Tag Archives: content

Top 5 Blogging Goals

You main objective for setting up a blog is most likely to attract the specific type of readers that you want to have. Beyond this primary objective, there are other goals that the best bloggers all strive to achieve.

These 5 blogging goals all require you to keep the big picture in mind. Your team needs to understand the value that each goal contributes to the overall success of your blog. Like websites, blogs also take time to rank high—and stay on top. These 5 goals will make optimization easier and at the same time, help you build a better and a mutually beneficial relationship with your readers.

1.    Have a stash of good content ready for posting

Having a stock of pre-written content is a very good way to avoid cramming. However, even with a good stash of pre-written content, you still have to make sure that they’re relevant and updated before you post them online.

Editing for currency and timeliness becomes easy if your writing team is clear with the focus and the communication objective of your blog. Make it a habit to check for grammar and spelling errors before publishing.

2.    Turn your readers into a community

Your reader base starts off as a bunch of regular visitors. As your writing evolves to become more targeted and more directly conversational, people will naturally find themselves making your blog a part of their daily routine.

Effective writing elicits a reaction—whether a call to action, a positive comment, or a negative comment. When you’re consistently successful at getting reactions, your readers will build themselves an online community within your blog. People are naturally social creatures whether online or not. To achieve this goal, your job is to make your writing relevant enough for people to ponder on, make them wonder out loud and ask each other questions.

3.    Earn the respect of other top bloggers

Earning the respect (and links) of fellow bloggers requires very good credibility. You have to know what you’re talking about. You content cannot be a paraphrased version of someone else’s.

Visit top ranking blogs in your category and those related to your focus. You’ll learn a lot from these. While you’re at it, leave useful and relevant comments and spark interesting, on-topic conversations with other readers.

4.    Listen and interact with readers
Never neglect your readers. Acknowledge when they post a comment, and take negative posts as constructive criticism. Have the initiative to take out spam comments so as not to annoy your readers.

Take their suggestions to heart. You don’t have to apply all of them, but do promise that you’ll take their suggestions into consideration. Thank the right people when you actually decide to apply a suggestion.

5.    Turn mistakes into lessons for improvement
Acknowledge when you’ve made a public mistake. Fix it at once if you can. If you need more time, post something that tells people when you expect to get it done. Learn from each mistake, and tell your team about it. Find out how it happened, and discuss the different ways to avoid the same problem.

 

The Marketing Benefits of Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking websites are rapidly making their way to the online marketer’s list of priority channels to tap. When used well, social bookmarking can increase your website’s traffic, which can translate to actual sales.

Social bookmarking websites strive to create online communities that enable registered users to share interesting information they find online. Similar to how you bookmark web pages using your browser’s toolbar, social bookmarking websites allow users to create online bookmarks that they can share with their network. When your web page gets bookmarked by a lot of users—or even by just a handful of socially influential users—then there is a big possibility that you will get attention.

Besides being able to get your web pages out there, here are 4 other major benefits you can get as you make social bookmarking a part of your online marketing strategy.

1.    Builds credibility for your brand
Primarily, social bookmarking websites are social communities. This means that majority of their content is user-generated. When a registered user bookmarks a web page, he gets to share the link and his opinions on what makes it cool or informative. He can even go as far as adding his own thoughts and rating the link.

This bookmark-review-rate function adds credibility to your web pages. To get on the users’ good side, make sure that your content is focused and relevant—don’t just keep talking about your brand. Keep your niche’s needs in mind as you create your content and then naturally integrate your brand.

2.    Attracts niche traffic
More often than not, a user’s social bookmarking network is composed of friends or colleagues who share the same interests with him. This means that if the user stumbles upon your web page, likes it, bookmarks it, and tells his network about it, then the people that make up his network would probably check you out.

If you have a good internal link network, these people will find themselves on other pages of your website and bookmark the pages that they like. Good content will get more of your web pages acknowledged in social bookmarks.

3.    Gives you valuable consumer insights

Making your own account gives you more control over how much of your web pages get bookmarked. You can build your own network. Even if your network starts off with your own family and friends, they’ll make you good reviews and tell their networks about you.

Eventually, your network will grow to include other people whose interests adhere to your brand. Go out of your way to socially engage these people. Talk to them and befriend them. Having a personal connection with people in your network will give you a wealth of valuable consumer insight that you can use for future product developments and improvements to your brand.

