4 Essential Tips for Running a Successful E-Commerce Business

Do you have dreams of setting up and running a successful ecommerce business?

Does the prospect of operating your own successful business from any location in the world, while creating the life of your choosing, appeal to you?

In the recent past, the ecommerce economy has witnessed a rapid upward growth. For entrepreneurs this is both exciting and intriguing and so, if you’re truly interested in starting your own ecommerce business there’s no better time than now.

What Is Ecommerce Business?

E-commerce business, also known as electronic commerce or digital commerce, is simply is a way of carrying out business over the internet. With the growing popularity of the world wide web and of course, improvement in technology that has enabled more and more people to access the internet, business transactions between companies and consumers carried out online are now a common thing. Consumers can now easily purchase products and services over the internet using their credit cards and get their purchases delivered through mail. One great example of an ecommerce site is Amazon.com.

Running a Successful eCommerce Business

Why Should You Care About Ecommerce Business?

Apart from the fact that the internet has greatly impacted how business transactions are conducted in the past few years, as an entrepreneur you should indeed be excited with the prospects of an ecommerce business for a number of reasons.

For example, you can extend your business reach beyond your local boundaries since the internet is global and not restricted by any physical boundaries. Besides, starting an e-commerce business is easy and inexpensive. Most e-commerce websites can essentially run themselves once they reach a certain point of success. And, as we have mentioned earlier, the prospect of growth is huge with more and more people turning to the internet to make their purchases.

Another reason why you should care about this is that recent stats about ecommerce businesses have shown that for the past decade or so, overall online sales volume have increased dramatically each year. Selz, an online selling tool, reported recently that online shopping and ecommerce is expected to grow by 8 to 12% in the next few years with sales in the United States alone going for between $427 billion and $443 billion.

Beyond this, the report also indicated that people are spending more money each time they shop online while BI Intelligence forecast indicates a spending of up to $632 billion online in 2020 for consumers in the United States!

Ecommerce Business Growth Stats

If you ask me, these are indeed interesting figures which any proactive entrepreneur would want to take seriously. However, if you expect to see results there’s the need to approach it in the right way.

So, whether you already have an existing brick-and-mortar store and you have plans of launching an ecommerce branch or you simply have plans to launch a brand new ecommerce business, you should be willing to put in the time and effort to produce the expected returns.

In my research I’ve uncovered some common specific qualities that many of the current owners of successful online e-commerce sites have. Note and implement these tips in your ecommerce business and they would definitely help you get off on the right foot.

How to Run a Successful E-Commerce Business

1. Treat It Like A Real Business

Just because the business is online does not mean that it shouldn’t be treated with as much regard as a real, brick-and-mortar store. If you truly have a desire to grow your business into a massively successful one, then you need to treat it as if it is already one.

An e-commerce store is a real store and should be treated with the same respect as the CEO of a multi-million dollar business.

Ecommerce business secrets

2. Use the Right Software

As an online business owner, it is essential to find the right software to run your business. One of the bigger choices you will have to make when it comes to software for an e-commerce business is the choice of an online shopping cart system from a reputable company such as www.1shoppingcart.com.

For many online business owners, choosing the right software for each area of the business is fundamental for the success of the entire operation. Scalability, marketing tools, security concerns and other factors all have to be taken into serious consideration when looking for software options. Choosing the best software should not be taken lightly.

3. Find Your Target Audience

One key part of running a successful business is correctly finding who your target audience is. A lot of businesses that don’t succeed have failed to take this seriously. Without knowing your niche, you can end up wasting a lot of time, money and resources on marketing to the wrong audience which won’t covert to customers.

Finding your correct target audience will rely heavily on your products and the focus of your business. If you can correctly figure out your target audience, you will be in a much better position to bring in steady amounts of leads.

E-Commerce Success Tips

4. Allow Customers to Be Brand Ambassadors

There is nothing better for the success of a business than to get glowing recommendations from satisfied customers. It adds credibility to your business, products and brand.

Collecting and sharing all of your reviews and testimonials regularly will encourage more participation and sales from your website visitors. While you are able to talk your business up as much as you like on your own, it is ultimately what your customers have to say about your business that will make or break the success of your business.

Conclusion

Ultimately, how big you will grow your ecommerce business is up to you. You’ll need a lot of hard work and determination. Most successful ecommerce shop owners have reported periods of failure before seeing and substantial returns.

However, no matter how long it takes success is sure if you don’t give up. You simply need to fully understand what you want out of your business in order to find the ambition to make it a reality.

