How NOT to Sabotage Your Small Business Marketing Success

Wondering if a business person would in any way really sabotage his/her own success?  Of course that sounds impossible but the truth is, many are. While many small business owners think they are effectively marketing their business, the fact is they are cutting their own throat!

It doesn’t matter if as a small business entrepreneur you’re running ads that are pulling in leads/customers. You may even be a business blogger writing regular and impressive blog posts and you’re perceived as an expert in your field.  Yet if you’re failing in the following areas, you definitely may be sabotaging your own success because successful marketing goes beyond these things.

Small Business Marketing Tips

The following are a few ways small business owners unknowingly sabotage their own success.

1. No Marketing Plan 

There is a popular saying that those who fail to plan have already planned to fail. That indeed is the truth. If as a business person you have no marketing plan, no matter what you’re doing right now you’ve set in motion forces that will sabotage your marketing success. Of course you can market without a plan but a plan will help your focus your marketing efforts so that you can make the most of your marketing budget.  So if you don’t have a marketing plan right now make sure you create one.

2. No Written Goals

Just think about it for a moment, those marketing activities you’re engaged in right now do you have a specific objective you want to achieve with them? Are your goals written down? This is another area where many business entrepreneurs sabotage their marketing efforts. As a business person you need a clear vision and a target to aim for with every of your marketing activities. That’s the way of smart business owners. They have written goals and objectives for what they want to achieve with their business and for each of their marketing activities. What more, proofs abound of people who put their goals into writing having a higher success rate than those who do not.  A written marketing goal will help you determine how much of marketing you need thereby making things a lot more easier for you.

3. Short-Term Mental Attitude

Another way you can sabotage your marketing success as a business person is in your approach to what you’re doing. Are you consistent with your marketing efforts? Do you pull the plug too soon? Are you the reactive type who, though it may appear, is doing a lot of marketing on the surface is not doing anything consistently or long enough to make any impact?

You must understand that consistency is one virtue you must learn as a business person.  Running an ad or sending out your newsletter a few times and then giving up because you received no immediate results is worse than doing nothing at all.

You should know that marketing statistics indicates it takes somewhere between three and 10 exposures to a message for the average consumer to notice it and take action.  It therefore means that having a short-term attitude towards your marketing is actually detrimental as it’s quite possible your audience may only be warming up to your messages about the time you threw in the towel!

4. No Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Maybe placing this at the bottom of this list may give you the impression that you can really overlook this but that is indeed fallacy. In fact, this is probably the biggest culprit why many business owners sabotage their marketing efforts without even realizing it.

Why do you expect someone to buy your product or service instead of all the other products or services available to them?  Have you figured this out?

You should be able to figure out what is unique and better about your product or service, and then found a compelling way to communicate this in your marketing message. Business experts all agree that no matter how great a marketing plan may be it will be of no use if you have not clearly defined your USP.  Therefore marketing without a clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP) will only be wasting your time and your money.

How to Banish Marketing Sabotage and Succeed With Your Business Promotions

1. Develop a marketing plan – Of course this is obvious from the foregoing. As a business person your number priority should be to develop a marketing plan every year.

2. Write objectives – Write at least one objective that states what results you would like to achieve with your business over the next year.  And, write at least one objective for every marketing activity you undertake, that states what results you would like to achieve from that activity over the next year.

3. Stay the course – Check in on your progress toward your objectives every three to six months, but give your plan a good nine to 12 months to work.

4. Determine your unique selling proposition and make sure it is represented clearly and in a compelling way in everything you do.

5. Don’t try to be “everything to everyone.”  Focus on a few specific benefits and a specific audience.

6. Track all of your marketing activities so you know exactly what is working and what is not working.

7. Don’t rely on one marketing activity. Employ a mix of several marketing activities to reach more people more times.

8. Create a system to help you stay on track with your marketing activities every month and to help you plan ahead for future activities.

9. Create a realistic budget based on a percentage of your projected revenue, or the dollars you have available for marketing and stick to it.  Marketing is an investment in your business. You have to spend enough to make progress but not more than your business can financially support.

10. Understand your environment – The economy, competition, the strength of your particular industry, your prospects’ situation.  You have to understand them all so you can create an effective plan to either overcome obstacles or take advantage of opportunities.

Take away: A marketing plan built on a clear unique selling proposition with the right objectives is necessary if you don’t want to sabotage your marketing success. A well thought out plan based on the guidelines above will ensure that your business stand a much greater chance of succeeding.  All of these activities are part of a good marketing plan. And no business that wants to succeed should be without one.

Over to you: Do you agree that business entrepreneurs need a well figured out marketing plan to succeed marketing their business online? Let’s have your take on this in your comments.

30 Covert Selling Tactics That Will Boost Your Online Business With Ease!

Covert selling strategies for your online business

It’s indeed surprising that many want to make money online but the idea of selling is however absolutely repugnant to them.  This is because they believe selling has to do with manipulating others. But that shouldn’t be.