4.    Gives you fresh ideas for web page content

Reviews and comments posted by various users whether about your web pages or other web pages that belong to your product category will tell you a lot about what issues matter to them, which of their needs aren’t being addressed—including whether or not your competitors are doing a good job or not.

Use this information to come up with relevant content that has the consumer in mind. Make sure that your tone is conversational so that your pages don’t sound like sales pitches.
 

PPC vs. PPC: The Difference Between Click and Call

PPClick
The better known between the two PPCs, pay per click is an online advertising tool geared towards increasing website visitors. Advertisers are charged an agreed rate for every user click.

Pay per click ads appear next to search results. The ads are matched to results based on your chosen keywords. The ad contains your company or brand name, a short description, and a link that directs interested users to your website.

The good pay per click service providers usually offer advertisers a periodic report that informs you of click through rates (CTR) and keyword trending analyses. All these are based on online activity in relation to your ad. You just have to decide whether or not you’ll take the service’s word for it. Otherwise, you can do your own tracking and analyses.

Note that pay per click ads do not make the sale for you. These ads, if well written and well placed, attract the correct type of people to visit your website. It is all up to your website content and product offerings to make a successful sale.

PPCall

Pay per call shares the same business model with pay per click advertising. The only difference is that instead of paying for clicks, you pay for calls received.

Pay per call is also a web-based advertising technique. While pay per click ads are clickable and designed to direct interested people to your website, pay per call contains a toll-free number that allows interested people to call your company and speak with a company’s representative.

The edge of pay per call over pay per click is that advertisers like you are given more targeting options besides choosing to appear next to niche keyword search results. You can also limit ad appearance to certain category searches and narrow it further to specific geographic areas where you’d like your pay per call ad to appear.

Generally, pay per call ads appear with your company name, your address, a short description (that must be well written), and the toll-free number that redirects to an assigned telephone in your office.

The effectiveness of pay per call advertising may be easily gauged based on the number of received calls. Of course, the pay per call ads have the same goal as pay per click ads: to get the right people to become interested in you.

In this case however, closing a sale depends on an actual person answering the phone call, and not a website. A good marketer will find no problems engaging the caller and eventually, he or she can direct the caller to an actual store or a website. In any case, the interested caller already has initial contact with your brand through another human being. Brand affinity can be achieved at a better rate through human interaction.

Your marketing goals
Making the choice between pay per click and pay per call depends on your marketing goals and other campaigns that make up your overall marketing strategy.

The best way to determine the most suitable online marketing tool is to know your target market well and assess your company’s strengths. If you know for a fact that your website is a strong selling tool, then by all means, go for pay per click ads. On the other hand, if you find your frontline employees as your biggest asset, then pay per call could do you a lot of good.
 

How to Get Traffic from Social Bookmarking Sites

Social bookmarking sites allow people to share web pages with their network. Generally, each user registers, creates his profile, and builds a list of links to web pages that he thinks is entertaining, informative, or interesting in some way. The social aspect comes with the function that allows each user to invite his network to view his list of links.

In turn, the user can also take a look at what others in his network have bookmarked and he can follow the links which interest him. Usually, a user’s social network is made up of his friends or people he shares a professional or an interest group with.

Social bookmarking sites have tremendous marketing value. When one user includes a link to any of your pages in his list, then there is a possibility that his entire network will follow your link. A good way to make your links appear on users’ lists is to participate in social bookmarking yourself. Here are 4 tips to help you out and make sure that your brand gets the most out of it.

1.    Update and keep your content unique

The concept of social bookmarking is sharing something nice you’ve found online. In your case, you could have “found” your own site’s content to be interesting or useful.

It’s perfectly fine and ethical to include your web pages in your bookmarks. However, the best social bookmarking sites are strict with accepting only unique content. So, if your pages are similar to a lot of other websites in the same category, then the social bookmarking site might not allow your pages to be part of your bookmarks. This is why it’s important to focus on the needs of your niche and to maintain niche content.

2.    Make your content relevant to your niche
No matter how entertaining or how well written your content is, no one will follow you back to your pages if they don’t find your text relevant to their needs and interests.

