blogging

How to Grow Your Blog Into a Business

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Most of the time, businesses start blogging as a way to build an audience. However, the reverse seems to be happening. More and more people with blogs are starting to monetize their traffic. It makes sense because one of the hardest things to do as a business owner is grow your traffic. If you grow your blog first, you already have a solid following to support your business idea.

Starting a blog is easy, but if you want to make money later, you need to think about your strategy and set yourself up for success. It’s important to know what you need to grow your blog and grow your traffic.

What is a Blog?

A blog is a weblog of content updated regularly. It’s an online publication written in a personal tone, meant to share opinions, teach others, develop a personal brand, or sell products or services. Blogging is fulfilling, but it also requires commitment.

It’s important to be consistent, no matter how often you publish. Your audience grows to expect your posts, so keep at it, and don’t disappoint them.

How to Start a Blog

Finding the time to flush out your ideas and do it consistently is the hardest part of blogging. Once you find the time, starting a blog is straightforward. Consider your opportunities to monetize your blog, determine your audience, and plan a publishing strategy.

You need to think like an entrepreneur to make this venture profitable in the future, so map out the groundwork for your distribution and monetization now.

Ways to Make Money

Most people think of running ads on their blogs as a way to make money, but there are other ways. Building a loyal audience is more important than building a big one, and you won’t earn the trust of your followers by spamming them with ads all the time.

Instead, think of ways you can sell physical or digital products that align with your audience. Sell your services as a writer or designer. Publish a book. Create subscription-based packages with platforms like Patreon. Do paid reviews or become an affiliate for other brands.

You have to enjoy blogging for it to succeed. Dedicate yourself to serving your audience as best you can.

Pick a Niche

With all of the information on the internet, it’s hard to stand out. Try to choose a topic that’s hard to find elsewhere. It’s also critical to choose a niche audience. There are so many internet users that it’s impossible to appeal to all of them.

You can focus on a specific location, present your content in a different style, or focus on a smaller segment of a bigger market. For instance, writing about steakhouses in Kansas City that serve steaks larger than forty-two ounces allows you to focus more deeply on your topic that choosing to write about steakhouses in general.

Choosing a Platform

When it comes to hosting your blog, you have two choices. You can host it yourself or host it on a paid platform. If you host it yourself, you have more customization options. You still have to pay a fee, but it’s less than a paid platform, and you have more flexibility in design.

Using a service to host your blog is the best option for those who don’t know a lot about design or HTML. Some options include Blogger and WordPress. Think about how you want to monetize your blog because not every platform gives you what you need.

You can also use free platforms like Medium or Tumblr. They have built-in audiences, making it easier for you to get started, but they provide less customization, and your blog design ends up looking like everyone else’s on the platform.

Picking a Name

This is a great time to think about what you want to name your blog. Unless you plan to build a personal brand or portfolio, don’t use your name. Think of something catchy, fun, and descriptive of your brand. This name should reflect your blog’s identity, add personality, and be easy to remember and type.

Groundwork for Growth

Thinking about how to grow your blog and having a solid plan in place helps you to build momentum quickly once you get started. If you don’t have a plan, you may end up struggling with distribution because you don’t have a strategy. Publishing is nerve-wracking, but having a plan can alleviate some of that.

Planning for growth involves collecting emails as soon as possible. Use a service like MailChimp to store your subscriber list and make distribution easy. It’s free for up to two thousand subscribers. You can also use MailChimp for signup forms, which is a critical piece of capturing this information.

Embed your signup forms directly into your content with a call to action to subscribe, so the experience is seamless for your audience and easy to manage for you.

Blogging can be stressful, but it’s also a blast. Use these tips to think about how you can grow your blog to make money later. The great thing about starting a blog is that you don’t have to quit your day job until you start making money. If done right, once you start making money, you’ll grow quickly. Don’t forget to check out our done-for-you system for more ideas.

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Knowing the How’s and Why’s of Your Blog Posting Options

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These days it seems like everyone has a blog.  whether it’s an outlet to type out our inner musings of the world today or to let people into a part of our lives we would have difficulty discussing out loud, there a never-ending number of reasons to start one.

