Before you approach a blogger with an invitation to submit a guest blog, it’s important to do some research into whether or not theirs is a blog on which you want to be published. If you offer a guest blog and later find out they don’t have a big enough audience or have written offensive or problematic posts in the past, you could damage your reputation if you withdraw your invitation.
Your research doesn’t have to be comprehensive. With just a few simple steps you can usually determine if a blog is worth using to post a guest blog.
Is the Audience Highly-Targeted
When you post your guest blog, you want the host blogger’s readers to be open to your recommendations so they can follow your Call to Action (CTA), whether it is to purchase products you recommend, click through to your web page, or whatever it may be.
The readers will be more likely to do that if they are passionate about the blogger’s niche subject matter. If the blogger is regularly providing high-quality, well-researched content related to is niche, he will almost certainly attract a lot of subscribers. And if his posts are keyword optimized and use other SEO techniques, a lot of other readers devoted to his niche will find his blogs through online searches.
Do Your Due Diligence
When you are considering a blog, browse through the archived blogs. Frequently, they are categorized according to tags, or keywords that identify the topic of each individual posting. Look for blogs that are consistently on topic. Avoid those that tend to go in wild and divergent directions.
For example, if the blog is called “Gourmet Cooking” and you notice that very few of the posts have anything to do with food, it might be best to avoid that one.
But if you find a blog that has a lot of high-quality, informative content in every posting, is saturated with keywords and has a lot of subscribers and eager, enthusiastic visitors who leave a lot of comments, that might be a blogger to approach about submitting guest blog.
Measuring Blog Traffic
Finding blogs with the highest amount of traffic sometimes requires a little detective work. While some bloggers have a widget installed on their blogs that tells the reader exactly home many times that page has been viewed, most do not.
But you can measure a blog’s traffic by looking at secondary indicators, such as the number of comments that have been left by readers and how much “social approval” it has received.
On average, only a very small percentage of readers will actually take the time to leave comments on a blog that they have read. Depending on the blog, it can be anywhere for 1% to 5% at most. So if there are hundreds of comments left on a particular blog, it’s a pretty good bet that it has been read by a lot of people.
Look for Social Approval Signals
The more people who leave social approval signals – such as Facebook “Like”, +1s from Google+, and Tweets – the greater value a blog post has with search engines. So it is beneficial for bloggers to encourage readers to click on these signals.
Smart bloggers make it easy by installing widgets on their pages that readers can simply click on to give their blog a thumbs up. When you notice that a blog has a lot of these social approval signals, it’s an indicator that it has a lot of readers. Your guest blog also will have a better chance of being ranked higher on your niche’s SERP, especially if you saturate it with keywords.
The niche you select for the infoproducts you promote should be narrow enough so that you aren’t creating inefficiencies by trying to market to an overly large audience, but broad enough to include a large array of infoproducts and services that customers within your niche will want to buy.
For example, the niche market “infoproducts for people who live in Oklahoma” is too large because it includes more than a million potential customers who use a nearly infinite amount of infoproducts.
The niche market “Dallas Cowboys fans who live in Oklahoma and drive Chevys that are more than 10 years old and have a sister named Samantha” would be too narrow because there wouldn’t be enough prospective customers to make your marketing efforts worthwhile.
The key to any information marketing campaign is identifying the most profitable niches that are neither too broad nor too narrow. And the best way to do this is through research. Fortunately, the Internet provides research tools that are more than adequate for identifying the best possible niches for you.
Short Term vs Long Term Niches
Niches for information marketing can be broken down into two basic categories: Short-term niches and long-term niches. A short-term niche would have a lifespan that was relatively limited, such as Christmas 2012. If you choose to feature infoproducts in this niche, after the holiday has passed, there are going to be very few customers looking for those type of niche infoproducts.
Long-term niches are more desirable because they offer a much longer lifespan so you can continue to sell infoproducts within that niche to your customers almost without end.
An example of a long-term niche would be dog training. There are always going to be naughty dogs who need to learn basic obedience, so you can continue to sell infoproducts within this niche indefinitely.
Benefits of Evergreen Niches
An evergreen is a type of shrub or tree that stays green all year. Similarly, an evergreen niche for your information infoproduct is one that does not have seasonality so that your customers will buy the information infoproducts you offer anytime.
Some classic examples of evergreen niches would be health care, child care and cleaning infoproduct s. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is or what holiday is coming, people need to buy infoproduct s in this niche all the time.
People selling evergreen infoproducts or services earn a consistent amount every month, year in and year out. That’s because their infoproducts and services are needed all the time.
Evergreen niches include infoproducts that sell regardless of what’s popular. They are niches that are always going to be popular, no matter how well or how poorly the economy is doing or how big or small the marketplace is. That’s because they offer solutions to problems that can never truly be solved or are so universal that there will always be people looking for infoproducts to help them solve them.
