Top 5 Blogging Mistakes that’s Frustrating Your Efforts (and How to Fix Them)

Top 5 Blogging Mistakes that’s Frustrating Your Efforts (and How to Fix Them)

When I started this blog back in 2009 the subject of making money blogging was just at its infancy. A lot of people back then were jumping in and starting their own blogs.

Many of these bloggers became overnight gurus dishing out how to make money blogging tips. Every where you turn there was a blog on how to make money blogging. A lot of times the same tips were just being tweaked and re-posted on different blogs.

On the surface it does appear that most of these bloggers were really making a ton of money from their efforts. However, over the years I have observed a lot of these “guru bloggers” drop by the wayside!

I can attest to this fact because every time I do a general review of this blog I’ve always seen a huge number of broken links. Most of these broken links are mostly from blogs that I have linked to over the years.

But why would someone who have always shown that they are making money from their blogs and have taken it upon themselves to teach others how to make money blogging suddenly abandon their blog?

The answer to that question is not far fetched. The truth is most of those guru bloggers were only putting up a front. While they may appear to be successful on the surface the truth is most of them were making next to nothing from their blogs.

For example, while a recent report indicated that about 67.5% of bloggers blog to make money online only about 5% of bloggers are actually making a full income from their blogs!

This is why a lot of bloggers after struggling for years trying to scrap a living from their blog end up throwing in the trowel. Of course, it’s  frustrating to put in so much and yet get nothing out.

In this post I want to share with you the top five mistakes that I have found, over these years, to be main reason why many bloggers fail. Matter of fact is, if you’re presently struggling with your blog, one of these mistakes might just be the culprit!

Recommended: The Beginners Complete Guide to Making Money Blogging

Why Seemly Hard -Working Bloggers Fail!

Mistake #1: Blogging without a Definite Purpose

How make money blogging

Do you have a purpose for your blog?

What is your motivation for starting the blog?

Do you have a story to tell?

It’s unfortunate that many of the blogs out there are nothing but “just another blog!” From design to content; and tactics, there’s really nothing that separates them from other blogs.

In fact, many of these blogs were started because the blogger was impressed by the results being posted by other probloggers out there.

The truth is, if you want to make money with your blog it is important that you have a definite purpose for the blog. You must be able to answer the question, WHY this blog? Not taking care of this before you start will put a whole lot of boulders on your way. 

So, if you are in this boat right now it’s important that you take some time off and settle this issue. Ask yourself questions like: 

  • Why am I really blogging?
  • I’m I here just to share my thoughts and opinions or to make a living?
  • If I’m here to make money how do I do that?
  • Should I be promoting affiliate products or selling my own product/service?
  • And what do I need to do to accomplish this?

Doing this right now will help you get a clearer picture and the focus of your blog.

Mistake #2: Blogging without a Plan

Not having a blogging plan

It’s unfortunate that many bloggers do not have a plan and worst still they never care to have one.

As the common saying goes, when you fail to plan you’re planning to fail. Unfortunately, not many bloggers who want to make money blogging really care to take this to heart.

I encourage you to read this post on how to set SMART goals for your blog.

Once you have decided on the purpose of your blog, designing a plan on how to achieve that purpose will greatly help on your journey. A blogging plan should answer the question of how you expect to make money with your blog and what you must do to achieve that goal.

Your plan for making money from your blog will determine the type of content you showcase on your blog. It’s definite that a blog that is designed to sell advertising space would be different content-wise from the one that is focused on selling your consulting practice!

Mistake #3: Not Building a List

This is really a big one.

Despite hearing it over and over again that the money is in the lists, many bloggers have not seen the need to start an email list. They are content with just writing content, interacting with other bloggers in the comment section of their blogs and connecting on social media sites.

As much as these things are good, you must know that an email list is your greatest asset when it comes to marketing online. Let no one deceive you with talk about email being a dead online marketing tactic. Indeed, many internet marketers may have put a bad name on this because of their spammy email promotions but don’t let that put you off.

Offering email subscription on your blog is the easiest way of turning your blog into a money making machine. Remember, not everyone who visits your blog will return except you have a system to bring them back. Capturing their contact info and adding them to your email contact list is the best way to do that.

You may have an RSS feed subscription on your blog but that has many limitations which an email list will help you overcome.

Here are some industry recognized autoresponder services that will help you build a list:

  1. GetResponse.com – Widely used by internet marketers
  2. MailerLite.com – High-quality service for an incredibly low price. You can use the system for FREE if you only have 1,000 subscribers or less. (Highly Recommended)
  3. RapidMailer.com – Your best choice if you want to run your own autoresponder. It’s a one-time payment.

Mistake #4: Choosing the Wrong Market

Choosing a blogging niche

I did a post some time ago on spooky business start up tips where I clearly stated that if you start a business just based on what you love without carefully checking for profitability, you’re bound to struggle.

This is more so when blogging to make money!

Of course, it is important that you choose your blog topic based on what you know and you’re interested in as this will help you greatly in writing content and showing your expertise. However, except your desire is to share your thoughts with your family and friends, it is important that you research the profitability of your target niche before you jump in.

That being said, it will be an uphill task if you choose a blogging niche simply because of the money. Focusing only on the money will ultimately lead to frustration.

So, what to do?

Choose your blog niche based on market profitability and your passion.

The good news is, if you know little to nothing about a niche you can spend a few weeks to research the topic online. Doing this will set you on the path of becoming an expert in that field in no distant time.

There are thousands of online tools available that you can use. If you’re already blogging and you discover you are having problems with this, take some time off, do the necessary research and then reposition your blog.

Mistake #5: Not Driving the Right Traffic

I must say that this is one problem that many bloggers are having without really knowing it. Over these years I’ve come across very wonderful and passionate bloggers. From all indications they appear to be doing great with their blogs. Superb blog posts, impressive blog comment sections, social buttons displaying the envious number of shares, etc.

But, when you ask how much they are making from their blogs the responses are a nothing to write about!

Many of these bloggers cover up with things like: blogging is not about making money but connecting with like minds! But I don’t really think these bloggers love working their butts off just because they want to be known as a blogger. Or, do you?

But, what is really the problem here?

It is this: these bloggers are simply driving the wrong type of traffic to their blogs!

Like we have seen above your blog exist for a specific purpose. In the same way, your blog should be targeted at a specific group. If you have clearly defined the purpose of your blog from the beginning knowing your blogs target audience will not be a problem.  And this will determine your promotional tactics.

When you have these sorted out you wouldn’t waste your time running round other blogs, commenting and interacting with other bloggers, except they are your targeted audience.

To drive the right type of traffic to your blog, go where your target audience is and then entice them to your blog. This way monetizing your blog traffic will become easy.

Conclusion

I don’t know which of these blogging mistakes is holding your back from making money with your blog. But the truth is if you will take the time and work on these ones you will soon begin to see a change in your blogging success.