If you own a small business, there are even more reasons to have one.  While there are a few that would argue as to whether blogs are still applicable with the surge of social media marketing platforms that have taken the world by storm, it’s believed by most that blogging can be an integral piece of your marketing plan.

In case you are still waiting to take the plunge into the web log world, some reasons to consider moving forward with your own blog are:

  • They are a great way to develop better relationships with your current customers
  • They will increase your SEO on sites like Google and Yelp.
  • They can position your brand as a perceived industry leader, even if you are just starting out.

Types of blog posts: Articles on your own blog, mini articles on a microblog, and articles on other peoples’ blogs.

What is a Microblog?

Microblogging is a combination of blogging and instant messaging. It allows users to create short messages to share with an audience online.  Two common microblogging platforms are Twitter and Tumblr.

Benefits of Microblogging to consider:

  • Your content will take less time to create.
  • It’s easier to post more frequently.
  • It’s perfect for disseminating urgent information to a large audience.
  • Ease of access through mobile apps.

How and Why You Should Consider Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging is basically creating an article for a blog that is not your own.  It’s a way to share your knowledge with others while simultaneously increasing traffic to your blog.  This also means you will need to plan on featuring posts from other bloggers in the future. Featuring guest posts will give your audience a new perspective on your industry as well as help freshen your content if you’ve gotten stuck in a rut.

To get started, first decide what benefits you are looking to get from the process of guest blogging. This will assist you in finding businesses you may be interested in creating content for and give you an idea of which guest bloggers would be good to invite to post on your site later.

Research is essential to guest blogging, begin by asking yourself some questions:

  • Do the businesses you are looking at have a large number of active followers?
  • Do these followers regularly participate by posting comments or sharing?
  • Do these businesses also have a Facebook page and Twitter account where they share their blog posts?

Focus on finding bloggers within your niche and market industry. You should agree with what they have to say, their opinions should match your own. If they don’t this could lead to content issues later if their content doesn’t line up with your business, personality, or tone.

Be sure to promote your guest blog posts on your own social media accounts and on your own blog. This will bring more traffic back to your guest’s blog and their business.  It should become a habit to share your content, plus it’s a good way to say thank you to your host for publishing your guest post.

Overall, blogging in each form is a good way to widen your reach and bring more traffic to your own web presence.

Monitoring the social media marketing landscape is vital to your success. If you’d like to have access to even more powerful marketing tips, as well as a way to generate conversion-ready Internet marketing prospects each month, click here to learn about our done-for-you system.

 

Posting Your Blog Content on Facebook

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Having a corporate blog is an important digital marketing strategy. It helps with SEO, gives your customers and clients important information, helps educate new customers and clients, and is a great platform to talk about what you do and how you do it.

Undoubtedly you spend a fair amount of time curating the content for your blog. You come up with ideas, write the content, optimize it for your website, and more. After it’s written, you want to make sure that people actually read it.

One of the best ways to get your blog content out there is to post it on your social media channels. Facebook is an especially powerful tool for posting your blog content and having people read and share it.

There are a few tactics that you can use to your advantage when you post your blog content on Facebook. Here are the ones that work the best:

Share your blog on Facebook

First thing is first, you should share your blog on your corporate Facebook account fairly soon after publishing it on your website. This ensures that the content is timely and lets people know that you published a new blog.

As an added bonus, sharing your blog on Facebook is totally free and it has the potential to spread far and wide. Encourage people to share it. Share it with your friends and business associates. The more eyes that see your blog post on Facebook, the better.

Boost the blog post on Facebook

Using Facebook’s boosting options is a great way to get your blog content to the right people. When you boost a post, you choose who it goes to and can see how many people it can reach with a certain budget.

You can choose to pay per click, per 1000 impressions, or per engagement. This allows you to customize your boosted blog post to garner the action you want from your readers. Boosted posts can not only help ensure that your current customers and clients see your new blog content, they can also help new people see your blog and learn about what you do.

Use great headlines

When you post a blog on Facebook, the headline is one of the first things people see. In fact, almost 80% of people never even make it past the headline. Because of this, you want a powerful headline that encourages people to click into and read the whole blog post.

Keep the headlines short and to the point. Tell readers exactly what they should expect to get out of the blog. If there are any important or eye-catching numbers or facts, those can be great to incorporate into the headline.

