The old guard is ignoring it and new upstarts are embracing it. The eyeball domination that made TV “the” media for the last 50+ years is now moving online. Digital is doing to TV what television did to print and radio. Disrupt and disturb.
Digital mobile media is redefining how we read, view and are entertained. This is not a fad but a trend that will be a generational change. Mobile is becoming the default device of choice not the laptop. This device shift will be most prevalent in emerging nations including Asia and Africa as 3 billion more people go online on mobile devices. Not tethered personal computers.
For many people the way they consume is not when they use a PC but when they grab their phone from their pocket or purse or swipe their tablet screen.
This has major implications for content marketers and the future of content marketing.
It’s time to listen to the new generation
CEO’s and senior managers need to understand how their children and younger adults are consuming media in a digital world.
My son does not sit down to watch “News at 6″, but instead shows me the latest Youtube sensation that he heard about from an online search or from his friends on Facebook. The device of choice. His mobile.
Mobile and social media is transforming our world in not just our personal lives but also in business.
We need to design apps, build blogs and websites and create content for people to view on mobiles. Because we now share the information on smart phones and it is amplified with one click to our social networks.
“TV is over: Mobile has officially demoted TV to second-rung media status“.
The percentage of time spent on digital is now over 46% and TV is only 36%. But there is a mismatch on spend versus advertising. There needs to be a re-balancing to match spend to share of time.
Despite this, the constant querying question posed by the digital agency to the brand’s marketing manager of “Why don’t we lead with a digital campaign instead of TV?” is deferred to the comfortable. The traditional television advertising campaign.
Unlearning old habits is hard. “The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones” – John Maynard Keynes.
10 ways to succeed at mobile content marketing
So what will be the keys to success with mobile content marketing? Here are 10 ways to create and market your content for a mobile and social web.
1. Use technology to crowdsource visual content from mobiles at scale
Brands such as Coca Cola realised that engaging with your fans and advocates to produce content for you for free was effective and smart. Research from Octoly revealed that “User Generated Content” (or UGC) from their fans and advocates can be the major source of content for brands.
This has lead to the rise of visual content marketing platforms such as Shuttlerock (Disclaimer: I am on the board and a shareholder) that makes it easy for your customers that love what you do, to create content for you for free from their mobiles.
They can share photos and images to social media networks, your social hub and your website straight from their phones! This is a significant change to the old marketing models as our media consumption and habits are now driven by large global social networks and smart phones.
2. Design mobile “responsive” blogs and websites
There is nothing more frustrating on a mobile than trying to expand a website so you can read it. What will happen is that most readers will give up and move on. That is why a “responsive” site (one that responds to the devices screen size, whether that is a smart phone, tablet or PC) is important. Otherwise you will drive traffic away and miss out on leads and sales.
You are just one click away from oblivion.
If you have a WordPress site that needs to be upgraded then to provide a short term fix, you can load a plugin that allows your site to be read easily on a mobile. One of the top WordPress plugins for this is WPtouch which has been downloaded over 6 million times.
Here is how my blog looks when viewing it via the WPtouch plugin.
This provides a simple intermediary step to ensure that people can read your content before embarking on a new site design project.
3. Create a mobile app
The next step is to make sure that you have an app for your site and your business. An app has some benefits as they are becoming the portal for brands and “go to” content source (especially for the connected generation).
Brand awareness – It sits on the mobile screen after downloading as a constant brand awareness reminder.
Builds your email list – Can capture emails when setting it up
Pushes content out – This is done by allowing people to opt-in to sending alerts to your subscribers
Buy products and services – This can be made easy via an an app from their phone
A personal trainer Shantelle Saiville (Savi) had an app designed that helps her distribute her video content and build online credibility and trust via her “app”.
4. Prioritize your goals
A mobile site cannot do everything. The small screen does constrain your visual real estate, so you will need to work out the the most important goals that you want to achieve. So that means distilling the message into it’s essence.
“Less is more. Keeping it simple takes time and effort.”
Here are a few of the key functions that are currently being developed by my mobile partner AppsWiz for my new mobile app.
Bio or “About”
Buy my e-Book
Follow me on social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ etc)
Subscribe by email (and get a free ebook )
The home page for the app will need to make sure that the key goals you want to achieve are visible there. Here is an example of a magic illusionist Cosentino and some of his major goals are to:
Sell tickets to his shows
Drive product sales
Build subscribers to his email list
These are not definitive but will be determined by the business model. You will need to prioritize what goals you want to achieve.
5. Include mobile video
The Internet generation (those who have grown up knowing nothing but the web as part of their lives) are consuming online video rather than TV. This means featuring video within apps is essential. To market to them means moving your media to match their media consumption. The success of GoPro in tapping into mobile video has been a huge success in creating a global brand fast!
You can watch it on websites, mobile and Facebook apps.