Feel free to share your thoughts on these blogging mistakes in the comments below. Is there any of these mistakes that you are presently making with your blog? Is there any one you will want to add?

Let’s connect in the comments section.

How to Use Social Media & Email Marketing For More Value Online

Given an option between and email , which would you choose as a small ?

Now, for many small owners this is really a hard decision to make. Of course, with the buzz about social media, especially Facebook and its huge user base, many will readily go for social media.

But, what if I tell you that scientifically proven stats states otherwise? What if researches over the years have proven over and over again that email marketing trumps social media marketing when it comes to marketing your business!

Surprised?

You should be because that’s not what the social media marketing experts want you to believe. But frankly, many of these are only concerned with selling you that super duper program that will help you create the much desired success on social media.

But no matter what any person says, as a small business when it comes to marketing your business online you definitely want to focus on those activities that produce the desired results and not just the noise.

This is not only wise when it comes to investing your money but for the fact that you have limited time to run and grow your business.

Now, comparing social media and email marketing is really like comparing apples and oranges. There may really be any area of comparison. However, like I have just said above, when it comes to marketing your business, you should focus on results. You want to judiciously invest your limited budget on the strategies and tactics that gives the most results both in time and resources put in.

So, the purpose of this post is to help you make the best choice and, as you will soon see, get the MOST from both worlds!

email marketing and social media showdown

Social Media Poor In Turning Readers Into Customers?

This might seem counter-intuitive considering the buzz about social media marketing. But the tell-all stats are glaring.

Let’s consider a few:

1. McKinsey & Co. – This survey result in 2013 by McKinsey & Co. clearly puts email far ahead of social media in effectiveness when it comes to acquiring customers!

Social media marketing vs Email marketing

As you can see in those results, email is nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and combined!

2. OpenMoves.com – Recently, Amir Chitayat from OpenMoves published results for one of his clients where he revealed that the results of email marketing are more tangible and with better ROI if you are looking for leads or sales. The results of the test showed that email generated 1,192 direct transactions and 872 assisted transactions – that’s a total of 2,064 transactions standing at a ratio of 0.73. This means, email marketing generated more direct conversions than assisted! Now, note that he uses both email marketing and social media and spends about the same amount of budget on them.

Social media, on the other hand, generated less direct transactions (only 173) as well as 1010 assisted conversions. This is a ratio of 0.58. What this mean is that social media had less direct conversions and contributed less to assisted conversions!

3. Getresponse.com – In it’s “State of Email Marketing 2016” report Getresponse.com reported an average open rate of 21.73% for email marketing. This is in an industry where, for example, Facebook and Twitter have an organic reach of about 6% and less than 2% respectively!

Getresponse state of email marketing 2016

The import of this is that if you have 3,000 email subscribers, 3,000 Facebook fans and 3,000 followers on Twitter, what you will likely get is:

  • 652 people will open your email
  • 180 Facebook fans will see your message
  • 60 Twitter followers will see your message

From each and every one of those reports, it is very clear, that email marketing far outperforms social media in terms of reach and ROI.

Now, the BIG QUESTION:

Should You Abandon Social Media Marketing?

Combining email marketing and social media

Does the above results mean your investment every day, posting and tweeting on the various social media platforms, is a waste of time and resources?

Not really!

I want you to take a look at the McKinsey & Co. report again. Did you notice that between 2008 and 2012 there was a 20% decline in e-mail usage while social media networks, instant messaging and mobile-messaging had some form of increased usage?

I’m sure you will agree that that trend has not changed over the years. Personally, I believe that the slow-down in email usage is not unconnected with the increase of spam emails and the social media buzz which had led to many businesses investing in social media than email marketing over this period of time.

So, taking all these reports into cognizance, instead of abandoning social media the better route would be a marketing strategy that combines the power of both email marketing and social media.

Remember, the two insights from these reports are:

a. Email beats social media when it comes to customer acquisition

and…

b. Social Media usage is on the increase and generates more assisted conversions!

As a small business you can actually have more value for your marketing spend by combining the two. By so doing you create a win-win situation for your business marketing. You simply need to:

1. Use social media to grow your email list – Your potential customers are already socializing on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. All you need is a well designed strategy to move them over to offers and build a list to help you turn them into customers.

I advise that you download this Facebook marketing guide for small businesses.

2. Use email marketing to boost your ROI! – You’ll need an email list management service like Getresponse.com to do this.

For a detailed guide on how to put this strategy together I encourage you to read this post:

“The 3 Scientific Steps to Using Social Media for Online Selling!”

Bonus Read: How To Use Social Media Marketing To Acquire Loyal Customers!

Conclusion

These reports on social media and email marketing are indeed an eye opener for small businesses who wants to use social media marketing for their online promotions. One thing that is clear from these stats is, social media is not the right channel if you expect short term rewards in terms of revenue or profitability. On the other hand, to use email marketing you will need to understand what permission marketing is all about.

Simply posting updates about your business on social media and broadcasting marketing/sales messages through email will not help you achieve your business goals. A carefully crafted marketing strategy, as outlined in this report (Click here to download!) is what will help you do the magic.

So, what do you think? Are you having great success with your social media marketing as against what this research report states?

GDPR Compliance – A Practical Guide for Bloggers and Small Business Owners

Is your business or blog GDPR complaint?

If you answer “No” or, “What’s GDPR?”

Then, you should read this post very carefully!

In the last few days the online business space has been in a frenzy as online entrepreneurs and webmasters hustled to beat the 25th of May, 2018 deadline of being GDPR compliant. I’m sure that you must have received one of those emails telling you that their privacy policy have been updated!

So, what is GDPR compliance and what’s its implication for your online business?

If you are like me, then you must be asking these questions like right now. When I first heard about the GDPR I didn’t rush into updating my Privacy Policy instead I sought out different experts and also tried reading the GDPR document. But it wasn’t an easy task because the document is highly complex and simply unreadable.

I also found some articles and blog posts on Google but most of them had little to offer as they were mostly written to promote some product or the other. Many others were just a few thoughts on the GDPR document.

However, after much research and asking around, I was able to glimpse some insight into its meaning after which I reworked and updated my site’s Privacy Policy.

You can read the updated Privacy Policy here. It’s important that you read because it is the binding document on this site right now.

In this post, I want to share with you a few things on the GDPR and also give you a few tips on how you can easily stay complaint.

Related: Google’s New Privacy Policy: How Much Of User’s Rights Is Being Violated?

DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer neither am I in any away an expert on legal matters. What I have done here is to make this complex topic understandable and actionable for you, within my own understanding of the topic. This article is for informational purposes only. I recommend that you consult your legal advisor to determine your own GDPR needs.

That being said, let’s get started…

Is your business or blog GDPR complaint?

Part 1: An Overview of the GDPR

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and it is a new privacy regulation created by the EU to protect the privacy of all individuals within the European Union. Its focus is to give people more control over their personal data. This new regulation replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and it is designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe.

While the regulation actually applies to businesses in the EU it however has effect on businesses outside the EU as long as they collect or process personal data of individuals residing in the EU.