Imaging matters

When you publish a blog post on Facebook, it is important to add an eye-catching image to make the link stand out in the newsfeed. Stock images are okay, but images that you take or create are better.

Whatever you choose to use, make sure all the images are high-contrast and colorful. That helps them pop in the hectic and crowded space of someone’s Facebook newsfeed.

Write top-notch copy

While there are some tricks and tactics that can help your blog get attention on Facebook, nothing can beat solid copy. You can have the best headline and imaging and people still may not click on your blog post due to weak or uninspiring Facebook ad or post copy.

Those 140 or so characters that you write to describe the blog post in the Facebook post or Facebook ad are vitally important to getting people to read your blog. Make the copy stand out.

Use testimonials, ask questions, give a solution to common problems, use a clear call to action, appeal to people’s emotions. You need to capture people’s attention with your copy to get them to read your blog.

Facebook can be a powerful tool in promoting your blog content if you want to learn more about how to make it work for you, check out our done-for-you system.

4 Tips to Dramatically Improve the Quality of Your Content

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One of the biggest obstacles that every entrepreneur faces is generating fresh content. You can only go so far with paid ads and a strong social media presence. You also need to drive traffic to your website.

The best way to gain traffic, build backlinks, and increase your search rankings is to regularly publish new content to your site.

But, if you don’t have good content, you won’t get the traffic that you want.

For this reason, a lot of entrepreneurs rely on outsourced content. They pay writers to create articles. The problem with this is that it’s hard to find writers that can emulate your style and tone. It’s hard to get them to create content that perfectly matches your brand.

You don’t need to be a professional writer to create high-quality content for your site. Writing content for blogs, ads, web pages, and sales copy is a skill that you can develop.

With these 4 tips, you can learn how to dramatically improve the quality of your writing and drive reader engagement.

#1 Make a List of the Topics That You’ll Cover

Before you start writing your article, you should make a list of the main topics, tips, or ideas that you want to discuss. Use this list to create your subheaders.

This same rule applies whether you’re writing a blog post, website copy, a product review, or sales copy. For example, with sales copy, you’d make a list of the features that you want to discuss. These would then become individual paragraphs with their own subheader.

The subheaders break up the content and make it easier to read. This also helps you stay on track and remain focused on the initial purpose of your content.

#2 Present the Main Problem at the Beginning of Your Content

Always start your content with the main problem that you’re about to address. For example, at the beginning of this article, I mentioned that the biggest obstacle is generating fresh content. These tips help you learn how to overcome this problem by creating your own content.

Address the problem early, possibly identify a few pain points of your readers, and then mention how this article will help solve the problem.

That is the overall structure of your opening paragraphs. You’re getting the reader’s attention by identifying a problem and then you’re telling them how you’ll solve it.

#3 Use Short Paragraphs to Improve Readability

There are several factors that determine readability. First, you need to think about the structure of your content. As mentioned, including subheaders can help break up the content. Adding images and graphics can also help with this.

But, there are a few other ways to improve readability and they all have to do with your writing. You need to use short words, sentences, and paragraphs. Though, the paragraphs are the biggest concern.

Typically, you will want an average paragraph length of 2 to 3 sentences. Preferably, the sentence length should be less than 12 words. You can also replace long words with shorter synonyms.

Don’t make the mistake of over-explaining a topic. By using short paragraphs, you’ll find it easier to remain focused on the main points that you want to address.

#4 Don’t Edit Your Content Until You’re Done Writing

Hold off on editing your content until you’ve finished your initial draft. If you start editing as you write, you’ll find that it takes much longer to finish writing.

After you’ve finished writing, remember to proofread. Use the spell checker in your word processor and then read the entire content line by line. This will help you catch any grammatical errors that weren’t found by the spell checker.

You now have a few tips that can help you generate better content. It’s not difficult, but it will require practice. Along with these suggestions, you can get even more powerful internet marketing tips, and a solution for gaining conversion-ready prospects each month, by clicking here to learn about our done-for-you system.

Increase Your Online Exposure Without Increasing Your Budget

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When you’re first starting out, every dollar that you spend on online marketing matters. You likely have multiple goals. You want to gain website traffic, increase your social media followers, and build your online reputation.

