreds of headlines before settling on one to test.

Search engines will only show 65 characters of your headline, so keep them short and sweet.

Numbers make your headline believable, as does specificity. Use digits rather than words.

Use some interesting adjectives: effortless, strange, incredible, unique, fun, free

Using negative wording can type into your reader’s fears and curiosity: “These Exercise Tips Will STOP You Getting Injured.

Use trigger words: What, Why, How or When

Make a huge promise. Dan Kennedy, the great copywriter and marketer, used to call this the “horse’s *ss” propositions. The promise is so big, so valuable, and so audacious that a reader would have to be a “horse’s a**” to pass it up.

One headline formula that is said to make profitable Landing Pages is: Number or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise

Write many, many headlines, and test more than one.

Call To Action

You want your reader to take action, and dive in

Your Call To Action (CTA) asks for the order, whatever that is. In a really simple opt-in type Landing Page, the headline might also be the Call To Action, but regardless, the CTA is where you ask for your desired action.

You can have a gentle CTA, or a Stop-Everything-And-Sign-Up CTA, much like Dan Kennedy’s “horse’s a**” proposition.

Here’s some example Calls To Action (or words in CTAs) I found looking around the net:

  • Sign Up Now
  • Sign Up for Free
  • Free Trial
  • Join Now
  • One-Time Offer
  • Join Free for One Month
  • Start Selling Today
  • Get Started
  • Send Me Specials Now
  • Enter Your URL to Find Out
  • Discover a Cocktail Tailored to Your Taste
  • Download Now
  • Tweet This
  • Special Offer
  • Exclusive Invitation
  • Show Me My Heatmap
  • Learn More
  • Save More
  • Send a GiftRocket
  • Talk To Us
  • Create My Resume

Landing Page Colors

We’ve all seen some horrible websites. Websites with fonts that are unreadable, colors that turn your stomach, and font/color combinations that seem designed to induce some kind of optical malfunction.

First, make your Landing Page easy to read. It’s too easy for your readers  to choose to click away, don’t drive them away with bad color choices. I’ve read statistics that suggest 52% of readers could leave a website based on color and design, while 85% of readers could buy based on color alone.

Red, orange, black and blue target impulsive shoppers. Navy blue and teal may appeal to price-conscious shoppers. Pink, sky blue and rose can appeal to traditional buyers.

Orange in particular is found to be excellent for CTA or buy buttons. Like anything, this needs testing. Green can mean Go, red can mean stop, or danger. Green can also mean money, or the calmness of nature.

Blue is a widely used corporate color. It can mean “trust us”. You might also use blue if your website or business has a nature or nautical theme.

If the Landing Page is designed to lead into the larger website, as opposed to a simple opt-in type, then the Landing Page should reflect the design of the website overall. it should use the same colors, and block page design.

You should make sure the color and design isn’t distracting, and think about some cultural aspects. Some countries have particular colors which make people think of death, as well as particular numbers which or lucky or unlucky.

Finally, make sure your website is mobile and tablet friendly. Mobile now accounts for 65% of digital media time, so make sure your prospective buyers can read your website at Starbucks on their smart phone.

 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for Beginners

Everybody’s searching for something

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of getting your website ranked in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

What??

If you have a website about “dog training”, for example, and you type into Google, Yahoo, or Bing “how to train my dog” … where does your website appear?

Dog training? Where’s your website?

The list of results on page one of Google, followed by the next page, and the next, are called the Search Engine Results Pages. Ideally, you want your “dog training” website to be on the first or front page of Google for a search like “how to train my dog”. To be honest, you’d like it in the first position of the first page.

But how are you going to do that? For a simple search like “how to train my dog”, there are more than 7 million results in Google. To be honest, I’m surprised there are that few. How are you going to get your website on the front page?

Broadly there are three boxes to tick, to get the best possible result .

These are:

  1. Keywords – finding the keywords people would use who are searching for your topic, and who are ideally ready to buy something, or consume your content
  2. On-Page Optimization – the various elements in your site which make your site most visible, and your topic most understandable to the search engines like Google
  3. Off-Page Optimization – how to build the authority of your site in the “eyes” of Google, so that it thinks your site is the best one to answer these questions by searchers.

On top of this, Google especially will from time to time change how they recognize each of these elements. These are called “Google Updates”, on of the most recent and famous was the “Panda” update, where some well-seasoned websites simply vanished from the SERPs.

Search engine updates like Google’s “Panda” are feared by webmasters trying to maintain website rankings

Mastering SEO can men endless amounts of free traffic as web searchers discover your site as they search for content, products, or answers to their problems. It is worth trying to master SEO to get hold some of the estimated 3.5 Billion web searches per day.

Keywords

Try to understand the mind of your prospective customer or client. Some people refer to this as a Customer Avatar, or a Buyer’s Persona. Either way, you are trying to think like your customer, and especially what they might type into a search engine to get to a resource like your webite.