Believe it or not selling is actually something all of us do every day whether we are selling tangible products or selling our ideas to others. It’s important therefore that we should learn how to market our businesses on the net if we want to make any head way.

In this article I want to give you some covert selling tactics that will help you boost your business starting now!

First, you must know that marketing online is evolving by the day. Strategies and tactics that used to be very effective a few years ago are far from effective today.  It is important therefore that to stay ahead of the competition you need to put in place your own strategies based on what you may have “discovered” in the course of running your business or what you have seen others using on which you put a “twist” on, Such strategies are unique to you and therefore can work wonders for you.

The strategies presented in this post are industry-tested and will greatly help boosting online sales. However, the idea is that you will be able to use them to build your own strategies and adapt them to your peculiar marketing needs.

Related Reading: The 3 Scientific Steps to Using Social Media for Online Selling!

Online Business-Boosting Selling Tactics

1. Use affiliate programs to multiply your efforts

Start an affiliate program and put your marketing on viral power. For example, package a product,  put it on an affiliate networking site or start your own affiliate marketing program. Create a customizable e-book and give it away to your affiliates. Ask them to customize the ebook with their own affiliate links and then give the ebook away for free. Doing this will both create a viral effect for your product as that one ebook will soon begin to pull in links from different sources online.

2. Improve you conversion/traffic ratio

You could change your headline, offer a stronger guarantee, add testimonials, etc. For example, one week you could have your headline say, “How To Lose 5 Pounds In Two Days!” and the next week use, “Lose 5 Pounds In Only 48 Hours!” Just see which one pulls more orders per visitors.

3. Uncover your most valuable leads

One way of doing this is by offering a free e-zine. The visitors who are very interested will subscribe to it. Once they have subscribed, you can sell them related products again and again. Just make sure your e-zine has enough original content to keep them interested.

4. Boost your business exposure by teaming up with your competition

When marketing online your competition is as close as the back of your hand. But instead of treating them as enemies you can actually partner with them by starting an association for your specific industry. Each member could be given graphics to put on their web pages. This would increase your membership and business exposure.

5. Publish an e-zine for your employees

This could motivate them to do a better job or keep them advised on where your business is headed. For example, you could include articles about friendly customer service, being more productive, getting along with other employees, employee profiles, etc.

6. Monitor your brand on social media

Setting up alerts to monitor your brand on social media, news sites and other discussion forums will greatly help you in knowing what others are saying about your brand. Some of the comments you find could help you improve your business. For example, you could find someone complaining about your customer service, an employee, your web site design, product, etc. Then you’ll know what to improve.

7. Attract more people to link to your web site

You can do this by offering them a discount on the products you sell or give them free items for linking. For example, you could say, “Get A Huge 30% Discount On Our E-book If You Agree To Link To Our Web Site For At Least One Month!”

Must Read: 6 Reasons Why You Should Integrate A Blog Into Your Home Business Website!

8. Build your own opt-in email list

Give your  website visitors a reason to give you their e-mail address. Allow them to sign up to free items and contests. Just get their permission to e-mail them again in the future for other things. For example, you could say, “Sign Up For Your Chance To Win A Color
TV!”

9. Create a “PR” web page for your business

List information that could be considered newsworthy for e-zines, newspapers, magazines, etc. There are many ways to get into the media, like launching an unusual product, donating a large amount to charity, holding big events, etc.

10. Boost your credibility

By referencing web sites that have written positive stories about your business you will greatly increase your credibility. You could link to them right in your product ad. For example, you could say, “Just See What (name) Magazine Is Saying About Our Newest E-book!”

11. Improve you newsletter subscription through more incentives

Almost everyone is publishing an e-zine nowadays so it’s important to give something extra with the free subscription. You could offer a weekly contest for new subscribers. For example, you could say, “Subscribe And Have A Chance To Win Our Latest Home Study Course!”

12. Provide your visitors with more valuable content.

Your content will be more attractive to your visitors if it’s up-to-date or original. You could also offer people the option to reprint the content in their e-zine or web site. If your content is super original, you could use something like “Never Seen Before” in your titles.

13. Offer a free online directory

The directory could be full of interesting e-books, e-zines, web sites, etc. If people find your directory to be a valuable resource, they will visit it over and over again. You could also put your whole directory into e-book format and allow people to give it away.

14. Give your visitors a free e-book

You could also include your own ad in the e-book and allow other people to give it away. If you don’t want to take the time to write one, you could ask other writers’ permission to use their articles. They will just want you to publish their resource box too.

15. Hold free online classes or seminars

Webinars are becoming the in-thing right now. They could be held in your web site’s chat room or you can use any of the many webinar providers out there. The idea of “live” information will definitely entice people to visit your web site. You will become known as an expert on the topic. You could hold them weekly or monthly to get people to revisit your web site again and again.