Generally, competition in these niches is high because these are the markets where the money is. But if you identify high-quality infoproducts in any of these niches, you can confidently set up a long-term business because there will always going to be a market for infoproducts in these niches.
Biggest Evergreen Niches
People have been buying infoproducts in these niches since the invention of money and will continue to buy them in some form or another forever:
Making Money/Getting Out of Debt
Personal Development/Workout Goals
These niches also give you the ability to sell multiple products to customers, increasing your sales opportunities. Take a look around the Internet at any of these niches and you will find a nearly endless supply of infoproducts that you can offer.
Building a niche information marketing business involves five major stages:
Identify A Niche – The most important thing to remember here is to find an evergreen niche that is profitable. To know whether a niche is profitable or not, you need to do a thorough market research.
Keyword Research – This is a process of identifying profitable keywords in that niche. Keywords are words used by the users when they are searching for something online. Profitable keywords are keywords that have high searches and low suppliers.
Find Affiliate Programs – This is a process of finding reputable affiliate programs or products that match your chosen niche.
Build Website – This stage involves building website, writing quality contents and driving traffic to it through Search Engine Optimization, solo ads or some other means. The most difficult task here is “writing quality content”. You need to spend a lot of time and effort to write contents that have great value for your visitors, as well as SEO.
Promote Your Website – This is the process of using both paid and free methods of promoting and attracting web traffic to your website. Some examples are Solo Ads, pay-per-click advertising (paid), article marketing (free), and Web 2.0 (free).
Interpreting Niche Data
The data you receive from free sites such as Google is invaluable in telling you how popular a particular niche is and whether it is seasonal or evergreen. The most profitable niches have high amounts of keyword searches year round, and are consistent from year to year.
For example, on Clickbank you can use advanced search and filters to find exactly the infoproducts that fit your needs. This lets you get much more specific in your search and weed out infoproducts that aren’t a good fit.
Benefits of Advanced Search
Here are some ways you can use Advanced Search to improve your results:
Exclude keywords from the search that don’t make sense for your niche or audience
Search for keywords only within a particular category
Look for high $/sale infoproducts. This is especially important if you’re doing paid affiliate advertising
Find the newest vendors to promote by setting the Activation Date to a recent date
By narrowing down the options you can find great infoproducts to promote that will give you the best return on your information marketing efforts.
Your objective is to find the best possible infoproducts within you niche that your customers are going to love. So before you offer any infoproducts, you want to make sure the people who already bought them are happy with them. To do this, you need to research customer reviews.
Many websites that offer affiliate products – such as Amazon – have sophisticated customer review programs in place that make it easy to determine how popular a particular product is before you offer it to your own customers.
Such programs typically include satisfaction ratings and even written reviews in which customers explain exactly what it was about that infoproduct that they liked or disliked.
Tapping Vendor Potential
Another additional research method is to reach out to vendors directly. It’s a good idea for you to reach out to the vendor directly to try to get a review copy of the infoproduct, or to buy the infoproduct directly if the vendor doesn’t provide review copies.
Buying the infoproduct can also be useful since it lets you test out the vendor’s purchase process and customer support, and lets you feel comfortable recommending that infoproduct to your audience.
Sending visitors to a vendor who doesn’t reply to email or provide a good buying experience is the quickest way to lose face with your visitors and keep them from buying through your links in the future.
Reaching out to vendors is also a good idea because they may be willing to offer extra benefits or perks such as sales bonuses, customized affiliate links, custom landing pages, or any number of other benefits.
When your online marketing business has a mobile-optimized website, you can interact with the fastest-growing segment of consumers in the marketplace today: People using mobile devices.
If you owned a brick and mortar business, would you stand at your business’s front door and tell 1 out of 8 customers that they can’t come inside?
Or, if they do come in, they are going to have to wait longer than other customers, not be able to see everything you have to offer, and that they may not be able to pay for anything even if they want to buy it?
If yours is among the 81% of businesses that don’t have a mobile optimized website that could be exactly what you are doing.
The Expectations of Today’s Consumers
The lightning fast speed of today’s Internet is at least partially responsible for consumers today having microscopically short attention spans. In fact, 74% told the website Gomez they will abandon a website if it takes longer than 5 seconds to load on their mobile device.
And 38% of consumers told Google that if an online transaction on their mobile device takes longer than 30 seconds they will walk away from the deal altogether.
Mobility and the Customer Service Experience
Those who do walk away aren’t likely to return: 35% of consumers told Gomez the probably wouldn’t give a website more than one more chance if they have a bad experience trying to access it.
And 52% said a bad mobile experience makes them “much less likely” to engage with that business again, according to Google.