Every brand should know its niche inside-out. Yours, although marketed online, is not exempted. Study your market and know what motivates them. Get to know their issues and needs that your brand can address. Figure out where else on the Internet they hang out. This knowledge will give credibility to your content and ultimately, your brand. More than just knowing what you’re talking about, you want to sound like you’re conversing with each visitor personally. Build relationships.

3.    Be social

It is, after all, social bookmarking. Being friendly can build you a great network filled with people who belong to your niche. Allow them to comment on the links that you post and reply to their comments when necessary. Make sure you don’t start a fight. Take this opportunity to really get to know people and use the information you gather to improve your online strategy.

4.    Make sure you’re not self-centered

You hate it when other people keep talking about themselves, and other people will dislike you for it as well. Besides your own web pages, include other relevant pages in your bookmarks. This shows that you’re genuinely interested to share interesting stuff and it also assures the social bookmarking site that you’re not a spammer or a self-promoter. Put your niche’s needs before your own, and you’ll be rewarded.

 

How a Blog Can Help Your Business

Businesses are beginning to realize that a website isn’t enough to make a powerful online presence. Marketers have started to include blogging as a vital part of their online marketing mix.

There are still some businesses out there that aren’t clear on how blogs can help them. They simply came up with a blog, not knowing how to make it work to their favor. Blogs are highly versatile tools that are capable of executing the different aspects of marketing—from the basic market researches down to creative guerrilla marketing, blogs offer businesses a lot of breakthrough opportunities.

Below are 5 of the most practical ways in which a blog can help your online business.

1.    Blogs make it easier to create relationships with your market

Publishing a blog makes it easier to give your brand a personality. Your blog allows people to directly interact with your brand, and they expect some sort of reply or acknowledgement that someone in your company has received and read their messages.

Maintaining this feedback loop allows you to keep an eye on your market and gives you a better conversion rate of prospects to loyal clients.

2.    Blogs attract fresh insights and inform you of new category trends
As you keep communication lines open for your blog readers, you will inevitably collect fresh insights and interesting suggestions. The beauty of this is that you don’t need to pay anyone to talk to the consumers for you, but you still get the information straight from the primary source.

It’s now up to you how you organize the information that you’ve gathered; make them work towards your advantage. You can take it a step further and cross check your data. Visit blogs of your competition and see what their blogs’ visitors have to say in the comments section. Doing so would definitely give you a better view of your marketplace.

3.    Blogs allow you to test your market before a full launch

Before fully launching an ad or any creative promo and campaign, you can execute a mini version of your plan through your blog and see how your audience responds. Suggestions and comments will pour in, giving you ideas on how you can improve and tweak it to better suit your market.

Companies spend a lot of money conducting FGDs and researches. These end up costing as much as—sometimes more than—a full-blown campaign. While blogs cannot replicate the accuracy of professional research groups, they can work well for a lot of market-driven studies.

4.    Blogs help you spread yourself online
The blog sphere thrives on an amazing link network. Bloggers are usually fine with linking fellow bloggers that they find interesting. It pays to befriend top-ranking blogs in your category and those that belong in other related categories.

Make sure you deliver regularly updated and relevant content to keep your credibility rating high.

5.    Blogs allow you more room for creativity
Your blog can be the fun alter-ego of your corporate website. While this doesn’t mean a complete dissent from your brand’s identity, blogs allow you to close the gap between how you define your brand and how your market perceives your brand.
 

5 Steps to Conquer Google AdWords

1. Conduct qualitative market research
Every marketing campaign, regardless of scale, should always be based on the target market. As a marketer, you come up with strategies to bridge the gap between your consumers and your brand. Communication should always be two-way.

Market research tells you what your niche considers important, relevant, and valuable. Find out what they think is worthy of their time and money.

Remember that your AdWords and your web content work hand in hand. AdWords arouse curiosity while web content creates relationships by showing your niche the value of your brand.

Before spending money and effort on AdWords and optimizing your website, make sure that you understand your market enough to come up with a niche keyword list. This will serve as your guide towards successful optimization.

2. Generate website content
After coming up with your niche keyword list, refer again to your market research analysis. Keep your eyes open for consumer issues, questions, and misconceptions—not just about your brand in particular, but about your category as a whole.

Use the information you get to generate content that will be relevant to your consumers. Give them a reason to read what you have to say and to come back. Make sure that they know you understand them and that you sincerely want to be of service—to keep them informed and help them any way you can.