The power of online video is that it can be used to scale trust. As the Frank Eliason, (the Senior Vice President of Citibank) said. “We tend to trust humans , not some corporate logo, and video is the best way to do that on a scaled basis”
6. Use visual communication
Getting your message across quickly will need to include the use of visuals that convey the message quickly. Studies show that “90% of of the information that is transmitted to the brain is visual and it is processed 60,000 times faster than text”
Even if you are a blogger who uses text as his major media focus, visuals can still be a big way of communicating. Here is my “social hub” at Shuttlerock which has imported a photo from Instagram that was shared on Twitter and Facebook.
So communicate with visuals created on mobiles that work on mobiles.
7. Consider podcasts
Podcasts have been re-energized due to the smartphone making it easy to consume audio on the go. No longer do you have to sit in front of a device but carry it with you. You can listen on the go at the gym, the beach or in the car.
Pat Flynn at his blog “Smart Passive Income” creates regular podcasts that provide a personal and engaging way via audio to communicate content to his subscribers.
“Podcasts are a way of adding human touch at scale”
This is a real challenge in a digital world that has splintered into multi-media and many devices.
9. Subscribe to email on a mobile
I was at a conference and a “mobile, connected and 20 something”, said “I wanted to subscribe to you via email you but when I went looking on my mobile it was impossible”. Ouch!
I have taken this on board and in the process of making sure this happens soon.
This shift to mobiles has been so fast that many brands are scrambling or even failed to grasp its consequences.
10. Make it easy to follow your social networks on mobile
Building distribution for your content means social media following buttons that are not just designed for the web but for mobile devices.
Build this into your web design and include it in your mobile app.
But there’s more
There are many more ways to optimize content and your marketing for mobiles. These include
There will always be a constant tension with short form and long form content on mobiles according to Forbes.
Headlines will be even more important as mobiles seem to have shortened our attention spans.
Your introduction or “lead in” will need to “pop”
Formatting of text content will need to consider mobile
What about you?
How is your content working for mobiles? Could you do better?
Look forward to hearing your insights and stories in the comments below.
Want to start your mobile optimized blog today?
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If you think it is going to save your marketing job, make the planet move sideways or transform your love life then you are very mistaken.
For starters, I am a huge Twitter fan and I have been using it for years (for both business and leisure). It has been a 140 simple character toolbox that makes my content move, opened doors and grown my business networks. Through the years, I ended up creating dozens of Twitter accounts and in this article, I’ll share one simple technique that will grow Twitter followers fast.
All you need is probably 30 minutes of your time daily and in a long run, I am sure you would be able to grow your followers much quicker than before.
I started a new Twitter handle a few months back in conjunction with my new marketing blog. Just like you, I was determined to grow Twitter followers without buying any followers and I want to grow them fast!
My case study
This case study was started around 3 months back and today I have 3,010 followers. With this technique, I was gaining anywhere between 5 to 30 new followers on a daily basis.
The below is the screenshot shows my followers counts which is take from Twitter Counter.
Before you even think of increasing the number of followers, take a step back and analyze your Twitter profile.
Does your Twitter profile has the below?
Twitter egg avatar (default image)
Empty byline profile
Messy profile bio
Twitter bio is important is more than just giving you a beautiful face and biodata. When a soon-to-be follower checks on your Twitter bio, they will have a glimpse of what you are all about; your expertise, knowledge and ultimately, the real person behind the avatar.
The trick here is simple. Upload an image of yourself (if you are using Twitter for business, photos that are professionally taken are highly recommended), a summary of yourself and what they can expect from you. You can even sprinkle a few hashtags to ensure you reaching out to a larger audience as well.
You’ll end up something like this.
You may also use Jeff’s Twitter bio as guidelines.
Important Twitter tip: Smiling avatar photos are generally more likeable and could even increase trust (which will lead to a better chance of increase your followings).
Understanding the ultimate goal in increasing your Twitter followers
If you are unaware, Twitter is used by over 190 million users (according to Statistic Brain) and this means that you have tons of opportunities to grow your followers. However, keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to gain more Twitter followers who are interested in what you have to say.
This means that you should not be focusing on Tom, Dick and Harry. Instead, you should be focusing on laser targeted audience which has a high probability of resharing your posts, tweets and even connect with you further!
Connecting with people of the similar interest doesn’t only increase your influence level but as well as the ability to share valuable information with one another. At the same time, you will have a higher chance to increase the click through rates and getting more response from your tweets.
One proven technique to increase Twitter followers for free
I know you are dying to know the technique I’ve been teasing you for the past few minutes and you may even think to send several (virtual) flying projectiles at me.
The technique that I use is retweeting … with a twist. Yes, carry on reading below to know more.
Retweeting is often considered a methodology of acknowledging, agreeing and approving a particular tweet.
Think about this.