Fail-Proof Business Launch: 4 Dangers to Avoid If You MUST Succeed!

Business launches are becoming very popular events in recent times. While many new businesses are launching by the day the stats remains alarming since most new business startups end in failure despite the euphoria of the launch event.

One thing for sure is the fact that launching a new business or product these days don’t have to eat deep into your budget. But if you must succeed with your business launch there’s the need to put in a lot of planning and strategizing. Laying a solid foundation for the launch is very important. But more important is ensuring that your goals for the business launch are realized.

Once you have decided on a date for your business or product launch, you need to be aware of one particular thing: the clock is ticking. For sure, failing to meet your self-imposed deadline won’t necessarily kill your business stone-dead, but the chances are that it will end up on a life support machine. You don’t want this to happen to your business, right?

So, how do you avoid this from happening?

To combat the many different issues a bad launch can cause, it’s vital that you:

a) Set an achievable date, and

b) Ensure that nothing stands in the way of your product launch.

The following are a few of the dangers that could stall your launch, and ruin your business before you even get it off the ground.

Fail-Proof Business Launch

Business Launch Dangers to Avoid

1. No Plan For Growth

It’s all well and good putting your product or business out there based on estimations. But the reality of the market is that you just don’t know how successful/unsuccessful you will be. And there are inherent problems with both results.

If you are unsuccessful, it’s going to be difficult to pull things around, but if you are wildly successful, you will need a plan in place to help you steer through the demands of rapid growth. Ultimately, that could lead to shambolic disaster, so you must have an idea of how to manage it.

2. Dishonesty

Make sure that your product does everything it says on the tin. Dishonesty – or even overestimating the quality of your product – will only result in abject failure, low expectations, and a huge disappointment for your ideal target audience. Given it is these people you will rely on to spread the word about your business or product, you want to give them the best possible experience, and never overshoot your claims or promises.

3. Lack of Testing

There will always be little kinks and issues with newly-launched products – and most customers will forgive you the odd slip-up, particularly when it comes to ironing out software bugs in a technology product. But make no mistake about it, if you haven’t been testing your ideas well beforehand, your idea could sink before it even gets a decent shot at success.

Look into JIRA testing, focus groups, and test out your prototypes to the nth degree. Make sure that you iron out all those major kinks, or you will learn to regret it.

4. Lack of Differential

The vast majority of new businesses and products are very similar to those already on the market. And unless you are different, the chances of a successful launch and growth are slim.

Make sure you know exactly what your differential is, and that you can explain it to your customers. If you don’t know how you are different, how can you expect your market to understand?

Business Launch

5. No Market

Finally, if you don’t have a market for your business or product, don’t expect to grow one from nothing. The most important questions to answer before you launch are: ‘Who will buy this?’ and ‘How much will they pay?’ If you can’t answer either, you have no business – it’s as simple as that.

Conclusion

Launching a new business or product takes more than just setting a date or creating the buzz. You will need to sit down and plan the launch event. Determine your goals for the launch, understand who your target audience is and what they want and then ensure that you deliver your promise.

Planning a product or business launch or have you’re launched a product? What other tips do you think will help ensure a flawless launch? Share with us in your comment below.

Save

Save

Save

Top 3 Business Blogging Mistakes That Can Cost You Your Business!

Are you an blogger (i.e. you run a blog that is geared towards driving traffic to your small business) or do you regard yourself as a blogger who makes money ?

Whatever the terms by which you want to be known, a blog is one marketing tool that you don’t want to ignore as an online marketer. Since the advent of blogs they have become very useful both as models or traffic-generation tools for small businesses.

Here are some business blogging stats that will interest you:

  • B2B entrepreneur blogger drive 67% more leads than those that do not.
  • Businesses that blog are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their business websites.
  • Blogs are rated 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.

Now, despite these stats, a blog could become a problem to your business if not used well!

After 7+ years as a blogger I can rightly say, blogging is like a two-edged sword – handle it rightly and you will enjoy the benefits; misuse it and you’re sure to get hurt!

The unfortunate thing is, many small business owners and approach blogging with a mindset that is tantamount to sabotage!

3 Blogging Mistakes (Sins) that Can Cost You Your Business!

In this post, I want to highlight the top 3 business blogging mistakes you must avoid if you desire to get the best from your business blog.

Ready for this? Then let’s get started:

1. Not Aligning Your Blog with Your Business Objective

Align your blog content with your business objectives

This is indeed a sin of the highest order!