Employ a conversational tone so that your web content doesn’t sound like an annoying sales pitch. Keep in mind that everything you write should add value to your brand. Feed the relationship that you already have with your niche.

3. Roll out AdWords ads
When you’re confident about your niche keyword list and your relevant website content, then it’s time to consider AdWords ads.

AdWords work with a bipolar business model—either you save a lot, or you waste an insane amount of money. How well you get your ROI (and profit) largely depends on which keywords you optimize for and who gets to see your ads.

This is another valuable application of your research. Carefully consider how your niche writes down their responses. Keep an eye out for commonly misspelled terms and consider optimizing for these words—misspelled.

Think about how you’re going to write your AdWords copy. You have very limited space and attention. Your AdWords copy should include at least a keyword integrated into your brand’s unique selling proposition. The idea is to make sense while being able to set yourself apart from your competition.

4. Determine landing pages
When people click on your AdWords, they expect to be led to a page with the information they’re looking for. This is your window of opportunity, so don’t blow it. Landing pages are just as important as your AdWords.

Make sure that you don’t have a generic landing page for all your AdWords. Unique AdWords ads should have different landing pages, depending on your AdWords copy.

5. Update
Constant market shifts affect the way people search for information online. Make sure that you’re able to keep up—regularly conduct market researches. Update your niche keyword list and re-optimize your web content and your AdWords ads accordingly.

Quick Guide to Getting Backlinks from Do Follow Blogs

By now you will have realised that getting a good amount of backlinks from other web sites is key to increasing your own web sites rankings.

One great way is getting backlinks from blogs that “dofollow”, specifically .edu and .gov blogs.

The basics are simple and this is what you will do:

– Find blog posts with high PR
– Make sure they are dofollow
– Write a comment

So how to find those blogs with a decent page rank? Well, you will need four free tools.

– Firefox (http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/firefox/)
– SEOQuake (a free plugin for firefox. see http://ff.seoquake.com/)
– SearchStatus (a free plugin for firefox. see http://www.quirk.biz/download-searchstatus)
– Google

Now install firefox if you dont have it already, add the seoquake and SearchStatus plugins and you are ready to go. All you do now is browse to google.com.

Once at google you need to type the following into the search bar.

site:.edu inurl:blog “post a comment”

Once the results are displayed, just use seoquake to sort the results based on PR with the highest PR sites first and work your way down.

Click through to the blog and make sure its a dofollow blog by activating SearchStatus which will highlight any nofollow links. If you see any nofollow links highlighted on the page, then the blog not worth your time.

If the blog is actually a dofollow, then perfect, you should comment on them. Dont spam the post, keep it relevant and add value. Take a few seconds at least to read what the topic is put a decent response.

To speed things up, use the Auto Fill feature in firefox to fill in the name, email and web site address fields.

If Copy is King then Content is the Castle

This post has been contributed by Michel Fortin and all credit goes to him. I just thought that it was so good that I needed to put it on my site for my readers.

The original title is…

“Want a Sticky Site? Forget Content!”

An interesting debate is raging among copy writers, web designers and content developers about the differences, if any, between writing copy for the web versus writing content.

According to prolific copywriter Nick Usborne of Excess Voice, a recent survey conducted among the readers of his newsletter of the same name offers some interesting results. They seem to be split almost three ways: one-third consists of copywriters, another content writers and the final third both.

But it’s wrong.

This is an important debate, I believe, since all online copy is content but not all content is copy. And that’s a real problem.

Most web designers, webmasters and content writers develop text for websites in a way to educate visitors. They also write it with the notion that “content is king,” “content increases search engine rankings,” “content makes a website sticky” and so on. That’s all fine and good.

But I believe content fails when it strives only at informing the reader, and thus lacks important elements that take her “by the hand” and compels her to do something – anything, including the simple act of reading.

In other words, while some websites may compel our attention, others fail to propel our actions, too. And their owners often end up screaming, “Why is my website not producing any sales,” “why am I getting a lot of traffic but such a poor response” or “why are people leaving so quickly?” Well, if content is king, copy is the castle.

The Internet is not a traditional medium — at least not in the broadcast sense. It is intimate, dynamic and interactive. People are more involved when reading the content of a website than reading a conventional print publication, watching a show on TV or listening to a program on the radio.