16. Give visitors a free entry into your contest or sweepstake

The prizes should be something of interest or value to your visitors. Most people who enter will continually revisit your web site to get the results. For example, if your target audience is business owners, your prizes could be computers, business e-books, business services, etc.

17. Create your own or sponsor downloadable free software

It could be freeware, shareware, demos, etc. You could even turn part of your site into a free software directory. If you created the software, include your ad inside and let other people give it away. You could also allow people to link to your free software directory so they could offer it to their own visitors.

18. Offer free online services or utilities from your web site

They could be search engine submitting, copywriting, proofreading services. The service or utility should be helpful to your target audience. For example, if your target audience is e-book publishers, offer them a free e-book creation service.

19. Give free consulting to people who visit your web site

You could offer your knowledge via e-mail or by telephone. People will consider this to be of huge value because consulting fees can be very expensive. You could also create a product by recording or saving the information you gave them and selling it to them as a handy reference.

20. Give your visitors a free membership to your online club

People want to belong to something, why not your online club? You could also give away a free e-zine for club members only. You could make money by offering a deluxe membership for a monthly fee.

21. Persuade visitors to link to your web site

Give them a freebie in exchange for them linking to your web site. It could be content, software, etc. You could make the freebie even more valuable to them if you allow them to give it away with their own customized links in it.

22. Link to web sites that provide useful information or services for your visitors

If you have many useful links on your site, they may make it their start page. For example, wouldn’t you like to go to one webpage and have on it all the links you like to visit or research?

23. Spice up your web site’s wording by using plenty of adjectives

It gives your visitors a clearer vision of what you’re explaining or describing to them. For example, if you were describing a software program you could say, “This easy-to-use software gently guides you through the whole set up process.”

24. Don’t make your banner ads look like ads

Most people ignore banner ads. Design them to look like content and have people click to read the rest. For example, you could say, “How To Increase Your Sales By 200% by Larry Dotson. To Read Click Here!”

25. Join affiliate programs that go with the theme of your web site

You’ll just be wasting valuable space and time if your visitors aren’t interested in them. For example, if your target audience is softball players, you would want to join affiliate programs that sell softball bats, balls, uniforms, magazines, etc.

26. Market your web site as a free club instead of a web site

This will increase your repeat visitors and sales because people enjoy belonging to groups. You could have a members’ message board, give visitors’ membership IDs, give them membership graphics to place on their web sites, etc.

27. Interact with your online customers on a regular basis

This will show them you care about them. You could use your blog or add a chat room, forum or an online message system to your site. Always be interested in what people have to say, answer their questions, give them compliments, and take the time to talk about things other than just business, etc.

28. Check and update your web site links regularly

If people click on a link and it doesn’t work, they usually won’t risk wasting their time clicking on another one. For example, would you revisit a web site after two of the links you really wanted to click on didn’t work? You probably wouldn’t even bookmark the site.

29. Give visitors a positive experience when they’re at your web site

Provide them with original content and free things. They’ll tell all of their friends about it. You could also persuade them to tell their friends about it by starting an affiliate program. It could pay per sale, per click or per lead.

30. Share customers with other businesses that have the same target audience

Offer their product to your customers if, in exchange, they do the same for you. For example, if your business is selling toys, you could cross-promote a business that sells kids’ games. You both have a similar target audience.

In closing

The above are just a few online selling tactics that you can strategically put to use in your business. Of course, all of these may not apply to your business right now but with a little creative thinking you will uncover some unique ways to apply them.

Will love hear what you think of these selling tactics. Are you using any of these right now?

8 Reasons Why Your Online Business Should Have a Blog!

Are you an online business marketer? Then hear this: as the Internet is evolving, so must your strategies for your online business marketing evolve. Nothing less is demanded of you.  That is the only way to make the best of your online presence!

Every online marketer understands that the website is the main focus of all online marketing tactics. And so to stay on top of the competition, your business website needs to be updated regularly. Online users have no time for an idle site. For your business, it’s simply a waste of financial opportunity.

The question however is, how do you ensure that your business website is updated regularly to remain relevant? The simple way is by adding a blog to it. It doesn’t matter what your business website is all about. Even if your business concentrates on local sales of services and products to the community, by adding a blog it can generate additional revenues that you may not realize. An active blog can help line the pockets of your business and help generate an additional revenue stream both from online visitors and physical walk-in customers.

The following are some of the reasons why a blog is an important aspect of your website in marketing your online business.

Business Blogging Tactics

1. Sharing

The blog for your business website can be a way to share current information with your online visitors whether they live in your area or not. While your primary focus should be those in your location, writing content tailored to everyone could help your website generate income from outside the locale. If your business is located in Michigan, the information you provide on your blog could help someone face a problem or learn something new in Guam. If you have services such as Adsense or affiliate marketing and the person in Guam decides to buy something from those methods, you just generated a certain percentage of the sale for doing nothing more than providing information.