One thing I have discovered about blogging in the past few years is the EASE with which you can be thrown off your chosen path. I have seen very many passionate bloggers who started their blogs which the mind of promoting their home based business.  They were fired up having heard of the wonderful things a blog can do for your small business website.

Unfortunately, in a bid to increase blog comments on their blogs and because of the influence of other blogs which they were frequenting in order to drive traffic through comments, these entrepreneurs who started well were soon distracted by what they read on the blogs they frequented. Most times these blogging entrepreneurs, forgetting their business purpose and , suddenly start writing about blogging tips and other make money blogging content because, to them, these topics are more popular amongst bloggers.

If you have fallen into this error, you are committing a heinous SIN against your business! You must understand that RELEVANCE is the key word when it comes to building your business through blogging. When a visitor comes to your business blog your content must be able to give him/her a sense of what you are offering. Don’t write about the latest updates when your business is, selling men’s wear!

Know your target audience and focus your content at that one persona!

2. Not Generating Leads with Your Blog

Your blog shoul help you drive leads for your business

As mentioned above, one of the benefits of blogging is growing a list of potential customers. Your blog should therefore have a system for capturing these leads in the first place and then nurturing them into paying customers. If you are not doing this right now with your business blog then you’re sinning against your business!

Of course, many bloggers have the wrong notion that adding an RSS feed subscription is enough for your blog. But the truth is RSS feeds have limitations as they are not designed for selling – something you will want to do as a business.

To build a responsive list that will help you build your business you need a reputable lead management system. There are many good lead management system providers out there that you can choose from. In choosing it is important that you choose those that offer autoresponder services which will allow you to automate most of the lead management process.

One autoresponder that you can depend on any day any time is GetResponds.com. This is one email list management system that is very popular with successful online business owners. One good thing is that you can test run the system for free for a whole month before opting to pay for it. Another thing I found really useful about the system is that you have the opportunity to get a free 30 email list building training during that 30 days of testing the system! Frankly, I must say this alone is GOLD as the training you get will help you greatly in your business.

Click here to get your free 30 days trial.

If you want to get more results with any autoresponder services, it’s advisable to also use a lead capture program like the “Easy Optin Builder” or …. These programs are great for creating popup optins or lead capture pages that will help you capture email addresses on your blog.

For details about the Easy Optin Builder,  Click here!

3. Creating Content That Stinks

great content works great for your business goals

There’s no doubt about it, your blog exist to help you create content that will engage, excite and entice your target audience to take the action you desire. So content is actually the driver of a blog’s success.

Now, it is true that you don’t need some professorial qualification to create your blog’s content, but the fact is, if your blog content is below par you will have more people clicking away from your site than you will have them clicking to visit!

Many people will judge your expertise and how qualified you are in your niche by the content you post on your blog. This being so, it is important that you run away from posting content that is filled with misspellings and that is badly written on your business blog. Too many grammatical errors and misspellings will only help in driving away potential customers.

SUGGESTION: If you have challenges creating high , either get other people (freelancers) to create content for you or better still, get a voice to text converter.

With a voice to text converter you will find it much easier to produce content for your blog as all you need is to “talk” your articles while the software types it out for you. This way you don’t need to fear misspellings and grammatical errors. Besides, you will have a more “conversational” sounding article which will be more engaging!

One voice to text converter that I will readily recommend is the Dragon Naturally Speaking software. Dragon is presently the world’s bestselling speech recognition software. It will not only turn your talk into text but can also help in making other computer tasks easier and faster.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 13.0For example, the Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 13.0 speech recognition software is three times faster than typing – with up to 99% accuracy. You simply say the words and they will appear on your computer screen. You can also dictate or modify documents, spreadsheets and presentations, manage email, search the Web, post to Facebook and Twitter, and more.

For more details about the Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 13.0 speech recognition software, please click here!

Conclusion:

A blog is a MUST for your online business but you must guide against committing the above blogging mistakes. Ignoring this advice could result in devastating outcomes. As the competition is getting stiffer by the day you must also rise up to the challenge.

 

Kickstarter Projects: The Secret Recipe to Making Your Campaigns a Success!

Do you have a project that you will want to raise some money for? Are you considering using Kickstarter to get the funds?

Now, if you have not heard of Kickstarter then here’s what Wikipedia have to say about this innovative crowdfunding platform:

“Kickstarter is a global crowdfunding platform based in the United States. The company’s stated mission is to help bring creative projects to life. Kickstarter has reportedly received more than $1.5 billion in pledges from 7.8 million backers to fund 200,000 creative projects, such as films, music, stage shows, comics, journalism, video games, technology and food-related projects.”