Try to think in terms of “buyer’s keywords” or “long tail” keywords. If you are selling dog training, it might be difficult to compete for a keyword like, “how to train my dog”.

However, you might be able to compete for “how to train my dog to heel”, “how to train my alsatian to sit”, or “pekinese dog tricks guide”. The interesting thing about webs searches is that many fewer people type into a search engine “how to train my dog” than type in a more specific or long-tail keyword search.

You can check how many searches and how competitive the searches are using Google Keyword Planner, for which you need to open a free account. There are also various paid solutions to find these long-tail buyer’s keywords.

Once you have the keywords, use them in your content, headlines, as well as page and post titles. This leads into …

On-Page Optimization

Having found your keywords, general practice is to focus one piece of content, a page or post, say, on one specific keyword.

Every page of your website should have a “title” tag. Use your keywords in these tags as they show up in the SERPs. Also use the keywords in the resulting URLs for the page/post/content.

Website pages also have “meta descriptions”. If you check your competitor’s pages, you should be able to write a more attractive description of your site incorporating your keywords.  The “Yoast” SEO plugin for WordPress, as well as other WordPress SEO plugins, can help isoltae and update these tags.

You can also include these keywords in your Headings, paragraph headings and sub-headings. In html, these are highlighted to the search engines.

Write longer content to attract the search engines which love new and fresh content. For long-tail keywords, you might need an article of up to 1500 words.

Off-Page Optimization

Try to get Google to recognize you and your website as an authority

Google recognizes a website’s authority the same way a university recognizes a good research paper. If lots of other university professors refer to a paper, it must be a good paper. And for Google, if lots of other websites link to your website, it must be a valuable website.

There are lots of ways to get links from other websites. You can pay for them, but Google frowns on this, and is these kind of practices that Google tries to wipe out with updates like Panda.

The best way to get links, is to write such excellent content that other websites naturally want to let their readers know about your information. You could also write Guest Posts on other blogs to link back to your website, or comment in relevant forums and link back to your website.

While there’s lots more detail on this topic, this is an overall outline of how to optimize your website for better rankings in the search engines.

Starting a Money-Making Blog

Anyone can start a blog – they don’t all make money though …

This article will discuss starting a blog that makes money.

Having said that, this is a wide topic, and could well be broken down and explored in lots of detail.

You might have an existing business, and it could be an online or offline business. Either way it is a good idea to have a blog, and the business itself will provide the topic for the blog. A blog will keep communication open with your clients and customers, and you can update them with information, and offers.

You might also be wanting to build a new blog solely with the hope of making money from the blog, so the blog itself becomes your business. In this case, you have to decide on a topic, and this can give folks a lot of difficulty.

Choosing a Profitable Blog Topic

As mentioned, if you have an existing business, like a running shoe store, the topic of your blog is easy – all things running and running-shoe related. Even if you have an existing online business as an affiliate marketer, or a software developer, the topic of your blog follows your business.

If you are starting a brand new blog, you have to choose a topic that you can write about, or pay someone to write about, and that people are searching for.

Think about topics that your are interested in, and that you know other people are keenly interested in. It should be a topic with lots of people, and where people are a bit irrational. I read A LOT about internet marketing, other people LOVE knitting, pug dogs or keto diets. Find some topic where people are just a little bit crazy, and where they spend money on their interest.

Look for crazy people – interested, passionate, and willing to spend money

Check some online sources to see if the topic you are thinking of has plenty of people in it.

Google Trends (https://www.google.com/trends/) will show you if the topic is trending up or down, also if there is any seasonality to the search volume for you area of interest. If you have an Adwords account (open one for free) you can use the Google Keyword Planner (https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner) to assess search volume.

If the blog is built around your existing business, then you will have your own products to sell already. If you are building a money-making blog, then check Clickbank.com, Amazon and eBay to see that people are selling products in this topic.

In a previous post, we talked about “acne” as a profitable affiliate area. DIY (Do It Yourself) is a big area with a lot of passionate people. The Survivalist niche is very popular, as is the newer area of 3-D printing.

Building Your Money-Making Blog

Installing WordPress makes it all easy

There are various Content-Management Systems, but WordPress is easy to install and easy to work with.

WordPress will come with a default theme when you install it. There are some excellent free themes around, including some you can find from WordPress itself. Do an online search for “premium wordpress blog themes”, you will find plenty of excellent themes to choose from.

Adding Content to Your Blog

The next step is to add content to your blog. If the blog sits on top of your own business, the writing will come from whatever is happening there, and what you currently have to discuss or offer.

In a new money-making blog, think through a series of possible blog posts and generate lots of possible topic headlines. You can use Google Keyword Planner (https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner) again to assess the potential search volume and attractiveness of your posts.