This is where your blog or small online business is affected.

Of course, as an online business your operations are worldwide and persons from the EU do visit your website, blog or social media pages – except of course, if you’re blocking traffic from that part of the world!

Another very critical issue with this regulation is that though the deadline to be compliant was 25th May, 2018 it is also retroactive.

This means, if you have customers’ or subscribers’ data you’re storing or using even if these were collected before May 25th, 2018, you must ensure that you are also compliant on those too!

This is really serious and it will interest you to know that just a few day after the deadline Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn and others have been hit with serious GDPR complaints.

While these privacy activities may be targeting these giants for now, no one knows what they will be doing next. Remember that wise saying, a stitch in time saves nine!

If that does not give you some reason to be complaint, then this should…

The Penalties for Non-Complaint with GDPR

When I first noticed the panic this new regulation caused among online marketers I knew this was something special. And so, I was not surprised therefore when I discovered that most of the panic was actually because of the penalty – €20 million or 4% of your world-wide annual revenue, whichever is higher.

With that do you still want me to remind you at this point that you should take every step necessary to stay compliant?

The Penalties for Being Non-Complaint with GDPR

What Is Personal Data?

It is important you understand the definition of personal data according to the European Commission. This will help you better understand what you need to do to stay complaint with this regulation.

According to the European Commission,

“Personal data is any information relating to an individual (the data subject), whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a home address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social media networking website, medical information, or a computer’s IP address.”

From the above definition (note that even a computer’s IP address is considered as personal data) it is clear that if you own a website or a blog, if you’re an online marketer, if you market on social media, if you use any form of tags for re-targeting customers…

… As long as you capture and record user data of any form, you need to be GDPR compliant!

It will interest you to know that websites and blogs, especially those that run on the WordPress platform, collect personal data in different ways. Some of these ways include:

  • Through registered users
  • Through comments posted on your blog
  • Through the use of contact forms on your site or blog
  • Through Google Analytics and other traffic monitoring software
  • Through email subscriptions
  • Through WordPress plugins

The Rights of Data Subjects Under the GDPR

The Rights of Data Subjects Under the GDPR

Now, while you might be tempted to simply update your Privacy Policy and think that will do the trick, the truth is, that’s just the beginning.

The crux of the matter is the rights of the individual under this new regulation. It’s expected that if you receive any request related to any of these rights, you should respond within 30 days. So, it’s important that you know what these rights are and how to go about protecting them.

To get the full details about these rights you may want to check out the official GDPR site referenced above. However, for the purpose of this post, here’s a brief summary of the rights of the individual under the regulation.

1. The Right To Be Informed

The individual is expected to know what type of data you collect about him or her and how it is to be used. You should provide clear and concise information why this data is being collected, how it will be saved, for how long, who has access to it and who is the data controller.

2. The Right Of Access

Beyond knowing how you store their personal data, the individual also has the right of access to that data whenever they wish. So, a subscriber to your email list or a user of your website can demand to have access to the data you have saved about him or her and you are obligated to provide such data.

3. The Right To Rectify Saved Data

The individual also has the right to have their inaccurate or incomplete data that is saved by you to be updated or rectified. Whenever, you or your data controller receives such a request you are obligated to take the necessary steps to have the data updated as requested.

4. The Right To Restrict

The individual also has the right to restrict the use of his or her data. In this case, you may record such data but not use same for any purpose.

5. The Right To Port Data

If the individual so wish he or she may request their saved data in machine readable or human readable formats. They are free to use this data for whatever purpose they so wish.

6. The Right To Erasure

The individual also has the right to withdraw their consent and request that their saved data be erased completely.

7. The Right To Object

The individual have the right to object the use of their data in a certain way. It is therefore important that you inform the user ahead of how their data is to be processed.

8. The Right Not To Be Subject To Automated Decision-Making

Where the data you saved about a user is to be used for some form of automated decision-making that will affect them legally or otherwise the individual has the right to opt out of such processes.

While all of these sound complex it is important that you understand them so you can stay complaint.

What Does GDPR Mean for Your Business?

From the above, every business owner, blogger, web master, internet marketer, etc. (as long as you collect and process personal data of users and customers) has the following responsibilities:

  1. Provide users your identity and inform them the type of information you collect about them, how and why you collect it, what you do with it, how long you store it, and who else have access to it
  2. Obtain clear and explicit consent from the user when you collect their data
  3. Give access to the user when they request such
  4. Delete any use’s data whenever such a request is made and show proof that you have done this
  5. Where there is any form of data breach, inform the users within 72 hours.

The question now is how do you ensure that you are complaint with all of these? This is what we want to look at next.

Related: How to Copyright Content: 5 Proven Tactics to Stop Content Theft & Ensure Your Content Is Not Copied!

Part 2: GDPR Compliance Checklist

Steps to Staying Complaint with GDPR

Let me repeat once again that the GDPR document is complex. The following is simply a basic guide of what you can do to be complaint.

Step 1: Update the Legal Pages of Your Website or Blog

These basically include your terms of use and privacy policy pages.

The terms of use or terms and conditions page on your site are basically the place where you state the rules that bind the user to your business. The privacy policy on the other hand deals with what type of data about your users and customers that you collect and process.

You will need to update these pages to include relevant information about GDPR compliance. Most of this will be on your privacy policy, since it is the document that deals primarily with consumer data on your site or blog.

Your updated privacy policy should specifically state who you are (which includes your name or organization name, address, contact information, etc), what personal data you collect, why you collect the data, how long you plan to retain the data, who else you share it with, how customers can download their data whenever they so wish, how they can delete or ask their data to be deleted, contact Information of your Data Protection Officer (which could just be your email address except you have a dedicated Data Protection Officer).

All of these should be clearly stated on your privacy policy page.

If you use WordPress for your site/blog then you will be glad to know that the latest version has a new feature that allows you to easily create your blog’s privacy policy.

WordPress 4.9.6 GDPR Update

To use this feature:

(a) Go to Settings -> Privacy

Wordpress Privacy Page Creator

(b) Create a new page or choose your already existing privacy policy page to set it.

Updating Privacy Policy with new WP feature

If you’re creating a new page, WordPress will populate the new page with the basic information that you need to have on your privacy policy. However, before publishing it you will need to review it, adding or removing data to agree with what you expect to have on your privacy policy.

Create new privacy policy

Step 2: Obtain Explicit Consent of the User before Collecting Their Personal Data

Since you’re required to get the consent of the user before you can process their data you should do everything possible to ensure that this is obtained. Look into the areas from which you collect data of users. This will include places like blog comments, contact forms, newsletter subscriptions, etc. Make sure you have the explicit consent of the user before capturing their information.

The easiest way to do this is to put a checkbox on all the places from which you collect data for the user to provide their consent. It’s important that you’re specific of what consent you’re asking for and include a link to your privacy policy. Also it’s important that you don’t pre-check the checkboxes.