2. Cross-platform

If you use a content management system such as WordPress to operate your blog, you can install plugins that will allow you to link a Facebook account to your content. Whenever you create a new post, you can “link” or “comment” on the post for Facebook which will add it directly to your company’s timeline. Any friends and fans you have generated locally will immediately receive the comment and it could spark additional interest to visit your site to read the entire post. And Facebook isn’t the only social media site that can be connected to your blog’s activity. Google+, Pinterest, Stumbleupon, YouTube, and a vast array of others can distribute your blog’s content as well.

3. Interest

You want to keep your customers interested in your business services and/or products. If you launch a newsletter campaign that distributes discounts or coupons from your blog, you can keep those customers informed about any changes or additions your business has made. In some regards, this could work far better than radio advertising or newspaper articles. As long as you keep the content of your blog regular, fresh, and current visitors will come and the interest in the business could solidify.

4. Revenue

As mentioned before, a business blog has a good chance to generate addition revenue from nothing more than your content. By attaching services such as Adsense, any visitor who clicks on an advertisement earns your business an extra few cents to a few dollars. Some popular blogs and websites have been known to generate a great deal of income through Adsense.

Another method that can help generate additional income is the use of affiliate banners. These banners link to specific companies using a tracking number to identify your account. If someone buys a product from these other companies after clicking on the banner from your website, you earn a percentage of the sale. All you need to do is write relevant content on your blog post, add the banner coding to it, and save your post. It’s literally that easy.

5. Personable

Blog content is a little different than providing straight facts as in writing general articles for websites. A blog post is usually written in first or second person which helps relate the content between yourself and the reader. It gives one the sense that they are getting information from a friend or colleague rather than a straight forward piece. Blogs are also a great form of personal opinion, or in this case a business opinion, about any given related subject. However, you want to keep opinions related to the type of business you conduct. You don’t want to fall into the same soup that Chick-fil-A did in 2012. Keeping your opinions related to your business practices will help keep you from facing the heat from the media.

6. Professional

First impressions are very important when it comes to your business. As most of the large companies have extravagant websites complete with blogs, eCommerce, and other add-ons, people may assume that a successful company needs to have all of these things as well. For instance; if you were walking into a restaurant that served the best grilled chicken sandwich in the world but the dining room looked like a storage unit, you’d probably move on to somewhere else to eat. Having an active website and a regularly updated blog gives people the sense that you are serious about your business. Your business needs to cater to the masses, not based on your own ideals of what you think they want.

7. Collective Knowledge

Writing regular posts of everything your business knows about its specific field could begin building a collective database and visitors will feel safe about trusting the content. Although blogs can be opinionated, which don’t necessarily mean the information is based on fact, the information you provide through the blog can potentially help millions.

8. Marketing

Blogs have a world of their own aside from general websites. Communities of all kinds gather across various areas to share information. Blog carnivals allow owners to post content increasing the exposure of their own websites and blog posts. Blog lists appear all over the Internet that can help readers find interesting blogs based on their own personal interests. It’s a method that can quickly spread the word of the business blog site across the globe. Within days, your blog could see a great increase of traffic which helps your business using revenue generating methods and customer acquisition.

Conclusion

A regularly updated blog, as a business marketing strategy, can be as powerful as radio advertising for your local customers. Some business blogs will actually perform a great deal better than many marketing strategies you may be considering.

Your business website can be more than merely informing visitors who you are and what you do. It can be a method to share information with the community while generating additional interest from those outside of your locale. The possibilities are great and in today’s world, it’s senseless to let your website sit idle.

Over to you: The above are nothing but my thoughts. I’ll love to hear your views also. What do you think of adding a blog to a business website? Share with us in your comments below.

Why Email Marketing: 6 Reasons To Invest In Email Marketing In 2013!

Why Email Marketing still hold sway when many thougth otherwise

A few years ago many marketing pundits referred to email marketing as a dying internet marketing strategy. They predicted email marketing to fade out in a matter of years!

But it is surprising that we are now in 2013 and instead of fading out email marketing has remained a strong force in doing business online. In fact, it is now predicted to be one of the biggest online sales drivers.

The advent of social media marketing (another big one for building relationships online) could not in any way stop it. Bloggers who a few years ago considered it anathema have now become the biggest advocates of building email contact lists for relationship building and effective marketing!

Looking at all of these, the question one will want to ask is, why is email marketing so valuable in marketing online that it has defied every prediction and remained  a force to reckon with online?

Why, despite the increase of email spam (one of the biggest problems of email marketing), marketers have continued to levitate towards using email marketing for online businesses?

Why Email Marketing Has Defied The Pundits’ Word!

1.    Easier Leveraging Ability

Email marketing gives the easiest way to leverage on the power of the internet. I’m sure you know one of the reasons for using the internet for business is the ability to reach a large number of your target audience in a cost-effective, quick and easy way.