Letting Your Competitors Win
Who’s the winner if your customers can’t easily access your business using their mobile devices? Your competitors.
Among customers who were turned away from a website unfriendly to mobile devices, 61% said they would likely visit a competing site, according to marketing analyst Karim Temsamani.
Do you want more than 6 out of 10 of your customers going to your competitors simply because they offer something you don’t?
Getting Started with a Mobile Website
Going mobile is your best option if you want to position your business to be competitive in 21st Century online marketing. Mobile devices are only going to get faster, cheaper and more popular, so the percentage of your current and future customers using smart phones, tablets and other search for products and services is only going to keep growing.
By launching your mobile optimized website now, you can get the jump on your competitors, many of whom are slow to respond to the mobile sea change the online marketplace is currently experiencing.
Positioning Your Business for the Future
In a Web.com survey of 500 small business owners, only 26% of them said they invested any money at all in optimizing their website for mobile devices. And a survey of restaurant owners conducted by Restaurant Sciences revealed that 95% of independent restaurants do not even have mobile-friendly sites.
That’s good news for you if you create a mobile site for your Internet marketing business today because it means you can capture the loyalty of those disappointed consumers who are abandoning the mobile-unfriendly web pages of your competitors.
And your decision to take your website mobile won’t take long to pay off. According to Web.com, 84% of all businesses that invested in mobile websites showed an increase in traffic to their web pages almost immediately.
Monitoring the latest trends in online marketing is vital to your success.
Walk down any busy street, through any park or other public area, or ride on any bus or subway train and you will notice something very unusual: Nobody is talking to each other anymore, at least not directly. That’s because mobile devices have become so prolific that they have essentially taken over as the primary way people communicate today.
Just a decade or so ago, business started shifting online. If you didn’t have a website, you risked sharing the fate of such once-powerful businesses as Circuit City, Borders bookstores, Blockbuster video and other businesses that weren’t able to make the leap to the digital marketplace.
Everybody’s Gone Mobile!
Today, thanks to the falling prices of smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices along with near-universal Wifi, 3G and 4G, almost everybody on the planet has mobile web access.
People now use their mobile devices to chat with their family and friends, keep up with their businesses, be entertained, look for products and services, share content they find interesting, offer their ratings of products and opinions about the businesses they use, and everything else they formerly accomplished through normal conversation.
All of these mobile applications affect your business. If you are an online marketer, you already have a website for your business. But, if you don’t have a mobile optimized website, your business is going to have a hard time surviving.
Mobility’s Influence on Business
Still in doubt about the impact of mobile devices on business? Then consider this: According to a study conducted by Cisco, by the end of this year (2013), there will be more mobile devices on earth than there are people.
As of right now, 66% of all Americans have their own smart phone. That means two out of every free people can access the Internet to conduct searches whenever they want and wherever they are. And that number will only increase. In fact, Google reported that the number of people who used its search engine from a mobile device quadrupled in the past 12 months.
Why You Need a Mobile Optimized Website
If you are thinking that having a website is enough, you’re dead wrong.
But your online business’s web page is different than the mobile websites people with smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices are accessing. Websites built to be viewed on computer are denser, load more slowly and are not specifically designed to interact efficiently with your growing pool of mobile customers.
What Is a Mobile Optimized Website?
A mobile optimized website is a version of an existing web page that has been optimized to be viewed on a mobile device, which has substantially smaller screens than desktop computers or laptops.
Mobile websites also take into account the memory limitations of mobile devices, touch-screen navigation and facilitate the bandwidth of wireless networks. They also can more effectively exploit the features of mobile devices, such as the ability to take and share high-quality photos and videos, interact in real time with social media connections, and share texts, links and preferences instantly.
Connecting with Today’s Online Customers
The way customers search for the products, services and offers they want is changing. According to eMarketer, adult consumers now spend more media time on mobile devices than newspapers and magazines combined.
In fact, 73% percent of Americans say their mobile device is now their Number 1 most-used technology device, according to a Pew study. One in four households have ditched their landlines altogether, and mobile Internet usage is projected to overtake desktop Internet access by 2014, according to Microsoft Tag.
When choosing affiliate products to promote with your Internet marketing business, you want to pick products that cost more so that you make a higher commission per sale.
But you also want to have a whole range of products at different price points so you can keep people buying no matter how much or how little money they have.
For example, let’s say you pick self-help as your niche. You should have a bunch of products that cost less than $10 – such as eBooks or video courses – because a lot of people seeking to improve themselves don’t have a lot of money but still want to buy something that will make them better people.
The ‘Profit Ladder’
Then you should have more expensive products in the $10 to $100 range so that you can offer them to people with more money to spend and also push your customers up the profit ladder. That means getting people to buy increasingly expensive products.