Again the latest version of WordPress already has this feature for comments.

Wordpress GDPR feature for comments

Step 3: Clean Up Your Existing Email List

Since GDPR is retroactive you will need to clean up your existing email list to ensure that you only have subscribers who has given their consent. One way to do this is to send re-engagement emails so that your EU subscribers can re-optin to your list. Ensure that you clearly explain how you’d use the subscribers’ data and what content you will be sending them.

Step 4: Create a System for Data Subjects to Request Access to Their Data

GDPR requires you to allow users access to their data. It is not enough to state this on your privacy policy. You should also have in place a way for them to easily access the data when they so desire.

There are a number of ways you can do this. For example, if a user request to have access to the personal data you’re processing about them, you can take a screenshot of the customer record or you can export the contact details of the user in a CSV file and then send it to them.

This is another thing that the latest version of WordPress has made easy for you also. There are new tools for users to view their data, and even request deletion of their data. You can access these new tools by going to Tools.

WP GDPR Access the data

Here’s the process of using these tools:

  1. User requests to view or delete their data
  2. You go to Tools and then to the Export or Erase Personal Data Setting
  3. You enter the user’s email id, and click “send request”
  4. This sends a confirmation link for the user to confirm their request
  5. Once the user confirm the request you can then send them a downloadable file containing the requested data with the click of a button
  6. Once this file has been sent it will be deleted after 72 hours for security purposes
  7. If the request is for deletion, then as soon as the user confirms the request you can delete the data.

Conclusion – More Resources

There you have it, my simple guide to help you stay GDPR compliant. Please understand that, as I have mentioned earlier this is a complex topic. There’s so much that I have not touched on in this post. To dig deeper feel free to browse these resources:

Again note that violating the GDPR comes with a heavy fine of 20 million Euros or 4% of your revenues, whichever is higher. If however you take the above necessary steps, you’ll not have to worry much.

I do hope that this has helped in any way. If so, then show some love by sharing the post with your friends on your favorite social media!

Feel free also to share your thoughts on the GDPR in the comments below.

How to Turn Customer Pet Peeves into Your Advantage

As a business person you are aware that your business exist to create customers and, that involves doing a whole lot of things to keep the customer happy.

Unfortunately, there’s no way you’re going to please all of your customers all the time. In fact, if you try doing so, you’ll definitely go crazy!

While its easy to say that the customer is always right you’ll however agree that this can be taken too far by some. For example, like when a customer is always complaining all of the time.

It’s annoying right?

Indeed. it’s not a problem for customers to have issues with your business because there is none that doesn’t have complaining customers. But then there are some complaints that are an annoyance. What we have come to refer to as customer pet peeves! But what does that really means?

What Is A Customer Pet Peeve?

Annoying pet peeves

According to Vocabulary.com,

“A pet peeve is an annoyance that’s nurtured like a pet — it’s something someone can never resist complaining about.”

This means a customer pet peeve is something that the customer has nurtured like a pet and has turned into a frequent subject of complaint. No matter what you do as a business this customer has a way of finding faults and complaining about it!

Now, while this could be annoying you can actually turn such complaints into your business’ good. For example, you can use such complaints to provide you with insight that will help you improve your business, products and/or overall customer experience.

So, when your customers do complain, don’t take it that your company is bad or that it has some serious issues. Rather take it that your company is like any other – it has its own faults. And, instead of focusing on how you can eliminate these faults you should rather focus on how you can move forward and adjust.

To do this, you need to understand the issues customers might have with your business and find ways to avoid them. In this post I want to share with you some of the common customer pet peeves that you need to watch out for in your business.

How is your customer service?

4 Common Customer Pet Peeves to Watch Out For

1. Excuse Me, I’m Talking To You

If your Twitter feed is filled with customers complaining that they have no way to talk to your business or engage with you, you have a big problem. This suggests that there is no relationship between business and consumer.

If that’s the case, there’s a good chance that customers are going to feel undervalued and unimportant. They hate this, and they will have no issue spending their time spreading their thoughts and feelings to other people who may have otherwise taken a chance on your business.

Correcting this is easy. Make sure that you always have an open dialogue with your customers. If there are any issues even on social media feeds, respond to them promptly, and you will dazzle customers with your speedy responses to their issues.

2. Hey, What’s Taking So Long?

That probably means that you have a problem with your turnaround time and more broadly your supply chain. Perhaps you never took your supply chain management masters, and as such you don’t know how to keep things rapid and efficient.

If that’s the case, then you could correct this by taking an online course, but the main thing to focus on here is making sure you deliver the goods promptly and keep a high level of quality in your service.

Handling supply issues, companies often jump towards the possibility of an outsourcing business. It’s not the worst idea in the world, but you do need to make sure that you can trust the company you choose to handle things the right way. Otherwise, you’re just creating something else for customers to get irritated at.

Shocked And Appalled!

3. I Am Shocked And Appalled!

This isn’t so much as a pet peeve as it is something that will cause customers to scream ‘boycott’ at the top of their lungs.

Scandals in businesses are more uncommon than you think, but they do happen. If they hit the public spotlight or your consumer base gets word of them, it can have a crippling impact on sales.

To handle this issue, there’s a simple solution. Just make sure that you are doing what you can legally to stay on the right side of the line. Do this, and you shouldn’t have any issues with scandals taking town your company.

4. What A Rip Off

And finally, there’s the issue with prices. It’s not so much about how much you’re selling your products for but rather how much other people are selling theirs at. If your price isn’t competitive, you will struggle to keep customers on board and buying from your business.

So, do your research and make sure that a key competitor isn’t undercutting you.

Conclusion

Eliminating customer frustrations is a sure way to making your business more successful in the marketplace. If you note the above customer pet peeves and find ways of taking care of them then you can be sure of having more and more happy customers and of course, more success.

Need an Income Boost? Here’s How to Do It

Would you be interested in raising your income? Have you recently thought about how you can easily boost your income to meet up with some immediate financial needs?

There’s no doubt that from time to time situations arise that warrants us going something like: how I wish I had some more extra funds!

This was the situation with a friend a few weeks back. He was in a desperate need and because what he had with him could not solve the situation, he reached out to me. Unfortunately, I too didn’t have to help him because of a project I recently started of which he is aware. In frustration he blurted out, only if I could just have some way of boosting my income right now!

That got me thinking of how I could help him out in that aspect – that is, find some ways to help him boost his income. Though I’ve written a post a few days ago on making some extra income online, I wanted something that really did not demand so much. And so, after some much thought and looking around, not to overwhelm him with too many choices, I picked the following 4 simple ways and shared them with him.

Now, I know there aren’t many of us that would turn down a boost in income, especially if they’re in a desperate need like my friend was. I have decided therefore to put the simple ways I shared with my in a post knowing that it might just help someone else is looking for ways of making some extra money.

So, whether you want to pay off debt, or you have a one-off expense you can’t really afford right now or perhaps you’ve just realized that you can’t survive properly on what you’re making, you should be happy to know that there are simple ways of boosting your income.