Now, email marketing gives you just that power. With email marketing you simply need to compose an email targeted at the reader and her needs, customize it with the necessary tags (first name or last name, etc), and then click the broadcast button to reach thousands of people instantly!

Nothing can be this easier and if you truly want to reach the millions of online buyers and prospects then making use of email is something you want to consider.

2.    Scalability

If you have been involved in an offline business you will understand that the more customers you have, the busier you become. However, in email marketing, it is much easier because regardless of the size of your mailing list, whether it is 100 or 10,000, all you need to do is click broadcast and everyone on the list gets notified! You don’t really need any extra effort to reach more prospects. Big or small, it all takes the same effort!

Why email marketing3.    Highly Targeted

Another reason why email marketing has remained highly effective at getting sales and therefore has refused to bow to the negative predictions is the fact that the recipients get a kind of “in your face” marketing promotion. With email, you are marketing directly to the customer through their PERSONAL mailbox. Not only will you grab their attention firmly, they will tend to respond with the right buyers mindset because they are marketed to directly, unlike other advertising where the buyer might not be in the frame of mind to buy things.

4.    Personal Marketing In Action

With autoresponders you can customize your email marketing message in such a way that it allows you to connect with the subscriber individually. This is really a big plus for email marketing because the more personalized your email, the better the result because it comes like a message from a friend.

5.    Automation Made Easy

There’s nothing that online marketers love more than the ability to automate things. Frankly! Just take a look around you. We want to automate our content creation. We want to automate traffic generation. Even social media interactions which are supposed to be interpersonal relationships are being automated!

Now, there is no other area where automation is really much easier and better than email marketing. With an autoresponder, you can time your emails to enable you build a really intimate relationship with every new opt-in subscriber! You can decide, for every new opt-in subscriber, what to send, when to send it to them and the frequency between each email.

6.    A Good Pre-Selling Strategy

Whatever you are selling online you know the importance of preselling, especially if you are an affiliate marketer.  With email you will not only be able to build a relationship with your subscribers but also presell them and lead them to your blog, sales letter or website (or affiliate product site as the case may be) to check out what you have to offer. Of course, with the email you are able to set them in the right frame of mind before they evaluate what you have to offer them.

You Need Email Marketing No Matter Your Online Business

Now, can you see why email marketing has remained central in marketing online? If you are not implementing email marketing in your online business, you’re definitely losing out. Whether you are a blogger or a web entrepreneur, one of the good decisions you can make for your business this year is to have a system to build an email list.

In subsequent posts I’ll be delving deeper into this subject. Some of the topics we’ll be dealing with will include how to set up your autoresponder to build fruitful relationships with your prospects and customers, the etiquette and effective strategies of email marketing in a socially connected internet and of course, how to integrate email into your blogging and social media marketing strategies.

I know you don’t want to miss any of these posts because the purpose is to help you boost your online profits. But you may not be able to follow these updates if you are not signed up for my free update newsletter. I therefore ask you get your free signature in the box below.

It’s Your Turn: That’s it from me for now. Share your thoughts and opinion on this subject in your comment below. Do you consider email marketing as ideal for bloggers? Do you think it is a good online marketing investment? Over to you!

Photo credits: Flickr.com

Guest Blogging Insights from A Content Marketing Ninja – An Interview!

Hi, it’s yet another time for our community timeout. However, instead of throwing a topic open for our general discussion as we normally do, today I’m bringing in a friend who I regard as a maestro when it comes to guest blogging. With the interest content marketing is generating amongst businesses online today, I think this is a topic that will be of interest to us all.

Of course, this is my first ever interview here on the Web Income Journal and I’m hoping that you will not only enjoy it but also gain some insights from it.

Our guest today is Michael Chibuzor, a web content writer who has written quite a number of guest posts and has been featured on most popular blogs. I’m very sure that most of you may have met him somewhere around the blogosphere.

WARNING: Every line from this interview has something you wouldn’t want to miss. So, commit yourself to read through this very carefully. Skipping through it will only deprive you of the nuggets of wisdom hidden within!

And so, let’s get on with the show!

guest blogging interview image

Chadrack: Hi Michael, it’s really a pleasure to have you as my first guest on the Web Income Journal’s interview series. And so, let’s begin by meeting you. Who is Michael Chibuzor?

Michael: Firstly I must say, I’m excited to be here. I’m sure you know me too well but for the sake of those who don’t know much about me, my name is Michael Chibuzor. My blog is contentmarketingup.com. I started my writing journey online in 2007, during the Bum marketing era. You know about it, right? Ok, I later realized that using tricks on Google would only result in pain, over time and so, I made a decision in 2010 to make a change. I hope that is enough for an introduction. Lol!

