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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3 Surefire Ways to Make Your Online Business a Success

make your business a success

It’s an exciting time to be starting an online business. New entrepreneurs are presented more opportunities than ever before.

We’ve seen dozens of humble startups that have used the World Wide Web to create huge companies in recent years, and yours could be next.

While the potential for profit is greater than ever, so is the competition. Success in the online arena doesn’t come through pure luck. You’ve got to squeeze every last drop out of the available resources by constantly looking for new ways to drive the business forward.

The good news however is, there are a plethora of resources that will help you do this. In the post I want to give you a few tips that you can put to use today to help your online venture stand out from the crowd.

How to Make Your Business a Success

1. Use the Power of Google

Every internet user has encountered Google or another search engine at one stage or another. In fact, most of us tend to use these wonderful resources on a daily basis. The majority of browsing experiences begin with a trip to these platforms, which is why they are such a powerful tool for online businesses.

Most consumers still turn to search engines when looking for a specific product or service. If your business ranks towards the top of those results, you’ll stand a much greater chance of securing increased traffic. This will ultimately result in better sales figures too.

Competition to rank highly on these websites is naturally fierce. Central Iowa SEO can help you edge ahead of the competition. If you’ve got better visibility than your competitors, you’ll naturally have an increased chance of success.

2. Social Media Isn’t Just For Cat Pictures

The phenomenon of social media is something that we’ve all become reliant on over the past few years. Unsurprisingly, this creates ample opportunities for companies of all sizes to shine.

Firstly, platforms like Twitter are a great way to market the company effectively and cheaply. However, the benefits aren’t restricted to your advertising streams. By using social media as a form of customer care, you can actively build stronger relationships with your clients. At a time where the digital age makes it hard to build trust, this can be a hugely influential.

Additionally, offering this service may save you time too. After all, your answers will be published in the public domain. Other customers may be able to find those solutions before needing to hassle you with the same issue. And as we all know, time is money.

social media for business success

3. Blog Your Way to Success

After dedicating so much time to designing the perfect website, the last thing that any business owner wants is to see it fall flat. Unfortunately, without a steady stream of content, that is a very real possibility. Quite frankly, internet users demand more from the sites they visit.

Even if you are a clothes selling business, customers like to see something new. A blog is the perfect outlet to satisfy their needs. Meanwhile, you can use this asset to promote certain items. Moreover, you could run a competition to encourage further interaction. After all, familiarity breeds trust. Ultimately, this could be the key to winning new and continued business.

If you’re extra creative, you may want to incorporate YouTube videos and other media to make your blog stand out. Monetizing the venture through advertising could even turn it into a money-maker in its own right.

So, what more incentives or ways could you add? Or, have you used any these ways in your business? Share your experience with us.

How Are You Sure You’ll Succeed In 2014? [GOALS]

Goa setting success 2014!

It has become a ceremony that many must perform at the start of every year. Even when they nothing has come out of their previous years’ ritual they will gladly perform some more with the hope that this year would be different!

Of course, I’m sure you already know what I’m talking about here. But in case you still cannot figure it out, I’m talking about New Year resolutions and goal setting!

Do I mean making New Year resolutions and setting goals for the New Year is a wrong thing to do?

No, and a thousand NOOOOOOOOO!

However, as you can testify (because I’m sure you have personal experiences) the excitement that moved you to make that resolution or set those goals in the first place, most times rarely last 3 months!

It is true that many hardly remember what their resolutions and goals for the New Year are after the first couple of months. They simply make these resolutions and set their goals but then they continue with every other thing they have always done.

Can I hear you already saying, that’s insanity?

Yes, and that’s exactly what someone actually called it. If you continue to do the same thing and expect new results, that’s the sign of insanity!

So, may I inform you today that if you want to be sure of success this year 2014, forget about simply setting goals and making New Year resolutions. Take practical steps to ensure that you succeed.