Here are the ideas I shared with me friend.

How to Boost Your Income without Any Much Stress

1. Go Freelance

Being a freelancer isn’t always a secure job, but it can be a fantastic second job to boost your income. If you have a particular skill set, you may find that many employers are willing to work with you on a part-time basis so you could work during the nights and evenings. Freelance jobs include anything from writing to data entry and graphic design to photography. It’s an ideal way of pursuing a passion and making some money out of it while you’re at it. There are also plenty of call centers looking for native English speakers to work night and weekend shifts from their own homes.

boost your income with freelancing jobs

2. Get Qualified

You may want to boost your income without having to work two jobs. To do that, you may need a change of career to secure yourself better financial prospects for the future. Many people give up at the first thought of this because studying and working at the same time can be very difficult. However, if you opt to study online, you can choose from thousands of different courses and study in your time. As long as you get your assignments in by the deadlines, it doesn’t matter when you do the work. For example, doing an online marketing MBA could mean that your employer hires you as an addition to the marketing team.

boost your income by getting more qualifications

3. Start Your Own Business

Got a great business idea? What’s stopping you? Lots of small businesses start off from home, in the owner’s spare time. Starting a business can be an ideal way of boosting your income, doing something you’re passionate about and setting up a future for yourself. It’s safe because you can stay employed as you build the business up and only exit employment when the business is making enough money for you to take home a decent wage. Take a look at some tips on how to market a new business through social media.

boost your income with a business

4. A Second Job

If you only need a boost in your income for a short period of time, you could consider getting a temporary second job. There are always companies looking for delivery drivers during the evenings, like local take-aways. You could also consider weekend work, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be something mundane. There are lots of exciting weekend jobs, like working in Santa’s Grotto during Christmas or being a team leader for children’s outdoor activities during the Summer. Think outside the box and you may just find something you love doing.

Get a second job to boost your income

Conclusion

While there may be many others ways you can use to boost your income starting today, any one working with these tips can turn around their income situations right away.

Do you have some really simple ways you want to suggest for those who want to boost their income? Share with us in the comments below.

 

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Top 4 Most Common Small Business Website Mistakes To Avoid

In our today’s digitally connected world any business that desires successful must, by all means, have some form of digital footprint – a website, a good social media profile perhaps, and of course, some form of presence when it comes to web searches.

However, there are often many mistakes that a lot of small business persons make when it comes to building their websites. As someone who wants to leverage the power of the internet to promote and grow your business and brand, it is important that you don’t make any of these mistakes yourself.

I have specially put this post together to help you avoid making these common mistakes. I invite you therefore to carefully read it.

Common Small Business Website Mistakes

Website Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake #1: Ignoring Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is key to ensuring that your web page is seen, especially when people use specific search terms directly for your business in popular search engines like Google. SEO is where you focus on keywords in your copy and on your web pages. It also involves getting your website linked back to from other websites and sites with a high domain authority.

When other sites link to your website it shows the search engines that you are deemed “important” and subsequently will direct their clients to your site if it deems fit with the wording used in the original search.

Search engine optimization can be a great way to ensure that your website gets seen when someone is searching within your industry. Ignoring it in your website design is a big mistake you must strive to avoid.

Ignoring Search Engine Optimization

Mistake #2: Underestimating the Power of Social Media

So many people turn to social media these days for personal and business uses. Research shows that almost 70% of people from nations that have active Facebook profiles alone check their feeds at least once a day.

Despite this, many small businesses do not use social media to their advantage. Having a clear and consistent social media strategy can often be an industry leading best kept secret to ensuring that your business is seen by the masses and not by the few.

A professional tone with consistent content will be key to ensuring that your business is seen by a wider audience. Not to mention the various advertising options within sites like Twitter, Instagram.com, and Facebook which can enable you to showcase your business to a massive audience within specific demographics.

Power of Social Media

Mistake #3: Not Analyzing Data and Website Efficiency

A good looking website is one thing and even making sure people can see it and visit it often. But if your website isn’t running smoothly, has low page loading times or is inefficient, then you will lose potential customers and clients.

The good thing is that with websites like Stackify.com you can ensure that the internet information service systems you have, will be providing you data to analyses efficiency.

Not Analyzing Data and Website Efficiency

Mistake #4: Failing To Create a Memorable Brand

Your brand is very important to how your website looks. It’s the one chance to make a decent first impression.

If your website doesn’t look good or particularly inviting, if your brand doesn’t speak volumes about what you stand for, If your website isn’t easy to use or have the content in which it needs, then it just won’t work for you.

It’s important to ensure that your website ticks all the boxes in order to stand out.

Dealing with downturns in businesses

If you do everything you can to avoid these website mistakes you can be sure of carving out a place for your small business in the online marketplace.

3 Incredibly Clever Ways Small Businesses Can Make More Money Online

As a small business entrepreneur are you looking for ways to make more money from your business without unnecessarily adding to your cost? Then this article is for you.

Frankly, many small business owners think that it’s easy to make your business a success online. But that’s not true at all. Fact is, it’s easy to setup a new business online but it’s not so easy to make it a success. There are a lot of high scale problems that might just confront you. These include, lack of attention or a more popular competitor taking all the business.

Besides, it’s possible that all the customers that you want are already buying the product that you offer from another business. And of course when this happens you can never see the type of profits you’d like to from your online company.

The question therefore is, how can you make your business more profitable online and transform a dwindling model into a money making machine?

While there are different profit making opportunities you can apply to take care of the situation I have the following to be truly outstanding. These simple ideas will help you make more money with your business without spending a lot of money to do it.

Clever ways to make more more with your small business

Simple Ideas to Make Money with Your Small Business Online

1. Increase Opportunities

Perhaps one of the best ways to make your business more profitable online is to ensure that customers have as many options as possible to buy.

To do this, you need to think about more than just your website or social media but rather what type of device your customer might be using. For instance, you might find that the majority of your customers are viewing your site on a mobile device. If that’s the case, it’s important that you ensure your site still works effectively when viewed on mobile devices. To do this, you need to make sure that it is mobile responsive.

Any top digital agency can arrange this for you and ensure that there’s no problems with a lost audience because they can’t view your site. Don’t forget this year Google have started penalizing site owners for not being mobile responsive. This should tell you how important it is.

Apps are important too. With the right app, you can get the attention of customers and ensure that they want to buy from your business. It’s important that the app is fun and easy to use.

You can also make sure that it has Third Party SDK Integrations. With this type of design, your app can connect to other areas of your business campaign. Due to this, customers will find it easier to get from one area to the other.

They can also use the app to check for updates from other areas of your campaign such as your Twitter. However, the most important thing about your app is it is fun and easy to use. If it isn’t, customers won’t keep it on their phone long enough for you to see an impact.

Make mobile buying easier on your site

2. Make Buying Easy

Next, you need to think about making buying for customers as easy as possible. It’s crucial that your customers can find the product they want and buy it immediately without delay.