Have you ever noticed tweets from Jeff Bullas, Kim Garst and Guy Kawasaki always get tons of retweets?
There’s no science in this … really. These posts get the viral effect simply because:
These are top influencers in the industry
Well-respected to say the least
Most are their tweets are sardine-packed with information
Here comes the punch line. Wait for it …
How on Earth can I leverage this and grow my Twitter followers?
You may be thinking, “Reg, I am not authority enough in my niche to be on par with these people. How can I use this technique (if it’s really considered one) for my own usage?”
I would put this blame into the human nature. A friend of mine told me this before, “When you are feeling lost, always follow the crowd.”
Trust me, this makes sense.
We (earth-lings) love to be in groups and not in a one-way-mission-to-something. In this case, a post retweeted by you will be seen by both your followers and the influencer’s. Indirectly, you are telling the world that you are agreeing to the post and you are doing it loudly.
This may sound odd but do you know that some of the influencer’s followers will follow you back simply because you retweeted the post?
The mentality would be if you retweet that post, there’s a high chance that you are interested in the topic. Followers of the influencer will tend to follow you simply because they trust you have the same thoughts as them.
What do you get when these people follows you?
You know they are looking for a mutual relationship and you can nurture one!
Important note: No one will follow you without a reason … unless you are an influencer like Lady Gaga or Jeff Bullas!
By now, the retweeting technique to grow the Twitter followers count tend to makes sense to you. But, retweeting is just one part of it.
Here’s the second part.
Retweeting while giving valuable feedback
The biggest problem that you will face with this technique is that you need to retweet plus, providing your own feedback.
For example, don’t just hit the retweet button. Instead, take some time to read the post and understand it. Always remember that your retweets will represent what you think and thoughts are.
Besides that, try to avoid the common “RT @JeffBullas: …” and instead, add some valuable input such as “I love this post by @JeffBullas. Read more here: …”.
You see, the second retweet seems to be more personalized and you are putting your personal feeling into the whole context.
Not only your readers would appreciate, the influencer himself will feel the same way too!
My retweeting strategy using Twitter lists
For those of you who do not know about this, I really love the Twitter list features. On my main account, I have 30 specific lists which ranges from influencers in motivation, social media and content marketing strategies. With those lists, I am able to grow my target audience based on my own requirements (yes, by retweeting as one technique).
At the same time, I know a few influencers who do not use hashtags in their tweets. Adding some hashtags into the retweets and leaving a few extra character spacing is great as this will be easier for others to retweet.
As a recap, here are some simple guidelines you can follow instantly:
Retweet between 5 to 10 times a day from different influencers
Leaving some valuable feedback in the retweets
Adding some hashtags to fit your requirements and target audience
Scheduling retweets at the right time
Only retweet information that you are agreeable to
Asking a short question in the retweet (if the length permits)
Over to you
I certainly hope you find this post useful and trust me, they work like charm! I have been following the above Twitter techniques for months and do you have any tricks on growing your Twitter followers? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss further!
Guest Author: Reginald Chan is the Founder of the WordPressProfs.com, a blog providing insights and tips related to WordPress. Follow @SocialCopy on Twitter.
Listen to this post as a podcast
Want to start your blog today?
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In the previous part of the series “ The Essential Guide on How To Generate Leads With Blogging” we have analyzed the importance of using surveys in preparing and optimizing the lead generation campaigns for an online business.
Once again, I encourage you to review the big picture. More exactly, let’s see where do we find ourselves on the road to generating leads with business blogging for your company:
Before getting in the advanced stuff, you should know that I’ll use the term “subscriber” to define the people who:
A. Want to receive regular updates from the blog
B. Leave their email address to access a free offer
Traditionally, the term “subscriber” refers to someone who pays in advance for a publication. Though, as you have seen many times on the internet, the term subscriber is used within the online marketing community to define the people who follow a blog.
A: Blog Subscribers
Regarding the blog subscriptions, you may find yourself in one of the following scenarios:
You have started to create targeted & quality content, but you don’t tell people that they can subscribe to receive updates from your blog
Your content is not good enough for them. They don’t find it insightful, nor actionable or useful.
The blog’s traffic is not qualified. People are not interested in your products or services, nor in the content you’re writing for them.
In any of these cases, you should come up with some fixes to optimize your blog for conversions (read subscriptions).
My advice would be to reevaluate some aspects of your blog regarding the design and copy. In order to validate design concepts, you could use a usability tool like UsabilityTools.com to see how the users react to the visual designs.
Either we talk about footers or the subscription box from the blog’s sidebar, you need to make sure that you’re telling people where should they click and why should they click those buttons. You can validate which version of copy or design is getting the largest number of subscribers with A/B testing. Therefore, you need to start designing some creatives for your blog. Your tasks at this moment would be:
Create a footer for your blog posts. Encourage people to click it in order to get on the landing page dedicated to subscribers. The other alternative is creating a box where people can leave their email address without being redirected to the landing page.