If you have not taken a good look at your business activities in the past year, this is the time to do so. No, it’s not too late, do it now! I did mine in December and I took the Christmas holidays to work on putting in place some very pertinent changes that you can see on this blog right now. I just wrote about that here. And, I intend to follow the path I have set out for the year.

How Can You Make 2014 Different and Guarantee Your Success?

In setting your goals and making 2014 the best year in your business, I want to give you the following 3 action steps:

1. Be Specific

You’ve heard it said, set SMART goals, right? Now look at the goals you have set for the year, are they really specific? Read most of the blogs that have posts on the blogger’s goals for this year. Can’t you see that something is wrong?

Look carefully and you discover that most of what is being referred to as goals in these blog posts are nothing but “to-do-list” for the year! There should actually be a goal(s) which these “to-do-list”, rightly called objectives, are targeted at achieving.

So, if you want to guarantee your success in year 2014, be specific about your GOAL!

I intend to expand on this in my next post. If you don’t want to miss it, subscribe to my newsletter and you’ll be notified at no cost whatever.  Don’t miss it!

Work SMART: Set Goals!

2. Be Methodical

Now, setting that goal is not enough if you want to truly achieve your aim. The next step is putting in place a methodology for bringing that goal to fruition. You must be methodical. Plan out your strategy. Take a look at what you have being doing and note what you will need to change and what you must retain.

This will require work but don’t shy away from it. Take the time to carefully layout your strategy for the year.

From experience this is actually the bane of many online business entrepreneurs. Many do not take the time to do this. After setting what they call goals for the year, they simply continue with their work somehow hoping that things will fall in place.

But that is a fallacy! Things will not work unless you work on them!

3. Be Consistent

This is where many fall off.

In fact, it does appear that our human nature has a way of playing pranks with us here. When we set out to work on something the tendency is to always be on the lookout for results but once this refuses to come when and at the time we expected them, we quickly loss interest.

And, this has caused many a heartache!

If you must see results from your New Year resolutions or goals in 2014 you must consistently push on with your strategies. Be consistent with your methods. Of course, you need to evaluate them along the line but never make the mistake of switching from one method to another just because you saw someone else using something else.

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  • The woodpecker is able to accomplish its job because it is consistent.
  • The spring of water is able to grow and become a mighty river because it was consistent in its flow. Meandering and snaking its way around obstacles, it continues its flow until finding the place of least resistance it spreads out to become a might river!
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Do not allow obstacles and the troubles of life stop you from achieving your goal for the year. You have all that it takes to overcome that obstacle.

Remember, there’s nothing that you’re facing right now or will face that others have not faced. The Good News? Whatever obstacle that comes your way, you have all it takes to overcome it!

So, keep on keeping on and success will be yours!

It doesn’t matter what market you are serving. It does matter the competition you are up against. If you decide this year to really be specific about what you want to achieve, if you will be methodical in working it out and if you will stay your course and be consistent no matter the challenges, 2014 will be the best year you ever had!

I look forward to saying “Congratulations” to you at the end of 2014!

Let’s continue this discussion in the comments section below.

Look before You Leap: Five Points to Consider When Purchasing an eCommerce Business!

Buy ecommerce business with success!

Hi and welcome to 2014! Hope you  had a wonderful and refreshing holiday!

Like I mentioned earlier, I had to take some days off to spend more time with the family and also to re-strategize for this new year. And so, in the coming few days you will be seeing some changes and improvements on this site.

For now let’s start off this year by talking about one of the ways you can kickstart your entrepreneurial journey the easy way, that is, buying an already existing e-Commerce business!

As we do know building any type of business from scratch is no mean task. It doesn’t matter whether it is online or offline. Records indicate that many who tried that route as entrepreneurs quickly discovered how overwhelming and daunting it can really be.

As a result of the issues associated with starting from scratch, many people have been known to go for an already established business. They consider it more rewarding and less tasking to purchase such a business than starting from zero.