Chadrack: Yea, that’s great to know. I was sometime into the bum marketing of a thing also. I only changed strategies when article directories like Ezinearticles.com changed their policies and stopped allowing direct links to affiliate websites. Also I discovered that having a website of your own where you can build your own list was better than linking direct to affiliate products. That was when I built my first website sometime in 2006. It’s really interesting that you were also involved in bum marketing.

Ok, Michael, I’ve known you for some time now and I can say one thing about you and that is, you are very passionate about guest blogging. Can you let us in why you are so this passionate about it?

Michael: I love this question Chadrack. I discovered the power of guest blogging in 2011, and dived into it wholeheartedly.

As I write this, guest blogging is the only strategy I’ve used so far to grow a successful blog. I’m not very active on social media networks like many other bloggers. In my first 3 months of starting my blog (i.e. contentmarketingup.com), I was able to land my first client through guest blogging!

I was so excited, at the time, that I was yelling at the top of my voice. Lol!

And you know what? Guest blogging has improved my organic traffic and off-page links as well. In fact, I’ve benefited so much from guest blogging that all I can say is, if a system works for you, FOCUS your entire energy on it and become a cognitive expert. That’s the key!

Chadrack: Hmm, great to hear that. Now, let’s go back again to when you first got started with guest blogging. What was it that really motivated you?

Michael: Okay, let me see what really motivated me… All right I got it. I first came into contact with a content marketing blog – copyblogger.com. One faithful morning, I visited the blog and read a fabulous guest post that changed my perspective about article marketing.

I saw the number of comments that a single post got. And I did realize that the author (a guest blogger) was making a lot of money as well. You know one thing? I was broke man… I needed a saving grace. And so, the kind of money I could earn if I do it heartily was my first motivation. Second, I was also motivated by an excellent spirit (The Holy Spirit).

Chadrack: That’s really an honest way to put it. You know some people really believe you shouldn’t be motivated by the money! Lol!

Anyway, let’s try and be specific now. Can you remember how many guest posts you have written so far?

Michael: Wow…! This is serious. I’ve written a lot of guest posts for clients and for my own blogs. The total I’ve written so far is 531 quality guest posts. (75% published in A-list blog, 20% published in B-list blogs and 5% on fresh blogs). See where I shared my 531 published posts and lessons.

Guest Blogging Challenges and How to Overcome Them!

blogging success tipsChadrack: Wow! 531? Hmm, that’s really serious. Now, from my own experience and from what I’ve gleaned from other bloggers’ experiences, time management is a major issue with bloggers.  How do you as a blogger, running a couple of your own blogs, find the time to write so many guest posts?

Michael: Trust me, time is precious. If you waste your time in the early hours of the day, you’ll desperately struggle to get it. So, what I do is simple. When I wake up in the morning, and set out to work, I don’t check my email or try to see who is on Skype. What I do is just write, write, write and write until I’ve written 3 guest posts (1000+ words count each). I practiced this for 4 months, nonstop.

Despite the time constraint, I still discipline myself to write for other blogs. Now listen to this: there can never be any ideal time to write. You’ve got to plunge yourself into it. Seriously, I write like a maniac. I don’t waste time on Twitter or Facebook, I just write and that’s why my success has been tangible. Please, don’t get me wrong, social media marketing can work for you, when you learn the tenets. Without a thorough grasp of the pros and cons, it’s a time waster.

Chadrack: Yea, I do agree with you on that. Social media without a strategy can be a real time waster! But let’s move on.

Hmm, let’s see, apart from this time management issue which from all indication you have disciplined yourself to overcome, do you have any other challenges as a guest blogger? And if so, can you tell us which is the biggest and how you have been able to handle that also?

Michael: No, not at all. If you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, everything come to you like brushing your teeth! Most times, you’d feel like taking a nap, but you must brush your teeth. Writing is my hobby, my passion and the thoughts I think. Sorry, but I want to stress that writer’s block doesn’t exist, except in our imagination. You can kill writer’s block forever, by reading and writing – that’s the only permanent cure to it. NO OTHER CHALLENGES WHATSOEVER!

Guest Blogging and Content Marketing – the Connection!

Chadrack:  Hmm, another interesting one there; “Writer’s block doesn’t exist, except in our imagination!” I wonder how many of our readers will agree with you there. Lol!

But frankly, I think I also want to agree with you there. As a writer myself, I want to agree that we are really the ones who create what we regard as writer’s block because when you allow the weakness of the body to overrule your mind, then you would have set up blocks that will cut off the inspiration. I can attest to this from experience.

Alright, let’s look at this guest blogging thing in a wider perspective. At the moment there is a buzz amongst online businesses about content marketing. What advantages do you think guest blogging has as a content marketing tactic?

Michael: Hmm, the truth is, content marketing is already taking the web by storm.