All these goals can be achieved with good marketing strategies. But, you might be able to speed up the process by increasing your online exposure. With brand recognition, it becomes easier to gain traction and get your foot through the door of your target market.

I’ll give you a few simple tips that you can use to increase your online exposure without having to increase your marketing budget.

Use Consistent Branding

If you want people to recognize your brand, you need to be consistent with your branding. This means using the same logo on your website and social media profiles. Anywhere that your logo or business branding appears, you should use the exact same image.

You want to ensure that people realize that your website and your social media profiles are one and the same. They aren’t two separate individuals or businesses.

So, your YouTube profile, Facebook profile, Twitter, and other platforms should all use the same profile image and it should include the same branding that appears on your website.

Gain More Social Media Followers

Once your branding is in place, you should focus on gaining more social media followers. It doesn’t cost a dime to share content on social media. Monday through Friday, you should post at least twice per day on each of your social media accounts.

This means that you’ll be posting at least 10 times per week. But, you don’t need to worry about creating 10 original posts. 8 of these posts will come from other sources, such as industry-leading blogs and news sites.

Also, become active on social media. Interact with your followers. Share personal stories. Engage your audience and join communities. This all helps you gain followers without having to pay for marketing.

Start Creating High-Quality Blog Posts

Sharing content on social media should help you gain followers. It’s difficult at first, but once you pass 100 followers, it’ll become easier. Then, start creating high-quality blog posts.

You’ll already have a schedule in place for sharing 8 pieces of curated content on social media. For the remaining 2 posts, share links to your original content. The followers that you’ve gained will share these posts, increasing your online exposure without requiring any additional spending.

Write Guest Blog Posts for Other Sites

After you get the hang of writing quality blog posts for your own website, start submitting guest blog posts to other sites. Look for websites that get a lot of traffic. Getting a guest blog posted on one of these sites will increase your online presence and help you establish yourself as a voice of authority.

Share Your Opinion with Everyone

The final step for increasing your online exposure without increasing your budget is to share your opinion with everyone. What I mean by this is that you need to comment on blog posts, comment on social media posts, answer questions on Q&A websites, and become active on relevant forums.

Blog and forum commenting can help you earn backlinks, increasing your search engine rankings. Commenting on social media or answering questions on Q&A websites can help you get noticed. These steps build backlinks, increase recognition, and could help you gain more followers.

You can increase your online exposure without spending additional money. It all starts with consistent branding. Then, focus on social media. Once you gain followers, start generating quality content and sharing it.

Use these tips to start increasing your online exposure. If you’d like to have access to even more powerful marketing tips, as well as a way to generate conversion-ready Internet marketing prospects each month, click here to learn about our done-for-you system.

 

6 Free Marketing Strategies Every Entrepreneur Should Use

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You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot to make a lot. If you’re just getting started with internet marketing, then you may want to dip your toes in the water. There are several marketing strategies that you can use without spending any of your hard-earned cash.

Use these 6 free marketing strategies to start promoting your websites and earning your first supplemental income.

Social Media Marketing

The first free marketing strategy that you should adopt is social media marketing. It doesn’t cost a cent to set up a Facebook business profile or a Twitter account.

With social media marketing, it’s important to post regularly, so that your followers don’t forget about you. You need to stay relevant. This also helps you attract more followers.

You should create a schedule for sending out posts. For example, you could post on Facebook and send out a Tweet at the same time every Monday through Friday. If you have the time available, you should try and post two or three times throughout the day.

Content Marketing and Blogging

Creating informative content is one of the oldest marketing strategies. In the old days, businesses would create informative pamphlets that could be handed out to the public. These days, entrepreneurs have blogs, eBooks, and video tutorials.

Create content that is relevant to the products or services that you want to sell. Write tutorials and guides that will help your customers. Then, you can either edit your guide into a blog post, an eBook, or film a video tutorial. You could even combine all three options.

Email Marketing

If you want to create a serious email marketing campaign, you’ll eventually need to spend money. But, you can get started for free. There are quality email marketing platforms that allow a limited number of free emails each month.

So, you can create micro email marketing campaigns and learn the basics without spending any money.