Of course, this has its advantages especially since majority of the work involved in getting the business up and running has already been completed. However, there are still several red flags you need to consider before buying an eCommerce business. And so, if you’re considering starting your own online business this year through acquiring an already existing one, I ask that you read this post all through. In it I share with you a few tips that will help you succeed with your acquisition.

What to look out for When Buying An eCommerce Business

1.    Review a Detailed Copy of Past Web Logs

According to Server Watch, one of the first things you need to ask the current owner for is their collection of past web logs which allows you to verify the traffic and conversion levels generated in the past. Do not trust solely in what the current owner tells you about the success (or failure) of their business. Taking the time to review important documentation, such as these web logs, will allow you to see the unbiased truth for yourself. Of course, documented evident does beat any verbal reports any day.

2.    Research All Incoming Links

In most cases, the current owner whenever they plan to sell a website that they own; will try to push the high number of incoming links they were able to generate within the website as a major selling point. It is fairly easy to become intrigued by a high number, especially if you are familiar with the long-term value backlinks can generate for your new business. However, before you get too excited and ignorantly finalize this deal, take the time to identify the origin of the incoming links. Remember, just because there are a lot within the owner’s website doesn’t mean the links made it there legitimately. Researching their origin will give you the chance to verify this as well. Fortunately, checking the history of incoming links is not as difficult to do as it may seem at first, according to Page 1 Solutions.

3.    Focus on the Reputation

The last thing you want to do is invest your hard-earned money and resources into a business you think is successful, but, in reality, has already been driven into the ground. Use Google or any other popular search engine to view the website’s grade and feedback and comments posted and published by customers and clients about this particular business. In some cases, you might be able to turn a negative reputation around over time. However, you need to be able to realistically assess whether or not that would be a reasonable decision to make. Not all businesses can be saved.

4.    Examine the Past Financial History

In addition to the website ranking and overall reputation, the financial side of the business has to be examined even more closely before you make any final purchasing decisions. It is highly recommended that you obtain copies of the business’s financial records and banking statements for at least the past two years, according to eCommerce Business Journal. Hiring a professional accountant to review these documents is another great idea, because he or she might be able to find a major issue that you may have overlooked during the initial review.

5.    Consider Your Own Business Plan

Think about the amount of money, time and resources you will be investing in this eCommerce business on a short- and long-term basis. Even before you sign your name on the dotted line and finalize the sale or acquisition of the eCommerce business you want, do yourself a favor and create a business plan that reflects the next step. Once all the paperwork has been signed and the sale has been completed, you will need to hit the ground running. Having a definitive plan of action will help you achieve this goal.

Indeed, there are pros and cons when it comes to buying an ecommerce site. however, if you will work with the above tips you will definitely make a good success of your purchase.

Can You Really Make Money Building and Selling Websites?

Without any doubt the Internet has opened up different ways for people to make money these days whether full time or part time. From running of eCommerce sites and selling of information products, a lot of people have discovered lucrative opportunities online. One of such business opportunities is the building and selling of websites. What these people do is, like real estate developers, they create nice looking sites and then sell them on auction sites such as eBay.com. this online business model is also known as website flipping. The question many people will want answered is, can you really make money from building and selling of websites? Can these sites actually make money for the average Joe?

Using Blogs For Promoting Your Business Website

Here are a few ways you can make money from website flipping:

1. Hosting Services – Some website designers will offer a website for a very low price to entice a sale. Part of these offers is a free month or year worth of hosting on his or her server. Many of these people will use a reseller service for webhosting in order to sell off space on the Internet for a very low price. When a sale happens, part of the stipulation may be that you are committed to a specific amount of time with this hosting provider for a discounted price if not free. Some may think this practice borders on immoral, especially if the auction or sale doesn’t emphasize this feature. At any rate, many of these practices are actually cheaper per month to the consumer over paying directly for hosting.