Create a landing page to emphasize the benefits of subscribing to receive blog updates. A few aspects to consider when creating it:
Provide with the top reasons for subscribing to the blog
Obviously, the mix between Call To Action and landing page for blog subscribers will ensure that people who subscribed have a high level of interest in your content. As a consequence, it will confirm that the subscribers have an interest into consuming your company’s products or services.
B: People who leave their email address in return for a free offer
Offer samples of your work to your prospects.
Like in the previous case, you need to let the blog’s visitors know that they can access something useful for them. If you have created a hook(e.g.: ebook, webinar, template, etc.) to start generating leads for your business, you need to start promoting and distributing it. You need to work with the same two components, Call To Actions and Landing Pages. The additional task is preparing a series of automated emails that will close up the circle (e.g.: convincing subscribers to try for free your product or request a service)
Create lead generation footers to insert at the end of the posts
Create lead generation pop ups triggered either on-scroll (when users scroll 50% of the page’s content) or at exit (when users intend to leave the web page)
Create a landing page in order to allow prospects to download the offer
The next step involves testing. Here are a few testing ideas:
2-3 versions of Call To Action button copy within the pop ups
2-3 versions of Call To Action button copy within the footer
Landing page elements to test:
call to action
PRO Tip: create an exit survey to figure why people are leaving the landing page. Ask the users what is missing on the page that it doesn’t convince them to download the offer.
Don’t forget that all of the email addresses you’re starting to collect have go into separate email lists according to the content the users have accessed.
A few examples:
Email list 1 – “ E-commerce Benchmark 2014”,
Email list 2 – Webinar X,
Email List 3 – Blog subscribers.
Naming the email lists helps with tracking the efficiency of your lead generation campaigns, so please don’t forget to set up goals and target metrics before doing anything.
Let’s elaborate a bit with an example. In order to track the number of downloads for the “ E-Commerce Benchmark 2014”, let’s say, you can validate the results reported by the conversion rate optimization software with Google Analytics (or any web analytics software that you’re using).
Supposing that you set up a goal for this list named “Email list 1- E-commerce Benchmark 2014”, you’ll want to see how you’re doing against your objectives. Go to Behavior>SiteContent>Landing Pages. Within the table, you should check for Conversions, and then, select your Goal. You’ll be able to see if your efforts to generate leads are efficient right from the beginning of your campaigns.
Wrapping it up:
Design creatives for your blog (footer, sidebar boxes or banners, pop ups, etc.)
Optimize the blog’s Call To Actions using A/B testing
Create the required landing pages (mentioned within the article)
Use a conversion rate optimization software to test landing pages and figure which design and copy versions lead to higher conversion rates
Use exit surveys on the landing page to get qualitative insights about the abandonment reasons
Create email lists for each campaign and set up goals and target metrics
We didn’t get into creating the automated email series. This is a topic for the next part of this guide. For now, I think that it is important to take one step at a time. If it helps, use the six steps checklist above to make sure that you don’t forget something on the way.
Author: Elena Dobre is learning about digital marketing, business and life at Marketizator.com, the complete conversion rate optimization tool. She plays the role of the content strategist, but she’s also experiencing with CRO and lead generation. She enjoys discovering new online tools, hacks, brilliant minds and beautiful souls. Follow her on Twitter @HDobre.
How’s the visual appeal of your content marketing? Is it mediocre or outstanding?
There’s quite a few reasons to integrate high-quality visual content in your blogs and social media posts. Not only is visual content processed much faster than the written word, but it’s much more memorable.People retain only 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear, but 80% of what they see.
Recent studies by the Content Marketing Institute reports that infographics and videos are still considered highly effective marketing tactics. As marketers increasingly embrace visual content, it’s become more than just a best practice to visually-stimulate your audience. It’s required to keep up, let alone stand out against your competition.
Make it your mission to ditch stock photos in the months to come, and choose to embrace custom images, collages, and high-quality creative commons-licensed pictures instead. Your blog marketing metrics will surely reflect your efforts:
If you’re like many content marketers, you lack the skill set of a professional graphic designer. Even more importantly, few of us have the time to dedicate to learning Adobe.
Canva is your new best friend. Nearly anyone with basic computer skills can begin using Canva’s point-and-click environment for blog graphics, social media images, posters, and more. The vast majority of their design elements are free, and the rest are low-cost.
The design site is endorsed and actively used by marketing thought leader Guy Kawasaki, who’s described it as a solution for a market that’s ripe for disruption. It’s certainly turning things upside down for content marketing graphics!
If you’ll be using original images in your blog content, you should adopt a simple editing tool. PicMonkey’s slogan of “full of win” isn’t an exaggeration. This free tool is your one-stop shop for photo editing, resizing, collage, and basic graphic design. Among available free editors, this is clear winner, especially for creating collages. These collages don’t need to be abstract or art-oriented, necessarily. They can also be instructive in design, like the highly shareable photo tutorials that hold the potential to go viral on both Pinterest and Facebook.