And guest blogging goes beyond getting traffic and backlinks. It’s the perfect brand builder. In fact, I no longer write guest posts for traffic or backlinks, but I do it to push my brand to the top. I use guest blogging to build a formidable portfolio. Sure, in the process of building my brand, the traffic and backlinks, happen automatically.

You would recall that my earlier domain name (blast4trafficnow.net) was all about content marketing. But when I realized how much profit I was missing, I quickly registered a new domain name and did a 301 redirect to the new one – contentmarketingup.com.

And something extraordinary began to happen. Prospects began to contact me for content marketing advice. Overnight, I became a consultant. So, guest blogging is a great tactic for pulling down your content marketing walls and moving on to success!

Chadrack: Wow! You know I’ve also analyzed the potentials in guest blogging and have come to the same conclusion that it is the perfect brand builder. You remember I did a blog series on guest blogging sometime ago? It was because I truly believe that guest blogging can be done better than what many are doing today.

Right now, for my web content writing service blog, I’m putting finishing touches to a special guide on how e-commerce sites can use guest blogging to push their online visibility and improve their brand awareness. So, your describing guest blogging as the perfect brand builder is truly confirmation for me that I’m not progressing in error!

Alright, Michael just want to ask this, seeing how passionate you’ve spoken about content marketing, do you encourage businesses to be more involved with it?

Michael: Read my lips. Every marketer who wants to make her website a go-to resource for her  target audience should be involved with content marketing from the word go. To be more specific, I recommend that they start with guest posting first, and then diversify to video marketing, Infographic, podcasting and so on.

How to Choose Blogs to Guest Post on!

Chadrack: Ok, now Michael, I’m sure most of our readers would love to have you briefly tell us how you decide on the blogs to guest blog on?  Are there some certain criteria?

Michael: It depends on your blogging objective. Now when I started guest blogging, every blog was my target; I like to call them the A-list (PR 4 – PR 8 Active blogs), the B-list (PR 2 – PR3) and the C-list (PR 0 – PR1).

If you want targeted traffic and quality backlinks, focus on A-list. If you want to diversify your links and make it natural, combine A-list blogs and B-list.

But I’ve made a decision to stick with only the top blogs. My advice to marketers who are getting into guest blogging is to have the confidence. Believe me, the same creativity and hard work that it takes to get an article accepted on B-list blogs is the same thing for authority blogs.

Don’t believe most of the lies online. Guest blogging isn’t difficult once you know the audience you’re writing for.

The Guest Blogger’s Mindset!

Chadrack: Ok, Michael, there is one area I believe our esteemed readers will want to have you talk about also, and that is the issue of mindset as a guest blogger. What should be the mindset of a guest blogger? Do you think this is really important for succeeding as a guest blogger?

Michael: Haven’t I touched on mindset in this interview? Yes, I said something about confidence. Now listen, every step we take online isn’t accidental. It’s well orchestrated in the mind. Whether we accept it or not, our mindset can make or mar us.

If you want to succeed as a guest blogger, you’ve got to feed your mind. You’ve got to plant seeds of value, seeds that are evergreen wherever you go. Don’t allow inferiority complex to take over.

On the 23rd of February, 2012, I realized that fear was killing my business gradually. I was afraid to pitch guest post ideas to popular blogs. The mere thoughts of writing for authority blogs made me want to puke. I thought I wasn’t qualified. But I was WRONG.

Let nothing stop you. It’s your choice. If you want to get featured at problogger, freelanceswitch or copyblogger, just do it. The worst answer you could get is, “No!”

If that happens, cheer up and start again. If you fail, stand up tall and do it again, and again, and again. In the real sense of it, “NO” doesn’t discourage, it challenges you to become better. That’s your mindset pushing you beyond limits. Go for it.

Chadrack: Oh, Michael it’s been a wonderful time. I’m very sure that our readers have gleaned some nuggets of wisdom and useful information from you. Thanks so much for your time. We look forward to having you some other time. Stay blessed!

Over to you: And so, dear friends I’m sure you’ve heard Michael Chibuzor very well there. Did you learn anything from this interview? Is there any idea expressed that you did not agree with? Is there something expressed in the interview that you want to comment on? Whatever is your take, share with us in your comments below.

And please, I’m sure you will want to help promote this post by sharing it with your friends and online connections. May the law of karma work for you as do so!

Small Business Blog Marketing Failures And How To Overcome Them!

With the increased popularity of blogs, many small business entrepreneurs now use this powerful tool for promoting their businesses on the net. Even off-line business entrepreneurs are not left out as many of them now use blogs to build a following online for their offline businesses.

Unfortunately, many of these entrepreneurs are new to blogging and do not know how to effectively use small business blog marketing. As a result of this many of them end up without any appreciable results. In this article I want to highlight 3 of the top reasons why many small business entrepreneurs fail with their business marketing blogs and also offer some tips on how to overcome them.

But First, What Really Is Business Blog Marketing?