2. Outright Sale – It could take a great deal of work to generate enough traffic to sell a website for thousands of dollars, but it does happen. Developers will spend several months cultivating a website to generate a certain amount of traffic and then sell them to the highest bidder. If the developer can prove to the potential buyer that the website generates thousands of visits per day, he or she can easily make a sale. The more quality traffic a website receives, the more valuable it becomes. However, this could take a great deal of time and search engine optimization management in order to make this a lucrative venture.

3. It’s All in the Name – A common practice on the Internet is the buying and reselling of potentially golden domain names. By keeping an eye on what’s trending in the general public, a seller could discover the perfect domain name at the time and buy it from a registrar for less than $15. He or she can then auction off the domain or use services available such as those located on Godaddy.com to sell the domain name for a great deal more. Some of these sites have sold for tens of thousands of dollars from just a simple $15 investment. However, this entails that you have a good eye for the current trend and can make an educated guess as to what the next big domain name will be.

4. Content for Success – One of the most important constants to remember of the Internet is, “content matters.” Simply throwing a nicely designed template up with a few pages of content won’t help you sell the site later on. The site needs to be rich with unique and well developed content. These pages need to be added on a regular basis in order for the site to score well with search engines such as Google. You can’t write 10 pages of 1000 word articles and expect the site to generate a great deal of traffic. It needs to be a regular flow of relevant content to the niche supporting the website’s name. For instance, writing about boats on a website named “babyclothes.com” is not going to bode well for future sales.

5. Don’t Waste Space – If you are developing a website for the purpose of selling it later, you might as well use what you have. Add money making programs like Google Adsense and affiliate marketing banners to put more money in your pocket. If you can provide evidence that your site is making money from these venues, it will exponentially increase the value of the site. Coincidentally, you may find yourself wanting to keep the site because of the amount of money it makes from these services.

The Internet has provided a platform for money to be made in a variety of ways. Whether these are purely online services or selling products world-wide, the Internet opens possibilities to virtually any business idea. Developments for continued success are constantly being designed to benefit anyone. Regardless of whether you are a website designer looking to sell your creations or a guy in the basement of his house running an online eCommerce home electronics store, discovering new online methods could help you solidify your income.

Over to you: do you think money can really be made from building and selling websites on the internet? Share your views in your comments below.

Author Bio: Jason Miner an expert freelance writer loves writing articles on different categories. He is approaching different bloggers to recognize each other’s efforts through “www.blogcarnival.com”. He can be contacted through e-mail at jasonminer8atgmaildotcom.

How a Good Marketing Strategy Can Help With Your Business Success

Whatever market you are servicing, the success of your business depends largely on how good your marketing plan is. Unfortunately, many business persons market their businesses on a trial and error basis. They simply try out different marketing tactics without really focusing on any and when nothing good comes out those tactics they simply give up.

But that is really a wrong way of trying to market your business. It is important that you don’t only have a marketing strategy but that it must be coordinated and well planned. Enough time should be devoted to the different components of the strategy to ensure that the best result is achieved.

Recommended: How Integrating Social Media And Blogging Can Greatly Enhance Your Online Success!

In this article I want to share with you four ways how a good marketing strategy helps in your business success.

1. Increased Business

Get a good marketing strategy for your businessMarketing professionals all agree that the most crucial goal of marketing is to gain customers. But you cannot do this without a good marketing plan. To build a viable business you need not only a solid marketing plan but a strategy that helps you create a lot of paying customers.

Though, as your business grows, you may depend more on repeat customers to gain more business, but the fact is, if you are just starting out, you need to spend a lot of time and resources in setting up your marketing plan. It is when you’ve done this correctly that you will gain a solid amount of customers who will help your business grow.

2. More Exposure

A solid marketing plan will help expose your business. Ideally, your business should have so much exposure that everyone knows about it. But in reality this is not possible since there is no marketing plan that can expose your business to everyone! However, you can aim high, and at least try for maximum exposure in your city or neighborhood. For the most part, any exposure is going to be good exposure, so long as it happens in markets that can lead to conversion.