The trick to making sure purchases are fast and easy is great security. If you have all the available security measures in place, you can get customers through as quickly as possible. You can even have ID systems that mean they don’t have to log in. Instead, the site remembers them, and one-click purchasing is possible.

You can also look at social media buy buttons. Rather than social content pushing customers towards your site, you can instead get them to buy right then and there. That way, there’s no chance of losing customers who didn’t follow the link. Or, who didn’t have time to click from one site to the next. It streamlines the purchase process, making things simple for you and the customer.

Make buying easier on your sitess

3. Expand Your Reach

If you expand your reach online, you can boost your customer numbers and reach a wider audience. This, in turn, will lead to higher levels of profit.

So, how do you boost your reach as a business owner?

Well, the simplest option is to make sure that you are constantly looking at ways to improve your marketing campaign. For instance, you should think about working on the quality of your content. Remember, quality is always going to be more important than quantity and will actually lead to a larger audience.

You might think that the best way to attract more people is to release as much content as possible. That’s not the case at all. In fact, you’re more likely to get increased interest if the content is shared more and that will happen if it’s a quality product. Therefore a little greatness will pay off a lot more than a ton of shoddy work.

It’s also possible to boost the reach of your business with new business partnerships. Look for a company that isn’t directly competing with you but shares the same market. You can then work together to create one massive marketing campaign that makes an impact.

Expand your business reach

Conclusion

In concluding this piece I will want to say that gone are the days when business owners were wondering if they should move their businesses online. Marketing your small business online is the best decision you have made but today that is not enough. The competition is increasing by the day. It is important therefore that you find out different ways to make more money from running that business online. Implement these simple but clever ways and you’ll see your business profits soar in no time at all.

15 Ways a Beginner Blogger Can Appear Like a Pro [Expert Tips]

Okay, today I’m going to do what I have not done for a long, long time – that’s feature a guest blogger on this blog!

Yes, if you read my “Write for Us” page right now you will discover that I have stopped accepting guest posts on this blog. However, when my friend, Theodore reached out to me on doing a guest post for the WebIncomeJournal.com, I had to think twice. But then I said, “Send it across!”

Now, you may be wondering why I decided to accept this one even when I have stopped accepting guest posts for close to two years running?

No, it isn’t just because he’s a friend but Theo (as I used to call him) is one passionate blogger that I know to over deliver in any of his posts. And so, I know he was not going to do anything below par.

And, was I right!

You just have to read this post to know what I’m talking about. And by the way, he has a special FREE GIFT for you at the end of this piece. So, do yourself some good and read all the way through the post so you don’t miss your gift!

And with that, let me step aside as I invite to the podium our special guest…

…over to you Theodore!

Expert blogging tips for the beginner blogger

Hey folks, it’s nice to write to you today from the corner of my girlfriend’s room. Yes, she’s just gone out and I thought I could quickly wrap my head around this and show you the world of better !

I must however, admit that there are a lot of articles flying everywhere online about this topic that you almost get really irritated at another sight of it.

Like you, I am tired but realizing that I still make some silly and common blogging mistakes, I decided to share my top 15 blogging tips which I hopefully believe will help the beginner blogger blog better. Hope you truly enjoy it as much as I am writing it!

So here are my best tips for your perusal and application. Enjoy reading! And please don’t hesitate to drop your two cents with me in the comment section of this page.

15 Blogging Tips for Beginner Blogger

1. Know Your Audience

The secret to stardom as a blogger is in knowing and understanding your target audience as to providing them the kind of content that they would love to read and share with their friends.

Knowing your audience well will help to get to their hearts with your content and as such help you make money online doing what you love.

So folks, if you’d like to start your online , it’d be great if you will check Chadrack’s powerful post on how to do just that. It is quite resourceful.

2. Embrace Truth-Telling

Many people in the bid to make money online lie to their audience by providing them stolen and get-rich-quick-scheme content that don’t add value to the audience but only enlarge their pockets. You don’t become great online when your trust level is on downright low!

Write from the heart

3. Pick A Topic

I have never seen anyone succeed in the online space, let alone in any endeavor by doing and talking about everything.

It’s good to practice what the mantra instructs – to know something about everything and everything about something – but it’s pretty important not to get lost trying to be everything to people.

You will only succeed in failing and burning yourself out. This is why you need to pick a topic to discuss with your audience and really stick to.

For me though, I majorly discuss blogging and make money online subjects.

Get the drift?

4. Stand Yourself Out

There are a lot of people out there practicing mediocrity. You don’t want to join that bandwagon. You want to be a unique YOU.

You don’t want to add to the already noise out there but create awesome and quality-filled contents that will be helpful as well as useful to the people in which you are serving them to.

5. Be Wary Of Stat-Checking

Is good to check your metrics so that you know what you are doing right and the things that you are doing wrongly. But what is not cool is when you base all your energy and focus on checking your blog’s stats.

You are still a beginner I assume. So what you should be doing at this stage of your blogging life is creating content and religiously promoting your blog.

Now, please, don’t get me wrong. It’s good to check your stat, to see where your traffics are coming from and how best to target them next time, but it’s not just cool at this early stage of your blogging career.

Get me now?

6. Make Your Content Shareable

I visited a blog the other day and I was shocked to find that I could not help them (the blog editor) share the content on my social accounts – and you can almost trust that this blogger wrote a really fantastic article – but one that won’t get noticed, after all.

Beginner blogger, listen to me, make sure you install and use social sharing plugins, the likes of “Social Warfare” (I use this one on my blog), “DIGG”, and “Share This” plugin. They have a way of getting the words out about your contents.

The more people hit those buttons, the more traffic you get and the more you increase your chances of making money online.

Maybe you should read Oleg’s post about the 44 Impressive Ways You Can Use Social Media to Grow Your Business Overnight. You can trust that it would worth your whiles.

Create shareable content

7. Encourage Community

I learned this one from Jeff Goins. He said, “Write unfinished posts, and ask your community to complete the conversation.” This way, you are sure to increase the chances of your blog ever going viral in the blogging space.

8. Network Daily

The difference between the not-so-popular blogger and the really popular blogger is nothing but effective networking with other bloggers and the people that come together to make up his community. The importance of connecting with folks online and offline cannot really be overemphasized. That’s the truth!

9. Write For People

You must have heard the rants of how important guest posting are to building a blog to the point where it becomes extremely successful.

Have you?

Now that’s pretty correct!

See, if you dream of having a really popular blog, then you must learn to write for other blogs, just as I am doing with this post.

Write for the community

10. Build Your Email List

I wish I had started building my email list when I started my first blog in 2011. My bad, I started late. Though now paying off.

You must have heard the mantra, “There’s money in the list”. I must also add, in fact, there is plenty money to be made via list building!

What having an email list does is that it connects you directly to the folks who are ready to listen to you, learn from you, buy from you and apply the lessons learned from you. It’s the best way of reaching your target audience. Take it from me.