Alternatively, if you’re trying to convert stock photography into something more original and engaging, PicMonkey is a powerful tool for combining various forms of visual content. Add text to enhance your visual communication. Layer several favorite photos into something entirely new and exciting. As a go-to- option, PicMonkey also can’t be beat for simple photo edits and re-touching.
For many content marketers, stock photo websites are something of a last resort. Many websites free resources simply aren’t that great, and you’ll find yourself having to purchase credits or pay fees to get a photo that fits your needs.
Thestocks.im is exactly the resource you’ve been waiting for. It contains thousands of aesthetically-pleasing, high-quality images taken by amazingly talented professional photographers. All pictures on the website are free and licensed under Creative Commons. Use these photos how you want, provided you include the right credit where credit is due. Even Copyblogger uses it for visual blog content. In case you’re curious, the header image in this post was sourced from Thestocks.im.
There are an abundance of free photo editing tools available online. However, Lunapic belongs in your toolbox due to its abundance of free features. If you’re looking for something a bit more advanced than what Canva or PicMonkey can offer, this is your destination.
Lunapic’s potential for content marketing includes it’s free gif-creation and editing tool. Everyone loves sharing short, interactive video clips. It doesn’t take a background in video editing or production to turn your best images into a short video clip with this tool.
As marketers continue to produce higher volumes of content marketing, the bar for visual content is continually raised. Your audience has likely come to expect a visually-appealing experience from business blogs and social media channels. With the help of the right tools, you can deliver – even if your graphic design skills are minimal.
What about you?
What are your favorite free, web-based tools for photo-editing, custom image creation and making gifs?
In the 1990′s people started creating online diaries. They were given the title of “web logs”. Popular myth has it that it became “we blog” and the “we” got dropped for the sake of language expediency. The word “blog” then emerged from the mist of vernacular evolution.
That’s the opening story on the emergence of the blog word!
Blogging has changed a lot since those times and with the evolution of the digital ecosystem it has reached new highs.
A blogging tipping point
The tale doesn’t stop there because the blog hit a tipping point in 2011 when Arianna Huffington sold her “super blog” to AOL for $315 million. That made a few bloggers sit up and take notice along with the mainstream media and entrepreneurs. That sale said blogging had moved out of the geek closet to mainstream media.
So the humble blog is 20 years old and is no longer just about geeks and the web but about online publishing, content marketing and it has become a serious business and source revenue for many e-preneurs around the world.
One attraction to me when I started my blog was the power of the social web to reach a global audience with my ideas and content without leaving my desk. It was “my” publishing machine. It cost me $10 for the domain name. That was it.
What also drew me to blogging was a combination of it being my creation portal, a lifestyle business and a place to make a difference and make my own dent in the universe. For many it is also the platform for self development.
Learning: A place to express and structure your thoughts and creations. The process of putting it down and structuring your ideas means you have to activate the neurons. The learning from just this process cannot be underestimated.
Documenting: It is a portal to document “your” intellectual property. Your “IP” is then not lost to humanity (or even to your own forgetful mind) but recorded for people to read view and share. This is the legacy part. This digital record keeping is becoming part of the global mind. It could last forever if the electricity doesn’t turn off and the data centers remain online.
Discipline: The discipline of reading, researching and creating will lead to personal discoveries of abilities you may not even know you had. You may also oncover passions and interests that have been dormant or undiscovered.
Networking: Creating and sharing online will lead to powerful connections globally as people discover your art. These connections will lead to many opportunities if you are prepared to sit down, strap yourself in and do the work
You will not see or experience these benefits until well after you have started, but they are real. I know, because this has been my journey.
What’s driven this evolution?
Blogging has been transformed by many factors over the last 5 years since I started. The speed of the internet has increased, the audience has become larger and smart phones and tablets have become ever present. The Internet is expected to grow from nearly 3 bullion to over 6 billion people in the next decade. That is a lot of opportunity and also a challenge as the web noise makes standing out even harder.
That is why starting now has many advantages. It’s placing your stake in the ground for the digital gold rush. It means building digital assets of content and distribution today that will grow as you create and “earn” authority online. Blogging has also been supercharged by two obsessive technologies. Social media and smart phones.
This is a heady and powerful mix. You could call it the perfect storm. Bloggers need to embrace both and learn how to use them to maximum effect.
Blogging business models to consider
So how can you make money from blogging?
There are many business models. Many bloggers have multiple revenue streams. Darren Rowse at Problogger lists twelve and Michael Hyatt mentions seven. Let’s look at a few key business models that are proven. The advertising revenue model of Mashable and Huffington Post require large audiences that mean attracting traffic into the millions or ten of millions per month and I don’t intend to discuss it further here. But here are some that are achievable for almost everyone with the right persistence and focus.