3. Growth

Without a solid marketing plan, your business will not grow. If you want your business to succeed, it must grow at a solid rate. When you have a good marketing plan, along with an adequate marketing budget, your business will grow at a solid rate. It may take years for you to develop a perfect marketing plan, but once you do, your business will have more customers than it can handle.

4. Better Understanding of Your Business

Any business owner will tell you that they learn a lot from their customers. With a good marketing strategy, you will learn how your customers respond to certain campaigns, and you will also learn what your customer’s desire from a company. As this happens, you will in turn learn a lot more about your business and what it will take to succeed. With this information, you should be able to propel your business to the top.

Conclusion

from the above it is clear that if you neglect your marketing strategy, you are simply setting yourself up for failure. The truth is that a solid marketing campaign will do more for your company than any other project. After all, your business ideas and products need to evolve to keep up with the demands of your customers. Remember, you always must track your marketing campaigns to see what works and what does not work, or your entire efforts are for naught!

Over to you: I will love to know your opinion on this subject of using a good marketing strategy to build your business. Share your thought with us in your comments below.

Jemma Charms writes about marketing, business and education. Check out her most recent work, on how to find the best finance schools.

How to Optimize Your Website for Affiliate Marketing Success

Optimize your websiates for affiliate marketing success!

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular methods of making money on your website. You don’t need a whole lot of things to start earning with affiliate marketing. You don’t have to worry yourself about creating a product nor about customer service.

Even if you are not good at selling, you can do very great with affiliate marketing because it is not really about selling but simply recommending a product or service to your target audience just as you would do a friend!

Unfortunately, because of the ease of entry, the competition is rife. It is not uncommon to find thousands of affiliates promoting the same product or service. Despite this competition however, you can grab a slice of the affiliate marketing pie if you would develop a working strategy for your website.

Recommended: Proven Affiliate Marketing Tips For The Home-Based Business Entrepreneur!

No matter what you may have heard, affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Your income will depend greatly on how much work and dedication you put into it. The following are strategic steps to optimize your website so you can maximize your income by being an affiliate publisher.

1. Content

Having relevant and engaging content is a requirement for many affiliate marketing programs. The more content your website has, the better off you’ll be in more ways than just affiliate marketing. Many successful affiliate publishers will add three to five articles per day on his or her website to keep the content fresh and regular. The more you add, the better the site will perform.

2. Match the Niche

Matching your website content to the advertiser’s products is one of the best methods of getting attention. For instance, if you sign up for an advertiser for dog-care products, you would want to create several articles pertaining to the usage of these products. You will need to provide tips and tricks, and anything else you can think of. Try not to feature the advertiser’s name in the articles, however. You don’t want it to feel like an advertisement.

3. Keywords

You should feature keywords optimized content on your site. Keywords are very important in nearly everything you do on the Internet. They are how search engines categorize and rank your website’s content. Through a bit of research using Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool, you can determine the best sets of keywords and phrases regarding your advertiser’s products.

An example of this is to run a search for “delicious dog food”. Under the expandable window for the “Diet Dog Food” suggestion from Google, you can see that “Diet Dog Food” is a phrase that has more than 60,000 global searches per month on average (at the time of writing this). This tool can give you an idea of what content to write. In the article for a dog food advertiser, you could feature the types of food available and the benefits from using “Diet Dog Food”.

Don’t Miss This: Affiliate Income Strategy: How To Quickly Double Your Income In 2013!

4. Rules

A very important aspect of affiliate advertising is following the advertiser’s rules. Some advertisers are very strict when it comes to how you place their advertisements. If you use Google Adwords to market an advertiser’s goods, some won’t allow you to “bid” on certain keywords or brand names. If you are caught, they will pull the account from your website. Read all of the guidelines before signing up for an affiliate publisher’s account.