Simply put, Kickstarter helps you get the much needed funding for your project, whatever that project is!

It’s really quite simple. As a business owner, you create a product. Then, you ask your community to fund it by donating money towards its completion. You set a target, and the money is only taken from your donors if you hit the target. Every donor gets a reward based on how much they pledged. It’s up to you to come up with the unique rewards and compelling pitch!

Frankly, it’s a great new method to get your startup off the ground!

Over the last few years, there have been some fantastically successful Kickstarter campaigns. One of such is Oculus Rift, the company behind the most anticipated virtual reality headset of all time. After raising $2.5 million, the company was subsequently bought by Facebook for $2bn.

Another big success with Kickstarter is Scrubs actor, Zach Braff who famously funded his latest movie through Kickstarter.

If you’re considering using the platform to raise money, here’s how to get the best from your campaign.

Kickstarter Projects success tips

Long Planning Time

The key to a successful Kickstarter project is laying the groundwork. The campaign itself may only be a month long, but good campaigns have a year of work preceding. This will be spent honing your product and building an audience. You need a community that are eager to help you fund your campaign and a groundswell of buzz. A Kickstarter campaign consultant can help you establish this behind-the-scenes aspect of the launch.

Take it slow, this is the most important part of the campaign.

Explain the Budget in Detail

Once you’ve chosen your target number, create a detailed budget. Tell your donors how exactly you plan to spend their money. People like to know what they’re contributing to. They’ll also appreciate a small justification of the target amount. Showing a detailed breakdown of costs will encourage more donors and larger numbers.

Lots of Small Rewards

From my research, the average donation is $25. You’ll get one or two big donations, and you can tie fantastic rewards to those amounts. However, most of your pledge money will come from smaller donations. Ensure that you have created lots of exciting smaller rewards to keep those numbers coming in.

You’ll have to get creative here. Check out some of the most clever Kickstarter rewards for inspiration.

A Great Video

A great video is perhaps the most valuable asset in your campaign. Videos are the most digestible, and most shared form of content online. If you hope to ‘go viral’ or reach your target audience, you need a good video. It should show off your product at its best. It should intrigue the viewer and convince them to donate towards your cause. It’s often worth collaborating with a professional to get the best results here.

Conclusion

With the right planning and a brilliant product, you could be the next big Kickstarter success story. People love to gather around a cause and help support a great idea. If you’ve executed a successful Kickstarter campaign, I’ll be glad to hear your success story. Feel free to share your tips in the comment section below!

7 Easy Ways to Effectively Market Your Small Business

Simple ways to market your small business

Marketing is one thing that many small business owners would rather not “bother” themselves with. Unfortunately, without marketing you cannot really achieve that success you so desire.

Of course, as a small business owner you would rather want to spend your time running your business since you are good at that. But it’s a fact that simply building it and waiting for people to find their way to you is living in dream land.

If your target audience must know about you, you must market your business one way or the other!

So, the question is not IF but HOW! You simply must have a strategy in place to ensure that you are top of mind for your target audience. If you don’t do this, remember your competition is waiting by the side to take advantage of the situation.

Do you now see why marketing is something you must take seriously as a small business owner? Wondering how you can do this even when you do not know much about marketing or you simply do not have the time?

Let me quickly say that no matter the niche you are in, marketing you small businesses should be virtually effortless! It is not something you should struggle about.

Here are…

7 Proven Ways to Market Your Small Business Starting Now

1. Create a Regular Podcast

Podcasts are becoming more and more popular, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to create one. If you can take an hour or two every so often to plan and make a helpful, valuable podcast, the customers will come flocking to you. Talk about interesting things in your industry, give tips, and even consider interviewing other people who you find inspiring. If you make them good enough, you’ll get a loyal following!

2. Write a Weekly Email Newsletter

Writing a weekly email newsletter to keep your followers and customers updated won’t take very long, and it’s a simple way to show them you’re still there. You can include all kinds of information in your newsletters, from what you’ve all been getting up to, to any exciting events coming up. Let your personality show through and show your readers that you’re human too.

3. Sign Up to Facebook

Facebook is one of the biggest and most popular social media sites today, so it’s a no brainer. You should build a business page and use it to market your business. You’ll be able to target your audience way more effectively, and get to know them a little more. There are so many ways that social media is beneficial. Not only will you be able to get valuable feedback, you can also provide top notch customer service. It doesn’t have to be Facebook you choose either; if you think you’ll find more of your market on Instagram or Twitter, then join them. Just make sure you don’t join more than you can handle.