Selling your knowledge with an ebook
Providing a monthly subscription service to access resources and premium content
Selling online courses
Selling consulting, speaking and advisory services
Earning money through joint ventures and collaboration. This is also sometimes called “affiliate” marketing
These are just 5 proven methods and can be done from one blog.
How to start a blog that makes money?
Here are 10 key pillars that will assist you in building a lifestyle business that will transform your life and work based on your personal passions and purpose.
How do I know that they work?
Because this blog makes a 6 figure income that takes me around the world speaking, created a lifestyle that I love, built global business networks and created many lucrative and surprising opportunities.
If you are looking for a “get rich quick scheme” then stop reading now and buy a lottery ticket.
Here are the steps I have discovered through 5 years of trial and error, hard work and blood sweat and tears.
1. Discover your passion and purpose
Random mutterings online show lack of focus. Make sure you have your direction and purpose clear as possible for your blog. This is the foundation that will keep you going.
Can you state what you’re about in 20 words or less? You need a spark to start a fire. That’s the passion piece. This is what will sustain you when inspiration deserts you and doubts engulf your daily life. One particular approach that provides a simple framework is worth considering. Porter Gale’s steps to discovering your focus is quite helpful without overcomplicating it.
The 4 steps
List your passions
Discover the sweet spot at the intersection
Describe your tone – Witty, Irreverent, Inspirational etc
Write the 20 word mission statement that distils your purpose
Some of you may already have this nailed but nuancing it to be as clear as possible is vital for long term success.
2. Identify your target audience
Your target audience needs to be clearly defined. Understanding the humanity that lies behind the sterile data of demographics is vital to get into the heart and soul of your global niche.
Personas have emerged in the past few years as a means to put a human face to the soulless and faceless stats of the demographic data scientist. The problem is that just considering a demographic profile misses that human element. So personas were invented to help the new breed of marketer understand the human side of the data.
Personas have problems, challenges and aspirations both as an individual and as an employee of a company. Newspapers have understood this at a primal layer for a long time in what news they published on the front page. Editors and journalists have known for a long time that “If it bleeds it leads“. Fear sells newspapers.
Personas have personalities, they have fears, wants and passions. Demographics have ages, an assigned gender and even a college degree.
So it doesn’t matter whether you are a blogger, a brand or social media marketer, You need to make your content human.
To develop a persona requires asking some questions.
Questions you need to be asking
To develop a persona you need to be asking some questions about your typical buyer. Here are a few to get you started.
What are their biggest problems and challenges in their job?
Where do they get their information from? Blogs, trade magazines, books?
What would stop them changing to your product or service?
What conferences do they attend?
How do they convince their boss to make a buying decision? Do they print off an ebook and put it on his desk?
What media do they consume? YouTube videos, white papers, podcasts?
When you start to know the answers to some of these questions then your content creation for your target audience will begin to be relevant and appropriate.
3. Design and build your blog
Design is what consumes most of people’s time. For many, it is how it looks. Yes…looks are very important… but design goes much deeper than that. It is also how it works. Design that matters and manages the tension between form and function can be beautiful to behold. Steve Jobs knew and understood that.
So hire a designer that understands that it isn’t just about having a beautiful face but powerful and essential functions.
What are some essential elements to include in your blog design and functions?
Ensure it is designed for search engines. Make sure that the web designer includes clean coding that allows the the top 25-30 key phrases you want to rank for on Google easily be crawled by the search engines crawler for indexing. Also upload a plugin such as Yoast that optimizes content for search.
Include social sharing buttons such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+
The design should allow easy following on your social networks
Make it simple for people to subscribe to your email address by including a pop-up on entry or exit that offers free content in exchange for their email address
Include social proof. This displays your online credibility that is seen at a glance. This is what are your awards, how many people are sharing your content
Design is not just how it looks or even the content. It is essential that “calls to action” are built into the design and function. These include “Follow us”, “like” us, subscribe or download our free ebook
Easy to read fonts. Don’t make your text so small that it is hard to read.
4. Hosting your blog
Ever been to blog that is so slow to load that you click away. That can sometimes be put down to having a slow internet connection. Often though it is because you are sharing a hosting computer with hundreds of other domains. It has become vital with Google’s new attention to user experience that your site loads quickly. If your site is slow then you will find that it will affect your sites search engine results as Google gives your site a small black cross. This little rule is now written into Google’s algorithms.
Fast is good.
The jeffbullas.com blog is hosted by Bluehost Web Hosting. For only $3.95 a month, Bluehost can help you set up and host your blog. Because JeffBullas.com is a Bluehost affiliate partner, my readers can use this link to receive a 50% discount off the monthly price and a free domain name.