5. SEO Practices

As in any website development, proper search engine optimization will help increase traffic to your website. When it comes to affiliate marketing, more visitors could mean more income. Above, we covered keywords and content already. However, there is more to SEO than that. Make sure your sitemaps and websites are submitted to the search engines. One of the best ways to do this is through Google Webmaster Tools. This tool will allow you to add your website to Google and submit your sitemap in one location. Besides, the structure of your website is important. Use CMS platforms like WordPress that lets you easily SEO optimize your site. If you are not familiar with the technical details of setting up a website, do not hesitate to get the help of professionals.

6. Analyze

Keeping an eye on the progress of your website can help you determine what methods to implement next. Most affiliate firms will have information such as banner clicks, impressions, and more that can show you how successful your campaigns are. Monitoring your website’s progress through Google Analytics can show you what pages on your site are the most viewed and how long visitors are staying on your site. With this information, you can adjust your content, add to it, create similar articles for additional interest, and anything else you can think of.

There is still quite a bit of money to be made through your website by being an affiliate publisher. As smartphone and tablet users are spending more money online than in the past, you could be capitalizing on some of it. Be vigilant in maintaining your website and the money will surely start to flow.

So, are you an affiliate marketer? How are you optimizing your site/blog as an affiliate marketer? Share your thought in your comment below.

Inspiration: Your Business Success Is Your Responsibility!

Day 6 of Our 12 Days of Christmas InspirationI started these 12 Days of Christmas Inspiration series by relating the incident that brought down the Web Income Journal for about 5 days. That was the second of its kind in a matter of months. And of course, it was just one of the numerous other challenges I have faced building my online business.

But like I said in the post, rather than let that incident and the frustration and pain it caused me to crush my spirit, it motivated me the more to ensure that no matter what happens, this business must succeed and therefore I must put in more effort!

Now, that resolve was because I have learned to be responsible!

It’s because I’ve learned that:

  • The success or failure of your online business is up to you. You have no one to blame.
  • The freedom and choice to make your business produce results are your responsibility.
  • Success or failure the credit goes to no one but you.
  • Your blog readers will not do it for you neither will your online friends!

Of course, I have earlier mentioned the need to collaborate with others in order to achieve your dream, but that does not remove the responsibility from you. Your blog readers and online friends are there to assist but be ready to carry the load of responsibility alone!

Being responsible demands being bold enough to step out on your own through individual initiative. You must be able to act independently and with greater self-reliance.

It demands taking the right actions that will bring you to your desired goal. The responsible are always ready to roll up their sleeves and put action to their desires!  Forget “all-done-it-for-you” and those “set-and-forget-it” tactics being touted by unscrupulous vendors.

3 Things You Must Do To Be Responsible

1. Invest In Your Self

Successful people agree that success is not really what you get but what happens to you. It is about who you become and not what you beget. It is a reflection of your person. If you are successful inside it will show in the outside. As it is commonly said, “Your attitude will determine your altitude!”

It is important therefore that the first action you must take towards being responsible is to invest in building your capacity. Read the right books and apply what you read to your business. To be fruitful you need to stay green and continuous study will help you stay green and therefore fruitful!

2. Design Your Own Action Plan

You are unique. Your circumstances and experiences are distinct from others. You don’t need every strategy out there to succeed with your business. Get as much as is necessary and then structure your own action plan. Make it unique to you. Add what you know will help you. Try new approaches only if you know they will further you purpose. Depending on your business model, your action plan may not be what others are using but the important thing is if it is working for you then it is useful.

3. Be Proactive And Not Reactive

Change is rapid on the net. A tactic that worked a few minutes ago will become obsolete in the next few hours! That “sure-fire” tactic you have just read about is actually outdated already! It has been milked inside out. Why run around looking for the latest tricks and tactics? It will only weary you. Instead, learn to read and interpret what is happening. Learn to understand where the trend is going and then make the move to position yourself before others. This may sound a bit out of your reach but the truth is you don’t have to compete with the big players. Learn from them and carve out your own stand!

Here is one way to do this. As the year is running to a close many companies and businesses that are into research are coming out with reports and predictions for the coming year. Study these reports. Note what they are saying about your target market. Use your knowledge to review your business and tactics.