Small business blog marketing help

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that not all who blog about making money blogging really know the different ways of making money online with a blog. But it’s simply the truth! There are actually 2 broad ways of making money with blogs. These are (1) as a pro-blogger (taking blogging as a profession where the blog is your primary means of income) and (2) as a business blogger, using your blog as a tool in promoting your business on the net.

So business blog marketing is actually a marketing strategy that consists of blogging about your business in order to build up a follower-ship that will ultimately become customers and clients.

This marketing strategy has been proven to be effective for getting your business out there for increased popularity.

Of course it’s this effectiveness of blogs in promoting your business on the net that has moved many entrepreneurs into starting their own small business blogs.

Unfortunately, blogging generally requires a lot of work! Gaining a large readership for your business blog requires much of your attention and a big dose of patience. And this is where many entrepreneur bloggers give up their dreams because  many of them started with the wrong notion that making money online does not involve much work!

But that indeed is a wrong notion. Any experienced blogger knows that coming up with ideas and creating content to update a blog on a regular basis takes not only time but brain power! And without this constant updating you don’t expect your blog readers to keep coming back for more.

3 Reasons for Small Business Blog Marketing Failure and Their Remedies

1. Lack of Time for Updating the Business Blog:

As mentioned above, business blog marketing is a busy affair and may take you away from other business chores. Many entrepreneurs never consider this before adding a blog to their business website. Even off-line business entrepreneurs who start a business blog with the mind of getting more clients online rarely think of this. When however, they soon realize that much of the time devoted to creating content, updating the blog and interacting with blog readers could actually be used for attending other aspects of the business many soon abandon the blog.

Of course there are a few ways to overcome this problem. But, I’ll suggest just one here and that is, hire some help!

I think this is very important especially if you’re a service business entrepreneur. Your time is valuable and therefore you cannot afford to devote all of your time to updating a blog while the day to day running of your business suffers.

There are different options online on how you can get a constant flow of blog content created for you. It may interest you to know that I offer professional SEO web content writing service dedicated to helping you get high search rankings for improved brand visibility and increased website traffic. You can hire my services to create your content for you. Besides, you can also post a project here and allow freelance bloggers bid on your work.

Taking this approach will greatly increase the effectiveness of your small business blog marketing. You’ll have more time to attend to your existing clients/customers and also be able to reach out to more prospects thereby enlarging your market reach!

2. Challenges of Not Being a Writer:

This is another problem that faces many business entrepreneurs who wants to market their business online with a blog. Successful blogging is really about constantly writing good content. Without good content, no one will want to come back to your business blog after their first visit. Besides, good content will help your business blog to rank high on the search engines which is good for your marketing. So good content is indeed key to the success of your business blog marketing.

But not many business entrepreneurs are good writers! Though many of these ones have ideas of what to write about yet they lack the ability to package these ideas to really market their business. You must understand that this is crucial because when people visit your business blog their impression about you and your business will be determined by the content you put on the blog. Just writing anything and posting to your business blog could actually hurt the performance of the blog. it is therefore important that you find some ways of getting good content created for you.

Our suggestion above can also be used to overcome this problem, that is, hiring some help. And if you’re looking to get customized professional service then it’s important you check out my professional SEO web content writing service.

Of course, thousands of content writers abound on the net that will be willing to help you for a token fee. It doesn’t matter your budget, there is just a writer that fits your budget. Find examples of what others are doing here.

3. Lack of Basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Knowledge:

How many off-line business entrepreneurs really know anything about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? What about the small business entrepreneurs marketing online, how many of them know how to effectively use SEO strategies to rank their business websites and blogs?

It may be true that one of the reasons for using a business blog is the SEO advantage of blogs but with the competition today much needs to be done for a blog to rank high on the search engines. This is where basic SEO tactics comes in.

Now, I don’t advocate leaving your search engine optimization in the hands of someone else no matter experienced that person may be. Besides, many of the firms offering search engine optimization services on the net cost an arm and a foot. But there is a better route you can go that is, studying everything you can find on SEO.

Frankly, this will help you immensely but cost you less! You can actually get good resources from Amazon.com at a cost that will surprise you. For example the  Search Engine Optimization For Dummies is such a good SEO resource you can get from Amazon.com.

So instead of paying through the nose to get some seo expert to handle your business blog seo needs, you can, with just a few dollars, get the knowledge you need. The good thing is that this knowledge can be used in other ventures later on. You must realize that using SEO will help you succeed with your small business blog marketing to the fullest extent possible as  optimizing your blog posts will get you results that you will love.  So do not overlook SEO when building your small business blog.

Conclusion: Small business blog marketing can really be done by anyone if these issues are handled well. The benefits of business blog marketing to entrepreneurs on the net should motivate entrepreneurs to overlook the great work involved and incorporate it into their marketing mix right away.

Over to you: What other factors do you think are responsible for entrepreneurs failing with small business blog marketing? Share your thoughts in the comment below.