Whether you write yourself or you hire a writer, content is crucial

You can outsource the writing from folks in Fiverr, or Upwork. Fiverr is cheaper but the quality is better from more premium sources.

Think of a blog post every day or every second day as Google likes new content. Also try to write some longer articles, anything from 500-2,000 words.

Where’s the Money?

Ok, you’ve chosen a topic. You’ve built a blog. You’ve added some content. Now … how to make some money?

To make money you need some traffic. As well, as your blog, you can run some social media traffic, with a YouTube channel, a parallel Twitter account, as well as a Facebook fan page in the same area, and possibly with the same name. Adding new content with relevant keyword search terms will bring some organic traffic.

You should also be collecting email address as people visit your new blog. WordPress has various plugins and themes which make this easy to hook up to an autoresponder. Once you have an email list, you can send your new friends offers which will interest them in your chosen niche.

Here’s a list of possible monetization methods for your new blog

  • your own products if you have your own exisiting business
  • sell ads or banner placement on your blog
  • Google Adsense placement
  • affiliate products from Clickbank.com or offervault.com
  • digital products like ebooks or videos
  • physical products whether yours or from CJ.com
  • membership site to deliver ongoing content on a subscription basis

There is money to be made if you get this business model right.

Darren from the blog ProBlogger is said to earn over $1.2M per year from his own and affiliate products as well as banner placement. Nick Denton of LifeHacker is said to be around $3M, and very large blogs like Mashable or TechCrunch make over $10M per year.

 

 

Website Hosting (Getting Your New Website on the Net) – What’s It All About?

No need to write a thousand lines of code – getting your website online is easier than you think

Ar first it might seem impossible that you could have your own website on the net.

How do you have a website with a name you choose? How do you build it? And what do you need to do anyone else can see the website you’ve built for your new online business?

We will answer these very good questions right here today.

Many online marketers choose to build a website with “WordPress”. It is probably the easiest way if you are new. WordPress is a “content management system”, which just means it helps you get the content, or the stuff you write, into a website and then up to the internet.

This is actually the last step of three. First is to buy a domain name, second is to buy hosting, and third is to build your website.

Here’s the good news. You can almost do all three in one step.

Hosting

Since you know what a website is, even if you don’t know how to build or write it, and you know basically what a domain name is, let’s answer first – what is “Hosting”?

You can’t just build your website on your own computer at home and expect that anyone else in the world will be able to see it.

You may have heard of a computer called a “server”. In the case of website hosting, your “host” will allow you to put your website on their server, and then they have the technology and licenses to have websites on their server seen by other people on the internet. They will charge you some amount of money for this.

The hosting providers are really only providing you with the space to store your website files. It’s a bit like a real estate agent or realtor letting you some space to put a physical store. What you do with the space is entirely up to you, it’s just space.

There are various pricing options for website hosting, depending on whether you might end up with one website or many. BlueHost is a very good hosting company, as is GreenGeeks.

Domain Names

Computers on the net actually communicate via series of number called IP addresses. However, these are difficult to remember and use. It is easier to buy a domain name, like google.com, or warwickfoster.com, and refer to your website with this name.

Just like website files for your website are stored on servers with your website hosting provider, there are also other special servers called “nameservers”. These servers translate the identity of your website from a numerical IP address to a recognizable domain name.

Domain names are arranged using Domain Naming System rules, and so you will sometimes see a reference to DNS, when you are setting up your site or domain name.

A “domain name registrar” can a arrange for you to buy a domain name that suits you, or the business you intend to begin. Domain names can be purchased for around $10, or less with a discount coupon. Some hosting providers will give you one initial domain name for free when you purchase hosting.

You might want to maintain separate hosting and domain name registrars. If you want it to be simple, however, you can buy hosting when you buy your domain name, or buy a domain name when you set up hosting. In this case the domain name servers will automatically match up with the hosting servers.

If you want to have separate domain name providers and hosting providers, when you buy a domain name you will have to go into the domain name settings and “point” the domain name to the appropriate “custom” nameservers. This is not difficult. Your hosting provider will let you know their nameservers.

Build a Website

We mentioned earlier that you can almost do all three steps in one. This is because if you use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress  to build your website, you can install this direct from your hosting provider.

WordPress in not the only CMS. Other popular choices or Joomla or Drupal, but WordPress is relatively easy to use and well known. You can install these and manage them via your “cpanel”

Installing one of these CMS applications is done via your hosting “cpanel”. Installing WordPress is straightforward, and your hosting provider will help you.

If you wanted, you could buy your domain name and hosting from a single provider, and then install WordPress also using your hosting provider. This way you are only using one provider and you will get used to how they work and their helpdesk system.

Once you have WordPress installed, WordPress itself will guide you though setting up login details. You will be able to login through /wp-admin with a password and username, and start adding posts, pages and images or other media.

WordPress has themes and plugins which will let you build websites, ecommerce sites, opt-in pages or membership sites.

Go for it!