Take away

Your business is your responsibility. The buck stops on your table. You have a duty to yourself and your family to ensure that it works. You cannot blame anyone whatever happens. You are given an equal opportunity as everyone else – twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and fifty-two weeks a year. Invest them rightly and your dream will become a reality.

So, what is your take? Will love to read and respond to your comments below.

Multivariate Testing: Tactically Improve Your Conversions and Boost Your Business Profits!

Operating a business over the Internet is no different than running a mortar and stone shop. The process demands utmost customer satisfaction. And this can be done by delivering services or products that appeal most to the customer’s specific preferences.

This is why the most successful entrepreneurs are those who constantly solicit for customer feedback and suggestions. After all, it is the buyers that liquefy the flow of profits towards the biz.

(Photo credit: Bruce Clay)

In an online setting, surveillance of the buyers’ inkling can take place through forums, digital questionnaires and e-mailing services. While these are usually effective, they can have major lapses – only visitors with enough time to spare in formulating messages for the company can participate in the discussions.

Plus, there is not guarantee on the objectivity of the reviews submitted. For all you know, some of the items in the site may have been written by the competition to mislead proprietors. This is an unruly ploy, but it does exist in the World Wide Web.

Fortunately, there’s a better alternative in studying the purchasing motivation and partiality of the consumers: multivariate testing.

Snippet of Information About Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing is an experiment conducted by marketing experts to assess how certain website components are performing in terms of traffic and conversion.

In essence, it mimics the process of holding out two equivalent products and asking the consumers which of the items are more likely to be bought.

Web developers would then create two different versions of a web page and then checked which among the variants provide favorable results in terms of hits, sales and engagement.

Multivariate testing is different from A/B testing in that more than one element can be tested at the same time. Still, web visitors participate in the experiment unconsciously. The variants will be displayed in their screens, and their online activity will be recorded.

Among the things that entrepreneurs can monitor include:

  • Click out rates towards links,
  •  Number of views on the landing page,
  • Volume of items sold,
  • Number of users who signed up for subscription,
  • Etc.

It actually depends on the metric used for the test, and the primary goal of proprietors in conducting the experiment.

How Multivariate Testing Contributes to Online Success

Multivariate testing satisfies various principles in marketing that can guarantee triumph in the industry. For one, it gives businesses a clear direction on how to please their niche. Results from the test practically maps out the most viable steps that they can take to deepen the engagement of web visitors and boost revenues.

At the same time, multivariate testing helps in accelerating optimization process. Given that multiple components can be tested together, they can quicken the pace of coming up with designs to implement for the site. The very same reason allows entrepreneurs to enjoy liberty of dry-running their ideas.

Limitless elements for testing defy the boundary of evaluating ideas.

When these benefits are rolled together, they pave the way for endowment of competitive edge that may not be possible to acquire from any other means.

Multivariate testing increases the chance even of small businesses to have continuous flow of income amidst the tight competition. Given that adopting structures and designs can lure audiences into making an action, multivariate testing is the sharpest tool in slicing through company rivalries and bringing highest possible conversion rates.

Most Effective Ways in Doing Multivariate Testing

Before Multivariate Testing…

1.  Assess the performance of the website – Prior to the experiment, it is best to step back and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the site including plusses and glitches. Focus on design and web content. Then determine the areas of improvement.

2.  Prepare for the test – Multivariate testing may be straightforward, but it is not a mere push of a button. Make a list of all the elements that can be tested and rank them according to priority. Test the most important components first. You may also consolidate the elements and separate those that need to be tested individually.

3.  Bridge disparities – Come up with a goal (usually concentrated on addressing pressing problem of the site) and formulate hypothesis (probable solutions to the troubles).

4.  List all the possible combinations of the elements to be tested.

5.  Craft the variants and finalize them before running the test.

There are actually loads of programs that you can use to carry out the test. Most of the software can automate the redirection of users towards certain variants, even the generation of potential combinations and recording of data.