Video Marketing

This next strategy is similar to content marketing, but with a wider scope. You don’t need to just provide informative content. You can use video marketing for a variety of uses. For example, you could create product demonstrations, customer testimonials, FAQs, or film a short introductory video.

You can then upload your videos to YouTube and share them on your website or as a part of your social media marketing campaign.

Run a Special Promotion

Another free marketing strategy is to offer a special promotion for a limited amount of time. This helps you create a sense of urgency with your marketing material. Consumers are more likely to make a purchase when they feel they’re getting a special value.

You don’t need to spend anything to run a promotion. You simply charge less for your products or services during a specific period of time.

Join Online Groups and Communities

Joining online groups and communities offers an indirect way to market your website for free. This is a simple way for entrepreneurs to reach out and network. Not only may you help spread awareness about your site, you may receive beneficial contacts in the process.

Look for groups and communities that are relevant to your products or services. Search Facebook groups as well. Become active in these communities and use your business profile to leave comments and take part in discussions.

Combine these marketing strategies to get started with internet marketing. You don’t need to immediately make a large investment. You can start small and learn more about marketing before you dive in. Along with these tips, you’d benefit from conversion-ready internet marketing leads. Discover a complete conversion-ready method. Click here to learn about our done-for-you system.

Exploring The Most Cost Effective Online Marketing Channels

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What are the best online marketing channels? There isn’t a straightforward answer to this question. Every business is different. But, there are certain channels that tend to be more cost-effective and provide higher conversion rates.

If you are looking for a way to stretch your online marketing budget, then explore the most cost effective online marketing channels.

Here’s a quick overview of the online marketing channels that’ll be covered:

  • Email marketing
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Social media advertising
  • Blogging

Email Marketing

For some reason, many entrepreneurs believe that email marketing is outdated or ineffective. This is simply not true. Email marketing remains the most cost-effective way to increase conversion rates and boost sales.

Compared to all other online marketing channels, email marketing offers the lowest cost per lead. While social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have millions of users, everyone has an email address.

As long as you’re smart about your email marketing strategy, you will get positive results.

Make sure that your emails encourage your subscribers to take action. This could include visiting your website or purchasing a product or service. You should also create a sense of urgency in your emails.

Also, don’t ever purchase an email list. You should always build your own list using opt-in forms and other methods.

PPC Advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is another marketing channel that is thought of as being past its prime. Again, this isn’t true. PPC is affordable and effective. You just need to optimize your PPC campaign.

Before you put together your PPC campaign, you need to perform thorough keyword research. The key to an effective PPC campaign is choosing the right keywords. Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to research keywords and find phrases with low competition and medium search volume.

Along with keyword research, you need to have a title and description that grabs attention. You have limited space available. Your title and description used in your PPC advertisement shouldn’t be vague. It should be clear and direct.

By having a clear message in your PPC ad, you’ll naturally notice higher conversion rates. Focus on a specific demographic and speak directly to the customer.

Social Media Advertising

While email marketing and PPC advertising have been around since the beginning of online marketing, social media marketing is relatively new by comparison. There are two methods of using social media as a part of your online marketing strategy – regular activity and advertising.

First, you should be active on social media. Create a schedule for sending out new posts or tweets. This helps you build your subscriber or follower base.

Along with regular activity, you should include social media advertising in your marketing strategy. This could include Facebook Ads, promoted Tweets on Twitter, and advertisements on LinkedIn.

As with PPC advertising, you’ll need to optimize these advertisements to increase conversion rates. Again, use Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool to find the most effective keywords. Focus on a niche category.

Blogging

Here’s one more online marketing channel to include in your overall strategy – blogging. Blogging is extremely cost effective. You likely already have a website. You just need to start adding regular blog posts.

Blog posts can be shared on social media, linked to from advertisements, and are incredibly beneficial from an SEO standpoint. Blog about topics relevant to your products or services.

You should also create a schedule for your blog posts. With a regular schedule, visitors will know when to come back for more posts. This increases repeat traffic and allows you to develop a loyal group of followers while also establishing yourself as a voice of authority in your niche market.

As you start developing and refining your online marketing strategy, consider using the marketing channels described above.