The other key here is having a site that is online 24/7. You may pay a little more but in the end you will be thankful. especially when you are building a blog that means business I have found that my hosting supplier Blue Host, provides robust and cost effective blog and website hosting with great support with a free WordPress template for only $3.49 per month.
5. Create free content
Content marketing is the new “black” when it comes to driving traffic. Its about attracting traffic rather than chasing it. Creating and giving away free content build credibility and trust and can position you as a thought leader in your industry
It improves your SEO (Search engine optimisation) for your blog and this drives “organic” search engine traffic when you are found in search results. How important is search engine traffic? In most cases it drives 300% more traffic than social networks. Today on my blog it is over 55% of all my traffic. Being found on page one brings 90% of all clicks.
It also leads to referral traffic when people find your content is so good they “hyperlink” back to your articles.
Content marketing tactics
Create tempting headlines that drive “clicks”. I can’t stress how important developing and continuing to hone this skill is.
Make sure you have social sharing buttons that are “very” visible at the top or a floating bar on the side. (Don’t hide them down the bottom)
After publishing, share your content in as many appropriate social networks as possible
Taking control of your blog and content distribution should be done from day one. There are 4 key distribution tactics.
Social media marketing is in essence just two things. Content (media) and Distribution (social networks). Get them right and the rest follows. Increased traffic, brand awareness and sales.
But creating the content is one thing but making it move is another. That is why growing your social networks is so important. It puts the power in your hands. That is what excited me when I saw the potential of social for the first time. Access to a global market in real time at high speed.
Beyonce and her marketing gurus got it right when in December 2013, she bypassed mass media to launched her new album on her own social networks. There wasn’t one TV show or mass media channel to be seen.
We also have many social network choices. They are global and still can be “earned” and built directly with your own audience. It takes time but the application of persistent effort is rewarded with your own content delivery networks. Bigger is better.
It’s a long-term game.
You will also have to choose which networks you want to focus on. One is not enough and it also risky because as the social networks evolve they keep changing the game and their algorithms. It’s all your eggs in one basket thing. For many that is the Facebook bucket. Be wary of committing your focus to just one platform.
Email may be perceived as not cool but it does allow you to reach your dedicated audience when you want. Build your email list from the first day your blog goes “live”
Search engines will give you nothing on the first day you publish, this fact means that “search engine optimisation” or “SEO” is ignored by many. But I promise you that if you invest in the key elements of “SEO” that a couple of years later that Google will reward you with free traffic when you start ranking on page one.
Mobile is not a distribution network but it is a platform that needs special attention. So much media is now consumed on mobile devices (it is often 50% or more of blog and ecommerce traffic) that making sure that you have optimized your blog for smart phones and tablets is absolutely essential!
Optimized for mobile means people can:
Read your content easily without magnifying glasses
Subscribe to your email list on a mobile device
Buy your services and products without waiting to get home to their desktop
7. Create and package your knowledge
Do you have decades of experience and expertise that is worth something to a knowledge hungry world? Is it locked up in your grey matter? Not structured or packaged?
Today most of us are knowledge workers.
You might be in finance, marketing, technology or public relations. Do you have industry knowledge that is highly valued? Businesses buy expertise and knowledge workers to add value to their businesses.
Maybe its time to sit down, outline and unlock that knowledge for your benefit. You may even have a part time hobby and passion that could be bundled up into an online course or ebook to be monetized.
Blogs and the ability to self publish is opening up opportunities for “you” to be paid for your knowledge and creativity.
The rise of the online creative
The freedom to publish that blogging provides, is powering a new revolution of knowledge sharing, expression and creativity that is unprecedented.
Closet cooks are both demonstrating and displaying their culinary skills via video, recipes and teasing photos on foodie blogs.
Photographers are taking us on their local and world journeys. They are revealing corners of the globe that are exposing hidden cultures, geography and private lives for us to glimpse at like voyeurs. They are published to blogs, Facebook and Twitter.
Even teenagers create fashion that surprise us and is uploaded to YouTube and shared to a global audience.
Have a passion and some expertise and add a dose of technology and publish online. You can build an audience of thousands.
But there’s a problem
I was recently viewing a TED talk by Jared Diamond and he posed a question to a problem that is worth answering.
“How should we use our old people?”
This question was framed in a way that starts the journey in how we can come up with solutions to help societies grow old better. This dilemma has been created because modern society values youth and beauty over wisdom, age and experience. This has in part been created by the rise of technology as wisdom and knowledge in the past lay within the minds of the elders of the tribe.
Today we just Google knowledge.
It has made the finding of knowledge a technology solution. This is taking away the importance and role of the elders of our society.
So what does technology not touch that our wise older generation can still offer? Jared has a few suggestions.
Understanding of human relationships
Ability to help other people without ego getting in the way
Interdisciplinary knowledge eg history, politics and economics
Devising long term plans
But there is a solution.