But this doesn’t spare them from technical hitches. Always be hands-on during the period of the test. Make sure that the test is running simultaneously and is within the expected timeline. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bunch of raw data that leads to no definite conclusion.

Then interpret the data wisely after the testing period.

Remember that your skills and knowledge is the most major determinant of multivariate testing success. Have a fill of information about the procedure going through with it. Only then can you have the right armor to thrive in the cyber marketplace!

This post is by Ruben who writes for Maxymiser. Get more info about Ruben on the author box below.

7 Ways To Make Your Direct Mail Campaign A Success

Effective direct mail campaign that brings the success you desire depends on various factors. These include, how well the list is targeted and the number and quality of the pieces sent. Small aspects of the campaign can have a big impact on how well the campaign is able to generate sales or interest.

You can optimize your direct mail campaigns just the same way you would a website – by developing keyword strategies and get it noticed by search engines, spending some time studying competitor’s websites’ content, code, keywords, and Meta data.

These basic research skills should be applied to your direct mail campaigns. Doing so will help make your direct mail campaigns to be quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive to execute.

Direct mail marketing campaign

Image credit: Flickr.com

7 Tips For Direct Mail Campaign Success

1. Professional services

Direct mail service companies provide services to help design materials, write text, and find a mailing list that targets customers most likely to purchase your product. Of course, there’s always the option of choosing a design firm, a copywriting professional, a printer, mailing company, and managing the mailing effort independently.

Either way, seek out the guidance of someone with experience, especially for specific services like printing. Make sure your “first impression” looks good and appeals to your customers.

2. Measure rates

One of the most important ways to increase the chances of success with your direct mail campaign is to put in place a mechanism that measures rates. Tracking the success of your campaign can help in planning your next mailing effort.

Some of the most effective ways to track results are fairly simple. For example, try printing a special code to each postcard or brochure that customers can use to redeem a special offer or purchase a product.

3. Subsequent mailings

Recent studies show that ongoing direct mail campaigns have the most success. Subsequent mailings should introduce new products, alert customers to upcoming sales or promotions, and thank customers for making a purchase or referring your company.

Think outside the box. Expose the customer to your brand by continuing to mail them with thoughtful, creative content.

4. Count sales

Make sure to keep track of the number of sales ads and coupons. Take some time to investigate what other marketers are doing in your industry.

If coupons outweigh sales events in your industry, there may be a good marketing reason behind it. Conduct some research to get a better understanding of the unique qualities of your particular industry.

5. Compelling content

Compel your recipients to check out the main site with content that is interesting to your specific demographic. The best direct mail campaigns don’t just “tell,” they help the reader with beneficial information that only your company can provide.

The awful truth is that most of your clients will discard your mail unless it contains an offer that really jumps off the page. Whether you’re trying to create brand visibility, encourage customers to make purchases, or attend a promotional event, ensure that you draft a compelling offer.

6. Target customers

Study how ads speak directly to targeted customers. It is critical for advertising images and phrases to relate to something consumers can identify with in order to make connections with potential customers.

For example, alcohol companies often tie sales to sports events, while card companies increase direct mail marketing around holidays. Charities look for innocent faces and animals, while corporations tend to use sharply dressed, powerful looking professionals to sell their image.

7. Aesthetics

Obviously, content is important in advertising but if your ad is being inserted into a mass mailer, consider stepping up the aesthetic appeal of your direct mail.

It’s important to remember that some consumers respond to some things while others respond better to something on the completely opposite side of the spectrum. Having said that, very few people will respond to visually cluttered or busy presentations.

Direct mail marketing can really pay off if you keep it clean, simple, and find a niche.

As you study direct mail for ideas and clues about what to do, remember to also study direct mail for ideas about what to avoid.

Take the time to do research before launching a direct mail ad campaign. If you do not, your ads will almost certainly end up in the consumer’s trash can.

Let us know your experience with direct mails. Which of these points do you not agree with? Share with us in your comments.