4. Start an Exciting Giveaway

A giveaway is one of the most effective ways to get attention. If you give something worthwhile away, you should get lots of exposure thanks to your give away. Ask people to like it, share it with their friends, and follow your social media pages to get the most benefit from it.

5. Show Your Loyal Customers That You Care

A small business should recognize a loyal customer when they see one. Offer loyalty cards for your customers, so they can get money off or build up points. Send out emails to them with discount codes. You could simply send them a handwritten thank you note and a few chocolates to show them you appreciate their custom!

6. Update Your Site

Keep your site updated regularly so that you don’t begin to look stale or outdated. You’ll also want to make sure that you stay updated when it comes to things like onsite SEO. As SEO is always changing, you need to stay on the ball. Learn how Australian websites can recover local SEO from Google pigeon to give you an idea of what can happen.

7. Write a Weekly Blog

Write a quality blog each week to help your customers with something they may be confused about or want more information on. Give away your expertise and they’ll be more likely to work with you!

Conclusion

Can you now see that you have no excuse not to market your business properly? You can start even now by taking a couple of these ideas and working on them until you feel comfortable with what you are doing. Of course, once you have starting one tactic you can always add another on. Then another one. And then another one!

Make marketing your small business fun. Get going!

7 Proven Pinterest Optimization Tactics That Work Wonders! [PART 5]

As a continuation of our series on using traffic from Pinterest to build a flourishing online business, we want to look turn our attention to setting up our Pinterest account in a way that will help you leverage the great site.

As you will recall, for the past few weeks our focus had been on setting up our niche blog. If you have followed the series thus far you would by now have a niche blog that is designed and optimized to profit off Pinterest traffic.

As expected your expertly designed site and your great content will amount to nothing if you cannot siphon the right traffic from the Pinterest social platform. This is where your Pinterest account comes in.

So, let’s now turn our attention to setting up your Pinterest account.

But first, let’s remind ourselves of what we have covered thus far:

  1. The Definitive Guide to Leveraging Pinterest for Business Success
  2. How to Set Up Your Blog to Leverage the Power of Pinterest for Business
  3. Unusual Content & Monetization Tactics That Gets Radical Results from Pinterest!
  4. How to Build an Email List and Skyrocket Your Niche Blog Income With Ease!

Now on to today’s entry…

Setting Up Your Pinterest Account For Traffic And Conversions

Creating your Pinterest Boards and pins

Getting targeted traffic from your Pinterest account is greatly dependent on how your brand is represented by your Pinterest profile and your Pinterest boards. You don’t just want a Pinterest account you need an account that will help you drive traffic and conversions.

There are of course a few ways you can do this. One of such is taking a look at some top boards and influencers and taking a cue from them when creating your boards. Beyond that, these tips will greatly help you:

1. Get a Pinterest Business Account

Pinterest allows you to either create a personal or a business account. Personal accounts allow you to use your personal or pen names while a business account gives you the opportunity of using your company or blog name.  Apart from this, with business accounts you get more Pinterest tools that are designed specifically for business promotions.

Your type of account choice depends on what you really want to do with your account but I will advise that you go for a business account since we are concerned with building a business off Pinterest traffic!

N.B: If you already have a personal account you can convert this to a business account. Follow this link to convert your account. To learn more about Pinterest business accounts click here.

2. Cross promote your Pinterest account with your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts

When creating your Pinterest account you have the option to link your account with these social media sites if you have already account there. It is important you do so as it will save you a whole lot of work while driving more targeted traffic from these other platforms.

You can use services like IFTTT (If this, then that – https://ifttt.com) to automate your cross platform sharing. Jetpack from WordPress (a wordpress plugin) is another great resource that will help you do this right from your blog’s dashboard.

Related Reading: 5 LinkedIn Marketing Tactics That Will Help Boost Your Online Visibility!

3. Allow search engines to index your Pinterest boards

In your account settings ensure that “Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines” is set to OFF. This is important as your Pinterest boards could rank high in the SERPs for your target keywords thereby helping you drive some additional organic traffic to your sites.

Another powerful tactic is using your target keywords and related phrases effectively in your profile description.

4. Verify your account to gain dofollow link from Pinterest

When Pinterest started it used to be a dofollow site for backlinks, but this has since changed. However, you can still get a dofollow link in your profile page. What you need do is simply to enter your blog url address in the website settings tab, click on verify, download the HTML file you are given, upload it to your blog’s root directory and then go back to Pinterest and verify your blog.