I found a good resource here on Web Income Journal about Social Media Vs Email Marketing and I am sure it would of course worth your while if you take time to check and study that post.

Build an email list with your blog

11. Give Away Free Stuff

To become extremely popular in the online space – to grow your blog to the place it becomes extremely successful – you’ve got to learn to give away a lot of free stuff.

You don’t have to be afraid; you can give out contents in forms such as PDF, video, audio and the likes.

Be sure to do these things religiously till you start to get hits/buzzes in your inbox to do deals with you.Mind you, these folks might evenend up becoming your loyal blog audience.

12. Be Consistent

“Common buddy, consistency is the key to growing a successful blog.” Those were the words of Adrienne Smith to me at a time when I was experiencing a lot of frustrations back in 2014. Actually, she was right.

And in the words of Neil Patel, “Consistency is one of the most important things that bloggers tend to forget. It’s much easier to lose your traffic than it is to build it up, so make sure you consistently blog.”

Let their advice guide you to stardom!

13. Keep It Short And Loaded

Have you ever read Seth Godin’s opinions, that is, blog posts? God, they are habitually short, straight-to-the-point and are loaded with take home points. This is what you should strive to doing as a beginner blogger that you are.

Derek Sivers shared this, “Biggest lesson I learned in my past year of blogging. Keep it in the 1–2 minutes read-time length.”

14. Publish Timeless Contents

If you’ve been on the web for most time, you’d notice that old contents are often perceived as outdated and irrelevant.

Not so?

Well, what you should do is not to write a post but a resource that will be cited in weeks, months, even years to come. That’s what I call ‘Epic Shit!’

Make post timeless

15. Don’t Give Up

Maybe I need to stress that – Don’t ever think of GIVING UP! You win when you stick with what it is that you do, in this case, blogging.

BONUS TIPS

I have definitely got a bonus tip for you and it’s a resource I yet again found on Web Income Journal – it simply states the reasons Why 80% of Bloggers Fail and How to Avoid Being One. You can trust me on this that you can never go wrong with this article being your compass-guide. Go read it NOW!

Wrapping Up

These are my Top 15 blogging Tips for Beginner Blogger and I am sure if you would but put to practice this checklist you will enjoy your life as a blogger.

Do make sure to share this with your friends and don’t forget to comment your thoughts. That’s like really important. I need to know what you feel about this article. Was it helpful, useful, or not?

Author Bio

Theodore Nwangene is a blogger and Freelance Writer. He’s currently on a journey to help bloggers and entrepreneurs write kick-ass contents, build a better and profitable blog, increase visibility and boost their online authority. He just wrote a kindle book titled: 21 Writing Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Writing Compelling Articles That Will Open Doors and Land you Clients. Click Here to Get Your Free PDF Copy Now >

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How to Start a Business Online From Scratch: 3 Simple Tips to Get You Started!

Are you thinking of starting your own online ? Do you have dreams of becoming your own boss the easy way?

You are definitely not alone. With the number of layoffs increasing by the day in recent times, many entrepreneurially minded persons have taken to the internet to start their own businesses.

Of course, your reason may not be as a result of job loss. Probably you want to start that business because you desire a better lifestyle for you and your family. Or, maybe you are already tired of working for others and you want to step out to be your own boss!

How to start your own online business

Now, no matter your reason for wanting your own business, you must understand that creating your own online business is not an easy thing to do. There are many forces out there conspiring to frustrate your efforts. It doesn’t matter the hype you may have been fed with, building a sustainable business is not milk and butter!

Does that mean it cannot be done?

The answer is, NO!

Millions have done it and you too can do it. All I’m saying is that this is not the type of project that you should become involved in if you do not know exactly what you are doing. You need is to make the right preparations to ensure you have all your ducks in a row before you officially .

From my years online and from what I have seen in many others, there are a number of critical steps you need to take before you will be able to get your site up and running. Let me share with you the top 3 things you need to do.

3 Critical Steps to Starting a Sustainable Online Business

1. Get An Experienced Web Designer

A web designer is essential to your success

To have a you need a well-designed website. This is why your first step to a successful online business is hiring an experienced web designer; preferably, someone who has worked on many sites similar to the one you are going to create.

You must understand that your business website will play a vital role in your success or otherwise. In fact, you will never be able to achieve massive profitability if you have a substandard site that moves very sluggishly and has many glitches. This is why it is not an overstatement to say that the web designer you hire will be the most important person in your entire operation.

Visitors to your business site will, most of the time, judge your business based on your site and not the products or services that you provide. This might not seem fair. However, it is the reality. As you do know your website is the first contact they have with you and first impressions do matter!

Besides, when people visit your site, they will want to look around it for a few minutes. If it looks unimpressive or if it moves sluggishly they will leave and do their shopping elsewhere. This is another good reason why you should ONLY hire a web designer who has at least six years of experience.

Ideally, the person you hire should have designed other sites that are in the same genre as your desired site. This will allow the design process to go more smoothly.

Recommended Reading: Top 7 Small Business Website Mistakes and How to Overcome Them

2. Decide On a Campaign for Your Online Business

Design a marketing strategy for your online business

This is where many wannabe online entrepreneurs fall flat on their faces. They spend a fortune in getting a talented web designer to build for them a great website. However, they wait in vain for that much-desired website traffic. Build it and they will come is only true in the Field of Dreams!

You may have the most beautiful website with all the whistles and bells and built by the most talented web designer; but if the general public is unaware of your online business, it will amount to nothing. Your top priority should be to get the word out about what your business does and the products it sells. It is imperative to do this effectively so you can start generating a profit as soon as possible.

There are a number of ways you can choose to go about accomplishing this goal. One of such is to hire a professional marketing company to design a marketing campaign for you. Besides, you should also create various accounts for your business.

3. Thoroughly Test Your Site Prior To Launching It

Test your site before launching

This is very crucial. You need to be certain that all aspects of your site are in working order before the public accesses it. It is therefore, important that you test your website before launching it.

Some of the critical things you need to test out are the website shopping cart, the search feature, the videos, if you have any and of course, all of the other things on your site which you know are critical to the running of your online business. This is to ensure that there are no glitches when you finally launch. It will be embarrassing to the reputation of your business if you launch a site that has problems.

Recommended Reading: Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a New Business

Conclusion

Starting your own online business is definitely the quickest route to becoming your own boss in today’s economy. However, to ensure that you don’t become one of the statistics of failed online businesses, it is important that you carefully put the above tips into consideration. To be forewarned they say, is to be fore-armed! Overlooking these simple tips could be costly.

How to Succeed with Inbound Marketing in 5 Easy Steps!

Do you do inbound marketinging? If so, do you really understanding what inbound is all about?

Indeed, in the recent past incound marketingas a marketing word has become a buzz among internet marketers and, especially bloggers. Corned by the good folks at HubSpot.com the term has become for many, the internet marketing magic wand you need to succeed widely on the net!