And with the Internet, people have a powerful weapon that they don’t have with other types of media, and they usually don’t think twice about using it when the need confronts them: their mouse.

So, the idea is this: forget about writing content, at least in the traditional sense. Think copy. Think words and expressions that compel the reader to do something, even if it’s just to continue reading.

According to online dictionary Answers.com, “copy” is defined as “the words to be printed or spoken in an advertisement.” (And “advertisement” is defined as “a notice or announcement designed to attract public patronage.” It’s calling for some kind of action. It’s selling something, in other words.)

But the word “content,” on the other hand, is defined as “the subject matter of a written work, such as a book or magazine.” And keep in mind that there’s no mention of the Internet, here.

Nevertheless, this is why I submit that, with its multitude of links, scripts and hypertexts, the Internet transforms the passive reader into an active, responsive participant. (Or make that “response-able.”) And she must therefore be treated as such – as a participant, not a reader.

Look at it this way: a book is limited by its front and back covers. When the book is done, it’s done. The web, however, is not.

If your content does not strive at getting the reader to do something, whether it’s to buy, subscribe, join, download, call, email, fíll out a form, clíck or whatever, then you need to seriously rethink your content and the words you use.

Here’s my explanation of the difference between content and copy. Content informs. Copy invites. Even if content invites a reader to keep reading, it’s still selling an idea. It’s still calling for action. And it’s still copy.

If your web page is only meant to inform people like some kind of book, then it’s content. (And like closing a book once it’s read, the only action left is to exit the website or close the browser.) But if it contains links or more content, then it’s copy. And you need to write content with that mindset.

Ultimately, incorporate within your content a direct response formula that compels your readers to do something. Don’t leave them hanging. Take them by the hand. Integrate a call for some kind of action, in other words. Ask your reader to “buy now,” “join today,” “get this,” “download that, or …

… Better yet, simply “clíck here.”

About The Author
Michel Fortin is a direct response copywriter, marketing strategy consultant, and instrumental in some of the most lucrative online businesses and wildly successful marketing campaigns to ever hit the web. For more articles like this one, please visit his blog at michelfortin.com and subscribe to his RSS feed.

How to Write Your Own Relevant Content

Successful online advertising campaigns rely heavily on relevant content. No matter how many websites are linked to you, your market won’t bother remembering you if you don’t matter to them.

Although you can always edit your content, first impressions are difficult to change.

The chances of someone visiting your site again after being disappointed are very slim, even if you have invested in a new look and better content.

Relevance means being important to a particular group of people
Being relevant online is not as easy as it sounds. In the World Wide Web, relevance means being important to a particular group of people and being recognized by search engines.

Below are three ways how you can come up with relevant online content.

Know who you’re talking to
Knowing your audience can help you a lot in crafting your content. This sets the mood and tone of your entire website and succeeding content will rely on this for consistency.

More than flashy designs, your market will appreciate a site that speaks to them as individuals.

However, people are dynamic beings. How they are today could be very different from how they will be next month. It is important to be updated on their behaviour as a group, particularly on how they react to your company or product.

Comments welcome!
Giving your market a venue to voice out their thoughts can help you get to know them. It encourages discussion that can generate a valuable insight you can apply to marketing campaigns across all media.

Your next article could very well come from a topic discussed among visitors of your website. The comments your site generates could also give you an idea which problems or questions you need to address the most.

You could even develop an entire FAQ page just for these queries.

Creating a feedback loop between you and the market can also be helpful. This could give you real-time feedback about your content. This allows you to edit immediately, to show that you are listening to them.

Google ranks sites according to their importance and the keywords used. Keep your eyes open for potential keywords from the way they refer to you and your competitors.

Incorporate these keywords into your website. Monitor their success rates and change them accordingly.

Keywords: Know them, use them
While relevant content is the lifeblood of your website, keywords pump out your site for search engine circulation.

Keyword-rich content makes the most relevant content.

Not only will your market understand and appreciate you, search engine spiders can easily look for you as well.

Although generic keywords for your product category statistically make your site rank higher, niche keywords are the ones responsible for bringing in the paying crowd—your target market. Using keywords should come naturally, precisely because you are supposed to speak the same language as your market.

It makes perfect sense to use the terms they are using and to avoid incorporating the terms used for your competitors as much as possible.