Doing this is sure to give you a high PR dofollow link from Pinterest on your profile page.

5. Write good descriptions for your Pinterest boards

Your boards should reflect your brand and target niche. Choose your account categories with care and name your boards in such a way that they are unique and interesting to your target audience. Use your target keywords both in the board names and descriptions. This will help both your target audience and the search engines to know what they are about.

6. When pinning and repining, ensure you use keywords in the descriptions

This way you will be optimizing your boards for Google and also making them more search friendly on Pinterest’s own board search.

7. If you’ve just created your Pinterest account, ensure you fill up your boards with repins and some unique photos before adding pins from your blog posts. This way you would already have some followers who will see the pins from your blogs as soon as you add them, if you add pins from your blog when you still do not have followers, most of that would be wasted efforts as they will not get as much traffic and repins as you wish.

Do a search online using your target keywords and pick interesting pictures and graphics you will want to pin to your boards. Then use a free service like Pingraphy (http://www.pingraphy.com) to schedule your pins. Post these to your boards for a few days before adding pins from your blog.

Conclusion

How your Pinterest account is setup and the optimization tactics used will determine to a great extent the success. The above are just a few tips that will greatly help you lay a solid foundation for your Pinterest traffic strategy.

In our next post we will look at how to skyrocket your Pinterest traffic and conversions. Once your account is set up you need to apply the tactics we will be looking at in our next post to supercharge your success.

As usual, I’m inviting you to sign up for our free updates by clicking the button below. This way you will never miss any of our future entries.

Besides, I love to respond to your questions and comments. Feel free to share them in your comments below.

PART 6: 6 Pinterest Tactics for Exposure and More Traffic!

How to Be An Instagram Superstar in Just Five Minutes a Day [INFOGRAPHIC]

Do you know that according to a research published by GlobalWebIndex early this year, Instagram is the fastest growing social media site worldwide? The report shows that Instagram increased its active user base by 23% in the last six months.

If as a business you desire to connect with the enviable under-35 demographic on social media sites, then Instagram is where you will want to look right now.But like other social media sites, you definitely need an innovative strategy for connecting with your target audience on the site if you want real success.

In this infographic by WhoIsHostingThis.com you are given some very simple but powerful steps for taking your Instagram marketing strategy to the next level. Carefully study it and then build these steps into your social media marketing strategy today. Enjoy!

Double Your Instagram Followers in Just Five Minutes a Day - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

Content & Monetization Strategies for Pinterest for Business

After the short interlude where we took sometime off to see the social media buzz being created by the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Brazil  let’s return to our series on Pinterest for Business, shall we?

Alright, this is the third in this post series. In our first post, we looked at some stats and the power of Pinterest for business while in the second entry we discussed how to set up your niche blog for greater success with Pinterest-targeted audiences. In today’s lesson our focus is on creating content and monetizing your niche blog.

Creating content for your pinterest focused blogsWhat I want to do on this post is not to give you a lesson on how to write enticing blog posts nor how to write content for the web. I’m sure there many resources online with tutorials on that. You may also want to read a post I did some time ago on this topic. Read it here.

For this post I will concentrate on some very valuable tips with references to useful online resources that can help you achieve your target. And so, let’s get started!

How to Drive More Traffic and Increase Reader Interaction

As we mentioned previously, the type of posts that are best for these niche sites are posts with visually appealing content. This is because you are targeting a visually-oriented audience – traffic from Pinterest.

For this reason, your content does not need to be heavy on text. Instead of long posts, concentrate on short posts and embed good looking photos. For better results, use large, vibrant and high resolution photos.

Here are some of the best performing content to focus on:

1. Step by step tutorials with photos or videos

2. Tips and advice posts

3. Reviews and comparison posts, and

4. Trending reports and industry news

For these types of content ideas, browse through online magazines.  You can also use Google.com to search for what is trending right now. This way you will be sure of adding hot content pieces that are popular at the moment.

How to Get Photos for Your Blogs

If your content will be virtually appealing then photos must form a good part of your content. Here are some places where you can get free photos to use:

1. Google image search – http://google.com/

2. Flickr’s creative commons – http://www.flickr.com

3. Pinterest search – http://www.pinterest.com/

4. SXC – http://sxc.hu

If you want some paid to use photos you can check out iStockphoto – http://www.istockphoto.com

Monetizing Your Pinterest Targeted Niche Blogs

Making money from your niche blogs might just be your main focus when building these types of niche blogs. But the truth is except your content is useful to your target audience all of your work might just amount to nothing.