Of course, I wouldn’t doubt that. However, it’s rather unfortunate that of those talking, only a few really know what inbound marketing is. On various occasions I have heard many of these self proclaimed ‘ experts’ refer to marketing as one and the same as inbound marketing!

Of course, the two terms can definitely be used interchangeably but, is inbound marketing all about content marketing?

Can simply creating and distributing content online with the mind of selling a product or service be referred to as an inbound marketing?

In this blog article, I aim to clear some of the misconceptions about inbound marketing. If you are considering marketing your online using inbound marketing or you are somehow already doing so, the following information will help you better understand and effectively implement this marketing strategy that is taking the internet by storm!

Understanding the concept of inbound marketing

Now, I must say that ever before HubSpot came about the word “inbound marketing” and many online marketers jumped at the it, I have been working with the concept of inbound marketing. This is because right from my early days on the net I read a book, “The Affiliate Marketing Masters” that laid out this concept despite the fact that it never called it that.

But the foundational knowledge I got from that ebook has always formed the basis of my marketing strategy. The concept is based on the fact that people go online not to be sold to but to get information. As a marketer therefore, all you need to do is to position your brand, product or service as the go-to expert for the needed information. By so doing, you would be attracting the right prospects and instead of chasing them!

This is why inbound marketing is also referred to as “pull marketing” as opposed to the traditional “push marketing”!

With that being said, et’s have a working definition of the term “inbound marketing”.

What Really Is Inbound Marketing?

Here’s what Wikipedia.com has to say about inbound marekting:

“Inbound marketing is the promotion of a company or other organization through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, newsletters, whitepapers, , physical products, marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel.”

And HubSpot.com, the people generally accepted as corning the term “inbound marketing”, has this to say:

“Inbound marketing is about using marketing to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention. Sharing is caring and inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.”

Simply put, inbound marketing is a general term for different marketing techniques that are combined into an overall marketing plan to produce outstanding results.

Now, the key to understanding this definition is the word COMBINED.  You must understand that these techniques are “combined” not “strung” together.

Before now, marketers using what is now referred to as outbound marketing, adopted fragmented techniques like print advertising, internet advertising, PR, cold calling, etc. in an attempt to boost sales.

The intent then was to reach as many prospects as possible. It doesn’t matter to the outbound marketer if the prospect needed that product or service at that very moment. It was simply about pushing out different marketing messages with the mind of seeing which one would stick!

Now, that strategy was nothing but the old “foot-in-the-door sales technique” when you go knocking on doors and ‘forcing’ yourself into the homes of prospective clients, trying to convince them of how wonderful your product is!

Recommended: Top 3 Reasons Why Content Marketing Will Fail You!

Indeed, outbound marketing was nothing but a hit and miss affair!

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, puts the focus on the prospect/customer instead of your product, service or company. Instead of using some clever hard sell tactics to get the sale from the reluctant and indifferent prospects or customers, you position yourself and make the business come to you.

How to Succeed with Inbound Marketing

Steps to inbound marketing success

To succeed with inbound marketing, there are certain fundametnal steps you need to take. If you understand this and follow through with these steps you can be sure of succeeding as an inbound marketer.

Here are the 5 simple steps to creating a successful inbound marekting strategy:

1. Listening

Every successful inbound marketing campaign begins with research. You need to know what the demand is and where it is coming from. Creating your inbound marketing content without any research is nothing but operating with the outbound marketing mindset.

You need to research what you competition is doing, what your prospects and customers need and what they are saying about you, your product or service.

The good thing is that you don’t have to look far as the internet has a lot to offer you about this research. You can use the search engines and keyword tools to know what your target audience are asking or looking for.

Social media sites come handy here also.

Now, whenever I hear anyone, SEO is dead while proclaiming to be an inbound marketer, I immediately know that that person have a wrong understanding of what inbound marketing is.

SEO is simply one of the old techniques that is necessary in inbound marketing. SEO helps you to produce the ‘right’ content that will help you attract the right prospect based on your research.

I do not just recommend understanding the basics of SEO as an inbound marketer because I am an SEO web content writer but because it is really the bedrock of creating the right content for your inbound marketing campaign.

2. Producing

As mentioned above, once you have listened and understood what your existing and prospective customers’ needs are from the conversations they are having online, your next move is to produce content that address those needs.

You should aim to be the go-to-resource by positioning yourself as a voice and authority in your industry. This way, prospective clients or customers will be attracted to you instead of you running after them.

It is important to note that creating quality and useful content that engages the attention of your prospects and customers is actually the most vital part of your inbound marketing strategy. It is what truly drives the inbound marketing wheel. This is why many see content marketing as one and the same as inbound marketing!

It is important therefore that as a business if you are hard up on time or you simply lack the in-house resources to create valuable web content, you mustn’t hesitate in hiring professional content writers since this will pay handsome dividend in the long run.

3. Engage

Inbound marketing is not a one-way traffic. It is not just about listening and producing quality content. That is nothing but ‘old school’ outbound marketing.

Working with what you know about your target audience in your research and using your content as a launching pad, you should move beyond that and aim to know them more ‘intimately’. Engage with them in order to gain their trust.

One effective way to do this is through social media. With social media you can spark a two-way conversation with your prospects/customers. Facebook is big right now. Take advantage of it.

There are tools that will help you set up keyword alerts to notify you of discussions about you and your product or service. One such service is Google alerts.

Email marketing is another old technique that you can use. Initiate the conversation on social media and then find a way of also getting them on your email list where you work on developing the relationship.

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

You may also want to download my Facebook marketing guide. Click here to download!

4. Transform

The ultimate aim of marketing is actually the resultant sale. Prospects and website visitors need to be converted into leads while leads must be converted to customers.

Through your engagement and lead nurturing, you expertly move every prospect through the buying cycle and ensure that when they are ready to buy, you will definitely be the ultimate choice!

This demands creating more and different types of content focused on the different stages of the buying cycle. Work with your insights and interactions and create the right type of content required.

At this stage you definitely need an email management system to drive your engagement and lead nurturing. There’s no better way to do this than through and autoresponder like GetResponse.com.

5. Grooming

Effectively engage with your prospects

If you have been online for some time By now, you already know that things change easily and quickly online. This calls for a constant improvement of your inbound marketing strategy. You should continuously analyze, track and ensure your content is updated to keep leads, not only engaged but also to remain loyal to your brand.
Continuously improve on your offerings to stay on top of what is working.

Simply put, rinse and repeat!

Conclusion

From the above you will understand that content is the bedrock of inbound marketing. This accounts for why many see content marketing as one and the same with inbound marketing. But as you have seen, inbound marketing is actually more than content marketing.

Nevertheless, for you to TRULY succeed with your inbound marketing strategy, you need not just content but high quality content. If, as a business, you lack in house expertise on content creation the better route to take is to get quality professional SEO content writers to help you with your web content.

Over to you: Let’s have your thoughts on how to succeed with inbound marketing in your comments below.

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