Then you should have some products that are really expensive, such as those that cost $1,000 or more. This is to appeal to people who have a lot of money to spend but also to have a big money offer that people can aspire to. A lot of times these types of products are things like personal coaching, or seminars people can attend to become masters at whatever it is they want.
Big money products not only satisfy people’s desire to get the best there is, but also provide you with the biggest commissions so you can make the most money even if you only make a few sales.
Popularity of Niches
Before you start promoting affiliate products, you want to make sure the products or the niches you choose to work in are popular. You don’t want to waste your time working in niches that there aren’t a lot of customers. Instead, maximize your potential revenues by only working in the best niches that have scads of customers.
So how do you find out what niches are popular? Like anything else these days, you simply use the internet. There are plenty of places you can go to measure the popularity of a particular niche. The first place I always recommend is Google Hot Trends which lists the top 100 searches on Google during the previous 25 minutes.
Researching Niche Statistics Online
Google is the largest search engine and is used by more people than any other, so it is a reliable source to tell you what is hot at the present moment. Another site is Yahoo Buzz, which shows also shows the top searches but on Yahoo, which uses the Bing search engine. But Yahoo Buzz also gives a little more information than Google.
Two other similar sites are Trend Hunter and Trend Watching. These are more geared toward consumer goods, such as electronics, appliances and other hard goods rather than digital products, which are what you probably will be promoting.
Sources for Niche Data
ClickBank has a lot of information about the products it offers. A similar site that also has lot of data you can use to measure popularity is Commission Junction.
With the affiliate products you promote on ClickBank and Commission Junction, you make a commission every time somebody clicks through and buys that product.
‘Cost Per Action’
But another affiliate model is called “Cost Per Action”. This is slightly different because you can get paid every time somebody clicks through to a page whether they buy anything or not. Obviously, the CPA amount you are paid is usually less than that of a sales commission, but a lot of CPA click-throughs can quickly add up and make you some real money.
CPA networks for you go check out include Peerfly.com, ShareASale.com, GoOffers.net and CPALed.com.
If you have created an original information product or identified an affiliate product you want to promote, you have completed about half your task as an Internet marketer.
The remaining part of journey toward marketing success is promoting your product so that highly-targeted customers can find it. For that, you are going to need a sales page.
Sales Page Defined
A sales page essentially is an advertisement for your product. But unlike traditional print advertising like a newspaper or magazine ad or a television or radio commercial, your sales page has to not only explain what your product is all about, but also convince the prospective customers reading it that it is essential that they buy your product. As such, sales pages don’t so much suggest as they demand.
If you are just starting out in online marketing, you probably don’t have a big marketing budget. Creating an effective sales letter is the perfect option for a low-cost or no-cost Internet marketing campaign because you can use squeeze pages, Search Engine Optimization and other no-cost techniques to attract traffic to you sales page.
Sales Page Structure
Once visitors find your sales page, it should follow a predictable structure. Remember that your readers arrived at your sales page by following a link on your squeeze page or by clicking on a URL on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for your product’s niche.
If you present your readers with structure that is unfamiliar they very likely will click off your page immediately. If your sales page looks like a lot of other sales page, don’t worry: Your customers arrived there because they are looking specifically for the kinds of products you are promoting.
Now all you have to do is to use the copy on your sales page to convince them to do what they already want to do in the first place.
Writing World-Class Headlines
The headline on our sales page is your first opportunity to draw your readers into your text. It should get right to the point and use direct, active language to engage your readers.
Because you have only a moment or two to connect with your readers, you want to use your headline to express a powerful result: What is it that your product is going to do to improve your readers’ lives.
In other words, let your prospective customers know right away why they can’t live without your product. In addition to using action words in your headline, try to include emotionally stirring language so your headline “pops” off the page and immediately connects with your readers.
Beneath your headline, you want to provide details about your product that are going to make it irresistible to your readers. In the first section, you want to set up a common problem that your readers may have. Then introduce your product as the best and possibly only solution for that problem.
Near the end of your sales letter, you want to incentivize your readers to purchase your product. One of the best ways to do this is to create scarcity. Tell your readers there is only a limited number of your product available, if it is going to be unavailable in the very near future, or come up with another way to motivate your readers to act immediately otherwise they may risk not having access to your product again.
Bonuses, Upsells and Back-End
You can add value to your product by including one to three free bonuses that your customers will receive when they purchase your product. Typically, you want to mention what each bonus is worth so that later you can show how much buyers are getting for their money.
Upsells and back-end offers are secondary offers that are made after your customer already has decided to purchase your product. Usually, after they submit their payment information, they are taken to another screen where you can offer them more – usually higher priced – products that are related to your original product.
You almost always want to offer an unconditional 30- or 60-day guarantee. This removes any risk for the customer.
Including these familiar elements to your sales page will help convert visitors into customers.