So, before moving on to monetizing tactics ensure you have good, appealing and valuable content on your blog.

There are actually different monetization options you can use. Some of these include:

1. Google Adsense – This is a simple and quick monetization option powered by Google.

2. Shop Sense – This is an alternative to adsense. Shop Sense is great for Pinterest traffic.

3. Reachli – This is another great option for Pinterest traffic. You have the option of making money with photo ads.

4. Offervault.com – This one is great for CPA offers. A free account with offervault.com gives you access to different companies with CPA offers.

5. Amazon.com – If you are interested in promoting physical products, Amazon Associates Program is a great place to look.

6. Your Own Products – Of course, marketing your own products on your niche blog is another way of monetizing traffic from Pinterest.com.

Related Reading: What Facebook And Other Social Media Sites Can Teach You About Blog Monetization!

A Word about SEO And A Few Ad Linking Tips

Optimizing your content for the search engines is necessary if you want to drive organic traffic. But beyond this you also need to optimize your affiliate promotions to achieve high CTRs. This means approaching your ad placements the right way while implementing the best SEO practices.

Here are a few tips to help:

1. Write short but descriptive blog posts.

2. Use the target keyword in the post title. Make it descriptive and enticing.

3. Include your keyword phrase in the first and last sentence. Use a few related terms in the body of the post.

4. Include the keyword phrase in the post’s url and in the meta description.

5. Link to some authority site within the post and include a video, where possible. Simply search youtube.com with your target term and choose a video that best suit your post idea. (See how I did this on the previous post!)

6. Stealthily integrate your affiliate links within your content.

7. If your post is a tutorial, put a resource section highlighting the tools and products mentioned in the post at the end of the post and then include links (your affiliate links) to where readers can get these resources!

These are just a few things you can do to maximize your search rankings and CTRs. At first this might not come easy but as you get more adept at doing this, you will definitely see more success.

Ok, there is actually so much within this post that I trust if you are following this series there is enough for you to do before our next entry. In our next post we will take a look at how to skyrocket your income. Watch out for it!

As usual I invite you to join other esteemed readers who receive our free updates by email. This way you will never miss any future posts. Click the button below to signup.

PART 4: How to Build An Email List Using Covert Pinterest Marketing Tactics!

Looking forward to read your comments and answer your questions. Feel free to post them in your below.

How to Make Content Marketing Work for Your Brand in 2014!

How to be an entrepreneur and not an opportunity seeker

Is content marketing a culture in your company right now? Do you have a specific model for your marketing content?

Now, if your business is not using content marketing, you’re light years behind your competition!

Though using content for marketing by businesses is as old as marketing itself, in the recent past, the term “content marketing” has gained traction among online marketers. It is unfortunate however; that many businesses are not getting the commensurate returns from their investments as far as content marketing is concerned.

In this article I want to draw your attention to the different content marketing models that are helping many brands today. I hope that when you know these different models will help you better plan your strategy based on what you want to achieve.

The 4 Content Marketing Models

Model #1: Brand Awareness

Brand awareness has always been one of the objectives of marketing. Billboard and television ads fall into this category of marketing. With the popularity of content marketing in recent times, many brands now use their marketing content to drive brand awareness. Using different types of content, these brands are not concerned with lead generation but how much traffic they are generating and also the quality of links from other sites.

Recommended: Your Killer Content Might Be Sabotaging Your Content Marketing!

Model #2: Projecting Thought Leadership

Another model being used by many brands is using their marketing content to project thought leadership. For these brands it is not about generating traffic but generating the right type of traffic. And the way they do this is by influencing their target audience through presenting their company ideas on issues that has to do with the industry.

Unfortunately, not many brands wants to use this model because of the expertise and in-depth research involved.

Model #3: Industry News

This is yet another model being used by some brands. In this model the brand publishes industry news with the intention of getting the attention of mainstream journalists or other online publications.

For these brands it’s not just about boosting traffic nor is it about generating leads. Most times, they simply look forward to influencing other websites, blogs and journalists with their stories as these are picked up and used these people. When this happens, there is a boost in visibility for these businesses.

One classic example of a brand using this model of content marketing is Microsoft with its Stories blog. Microsoft has been able to use this blog to greatly impact the industry.

Model #4: Lead Generation

This is the content marketing model that is common to many brands right now. The primary purpose of this model is to generate leads which are then passed on to sales with the mind of converting them into customers.