The technology that is the problem can also be the answer that taps into that wealth of wisdom and experience of decades. Help, build awareness and train the older generation to package, publish and promote their decades of knowledge, experience and insights on blogs and websites.
Here are some tips on how to package your knowledge to sell on your blog.
The simplest place to start is to write a book. It can start with a short ebook. It doesn’t have to be long. Make it 10-15 pages. That’s the practice part. This is where you can distil your knowledge into chunk size bites that will help you start structuring and synthesizing your knowledge.
Then you can write a longer ebook that can also be turned into a printed book. There are a variety of “on demand” printing services that can assist you to create a print version. Blog posts can also be re-purposed and turned into chapters with some editing and rewriting.
The premium packaging of your expertise
The next steps are to add premium packaged versions of your knowledge.
If you want to take your ebook content to the next level you can supercharge your content by adding premium media and content.
Here is how you can turn a $29 eBook into a $3,000 product. This is how it can be done.
Add a podcast version – now you can charge $97
Add a Camtasia video version of the eBook where you record the screen shots in a video format while chatting through the eBook content – Sell that product for $597
Add interviews with experts – Sell product for $1,097
Offer personal coaching as part of the package – Sell for $2,097
Put it in a DVD package – Sell it all for $3,000
You can also then put on a live 2 day seminar and sell the tickets for $2,000. What about you?
Have you a wealth of knowledge that is wanting to get out? Have you decades of experience and “know how” that the rest of the world could benefit from?
Have you thought about productizing it?
8. Upload to your digital educating platform
Selling your knowledge can also be done many ways. Two popular ways are:
To keep it simple let’s just look at selling your ebook for your first step.
Once you have created your product(s) to sell on your blog you need an automated way to sell and deliver the ebook or video tutorial download. In the past this meant some tricky programming to integrate different systems to deliver the download and to process the credit card transaction.
This has changed.
For example, the Selz platform can be setup in a matter of minutes and can be used to sell both digital and physical products.
Selz has been developed with the modern online entrepreneur in mind. Using Selz you can maximise your sales effortlessly without having to spend precious time on the mechanics of running an online business. Selz allows you to upload the ebook or video for you and automatically delivers the files when a customer purchases them.
Selz also makes it easier to build a customer email list as it integrates with three of the most popular email systems Aweber, Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor. By connecting it up to your email platform you can build your email list for marketing your next book or online course.
If you want to get serious and build a whole ecosystem for:
Hosting your course material
Accepting and managing payments
Emailing and automating your marketing
Then you have 2 choices for your packaged “premium” content and courses that you sell.
Build your own custom website (eg. WordPress platform with special templates)
Invest in a “cloud” based platforms such as Infusionsoft (starts from $199) or Ontraport (starts from $279) but with a lot more included as standard with everything already built in.
These platforms come into their own when you are selling your own online courses and are working with Joint venture partners and online influencers.
9. Build joint ventures
To amplify your marketing efforts then working with other bloggers is essential.
What is important to realise is that the social web allows you to work with other bloggers and businesses to reach each other’s customers. These “Joint Venture” relationships will amplify and multiply your marketing. With internet marketing this is often called “affiliate marketing”
Think about this for a moment. If you were able to work with 10 other bloggers who all had 10,000 emails each and you have 10,000 then you have just connected to a network of 100,000. That is an increase of 1,000 percent! This has to be done with high quality content and must be done with care, credibility and trust.
As Porter Gale states: “Your network is your net worth.”
10. Launch and market your product with joint venture partners
You have designed and developed your blog, created content built traffic and created relationships with partners.
If you want to take selling your product to a new level then you can create a solid process of putting in place online digital promotion campaigns with your joint venture partners.
Two of the most popular approaches include:
Selling from an online webinar: This means having your digital product ready for sale, affiliate platform setup, partner that has a large email list (10,000+). The next steps include setting a webinar date with 1-2 weeks of promotion and then educate and sell at the backend of the webinar with a close and call to action.
“Launch formula” process: Creating and launching your product with a whole team of joint venture partners. This is when you really sell your product “at scale”. This strategy that has been created over the last decade to sell your knowledge online and is known as the “launch process”. Jeff Walker is seen as the “God Father” of this approach.
If you really want to launch your product then you need to learn the art of the the launch process
It includes the following:
If you want to learn about this in more detail then I would recommend that you read Jeff Walker’s book “Launch”
What about you?
Have you started your blog? Have knowledge you can package and sell? Haven’t got it just right.
Maybe it’s time to start. Remember “Done is better than perfect”
Want to learn how to start a blog that makes money today?
The jeffbullas.com blog is hosted by Bluehost Web Hosting. For only $3.49 a month, Bluehost can help you set up and host your blog. Because JeffBullas.com is a Bluehost affiliate partner, my readers can use this link to receive a 50% discount off the monthly price that can also include a free domain name.