One typical example of a brand using this model is HubSpot – a software company that pioneered the concept of inbound marketing. Preaching the “superiority” of inbound content-based marketing over traditional outbound marketing techniques, HubSpot creates every piece of content with the mind of generating leads. To achieve this, HubSpot implements different type of call-to-action on every content published.

With the success of HubSpot in this area, many businesses are now focusing more on this model.

Recommended: Inbound Marketing Misconceptions Uveiled!

So, Which Should You Use?

If you are familiar with the concept of inbound marketing you will agree that the above classification is not in any way fixed. Many brands are actually using a combination of two or more of these models. Depending on what your needs or objectives are therefore, you can either use one or more of these models.

The purpose of this classification as already pointed out is to help you understand these different models so that you can easily determine which to focus on based on your desired results.

Over to you:  Which content marketing model are you presently using? Share your views on the different models in your comments below.

How to Boost Your Facebook Marketing ROI despite the Drop in Facebook Page Organic Reach!

Increase ROI on Facebook Marketing

It is ironic but true all the same.

At a time when a survey by McKinsey & Co. revealed that facebook is really a poor alternative to email marketing when it comes to customer acquisition, facebook is nonetheless working to increase advertising spend on the platform!

The uncanny way they are doing this?

By reducing the organic reach of brands’ facebook pages!

Though there has not been any official announcement to this effect, a marketing document that was purportedly sent out to partners recently and obtained by Ad Age, states plainly:

“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.”

In the face of this development, many brands are asking questions like:

“Why continue investing your precious man-hours on facebook if you will only reach 1 – 2% of your fans?”

“If Facebook is really that dismal when it comes to customer acquisition, how do we know that advertising on facebook will give the desired results?”

Indeed, these are questions you will need to answer if you must continue using facebook for marketing your business.

But, Should You Entirely Abandon Facebook?

In my previous post where I talked about the McKinsey & Co. research which gave the thumbs up for email instead of social media marketing, I also made it clear that the same report showed that between 2008 and 2012 email usage declined by about 20% compared to social media networks, instant messaging and mobile-messaging!

I think this is reason enough not to abandon facebook marketing entirely but rather to change your facebook marketing strategy.

First, you must admit the fact that Facebook is a business that needs to grow its income. And so, instead of blaming it for its business stand, you should rather strategize to maximize your advertising spend.

If you put the knowledge gained from the McKinsey & Co. research into your facebook marketing strategy you will be able to design a tactic that will greatly help your business. One such tactic is to use facebook “Boosted Post” advertising option to drive more attention to your business fan page while building an email list in the process!

Using Facebook “Boost Post” Ad to Grow Your Email List

1. Design an Irresistible Giveaway Offer

Having your target audience in mind, craft a giveaway offer that will help you collect the email contacts using your facebook fan page. Then proceed to design an attention grabbing landing page for this offer on your site. Ensure it is targeted at your facebook audience.

2. Update Your Fan Page Using the Giveaway Landing Page

Post an update on your facebook page encouraging your fans and visitors to the page to download a free copy. To make this really awesome include an eye-catching image with a one to two sentence description that will encourage click-through.  Use the URL of the landing page as the link in your update.

3. Craft a Powerful “Boost Post” Ad

Once you have posted the update in #2 above click on the “Boost Post” button. This will bring up a window like this:

Facebook Boost Ad marketing tactic

You have the option to either boost your post to your page’s existing fans and their friends or a targeted group.

For example, if you want to target a special group of facebook users, on the audience option check the “People you choose through targeting” option.

Now enter your target countries, the age bracket you want to focus on, the gender and then the interests of this target group. This way you will be able to greatly ensure that your post is shown to only those people who will be interested in your free giveaway.

Target your boost post facebook advert!

3. Continue the Relationship on Your Blog Until They Become Customers

If you take care of #1 and #2 above very well, you are not only going to acquire new likes on facebook but you will be able to pull in a few of those likes into your email list. Once you are able to achieve this, your next move is to use result-oriented email marketing tactics to nature this list of prospects until they become customers.

Indeed the above may look simple but don’t let that simplicity deceive you. If carefully handled, this tactic can help you beat facebook at its game! So, instead of running away because there is a decline on organic reach or because you’re not presently seeing any good return in investment from your facebook marketing efforts, re-strategize and use this tactic both to build an email list and also increase your facebook likes.

Your turn: What are you planning to do about your facebook marketing in light of the recent changes? Will you jump ship or do you have a plan in place to ensure you always win?

Save