6 SEO Myths That Prove We’re All Idiots





Humans will do anything to look smart and competent. Comedians like Jimmy Kimmel feed off of this propensity for hubris. And then we all benefit from it. Try it for yourself sometime. Go up to a random stranger and ask, “Do you think Bill Clinton gets enough credit for ending the Korean War?” (HINT: He wasn’t old enough to be President of the United States during the Korean War.)



Ironically, this behavior often exposes our ineptitude.

SEOs and bloggers are no different. We want to look like experts so bad we bullshit our way into corners all the time

Here are a few ways SEOs B.S. themselves all the time and really make themselves look like idiots.

1. Do What These Massive Brands Are Doing

When I was a kid, I played the game Lemmings. Often, I’d get bored with a particularly difficult level and just set up traps for my lemmings rather than rescue them. I’d watch them all follow the digger to hell and then hit the nuke button.

The fact a lemming is bigger and healthier looking than the other lemmings doesn’t change the fact it’s a lemming. That lemming still might be heading for a cliff.

Big brands aren’t always wise sages, especially when it comes to SEO. Think of it this way: a bigger brand has a much wider margin of error than you do. If they make a mistake, they can bounce back when you might splat at the bottom.

You’re also assuming their HR department knows what they’re doing when they hire SEOs and web designers. Often the philosophy of “throw money at it to make it grow” doesn’t work. And that’s exactly how some big brands function once they get the big cash.



Don’t be a lemming, seek real advice.

2. SEO is Snake Oil

Ok, SEOs typically don’t say this. They wouldn’t make any money this way.

But I’ve heard it from Google employees, bloggers, and anyone who just doesn’t want to do the work of ranking well. I even had a friend from YouTube tell me this, backpedal, and then say, “well, it’s just that the target is constantly shifting.”

There’s a lot of surface-level SEO information out there. And while it’s not exactly snake oil, it’s often not enough to have any real impact on your SERPs.

SEO is like psychology. It’s a soft science.

We can’t peak into the box and know what’s going on but we can observe the effects. Sometimes Google will give us a heads-up, but often we’re scrambling to patch holes after the fact.

This can make it seem like SEOs are behind the curve, but they’re more in the know than anyone else. It’s not an exact science, but it’s not snake oil either.

3. Worry About Keyword Stuffing

Seriously? What year is this? 2012?

Can we be done with the keyword stuffing thing yet? No? Well, I guess we gotta slay this beast while we’re here.

Sure, keywords still matter a *little* bit. But here’s the bite: they gotta be so natural, even you don’t see them as keywords.



Google’s RankBrain is now all about user intent. It’s so important to give users what they’re looking for that keywords almost don’t matter anymore.

Where Then Are Keywords Relevant?

Until our language goes fully pictographic, search engines will continue to take keywords into account. And you should definitely research a keyword to put in your title tag.

Otherwise, just be natural (grammatically correct, and concise, and…well, content is king, right?).

4. Content is King

Aw, what? Didn’t I just say content is king? Yeah, yeah, I know, plot-holes, right?

But this myth is just like the “write what you know” rule in writing. People take it, run with it and have no clue what the hell they’re even doing. And then they end up writing boring crap because their life is so boring.

Novice bloggers do the same thing with content. If you write it, they will come, right?

Wrong. You need more than just content (even great content) to make the SEO wheels turn. We’re looking at links, tags, design, usability, speed…

Yeah, content is just an important piece of the puzzle, one you can’t do without. But it’s not the end-all of SEO.

5. Links Are a Dead Horse

I’ve said this before, but the internet is — drumroll please — a network! Without links, you are just a powerless tool in a sea of well-connected and well-dressed geniuses.

It’s just that, like keywords, and content, links are only one step in many to get you to the SERP prize. No, don’t put a billion links in, but don’t ignore them either.

Don’t go buying links for cheap either. Negotiate for access to high ranking sites instead. And again, be natural.

6. Google is Penalizing You

I only cried once in Hockey. I’d just come back after time off from a broken ankle and I was reckless on the ice. I almost whacked someone in the throat with my stick. I ended up in the penalty box a teenage mess because I had lost skill.

Google’s algorithms aren’t referees. They’re a content elevator. When one site drops in the rankings, it’s because of a change in the algorithm they weren’t ready for. It also means another site was ready (knowingly or not).

There is no Google algo penalty box. There are referees at Google, but Google actually notifies you on the Google Search Console when you’ve violated their Webmaster Guidelines.

Talking about SERP rank changes like hockey penalties only serves to malign Google and cause confusion.

Don’t Be an Idiot

Humility is an underrated quality in our society. I’ve found that when you admit ignorance, you’re rewarded with knowledge.

Only idiots pretend to know eveything. If you’re on the SEO struggle bus, seek help. Your SERPs will thank you.

 

Top 3 Reasons Local SEO Should Be Your Focus





Lately I discussed SEO and why you need it for your small business. Brick and mortar shops need SEO, sure, but more than anything they need to think about what kind of SEO they need. It’s just three letters but it’s a broad term, with dozens of different strategies and methods to get the best results, which of course vary from business to business and city to city.



The answer for most of you is going to be local SEO. Here are my top 3 reasons why local SEO should be the focus for new and small businesses trying to get noticed on the web.

1. Least Time-Consuming

I did local SEO for a small business last year. With just three hours of work, I managed to have them ranking number one for their brand name in less than a week. Not bad for a brand-spanking-new business that was being run out of a guy’s apartment, eh?

If your greatest resource, time, is severely limited, then put your focus on the local rankings. This will save you a ton of time and you can outsource the rest of it.



You can spend all day researching and implementing SEO. I know because I’ve done it. If you’ve got a local business and you’re trying to get your name out there quickly, local SEO is what you want to focus on in the here and now.

2. Local Eyeballs

For new businesses, you should value and cater to your community.

You go to church with these folks. You shop at the same grocery stores. Your kids are on the same sports teams.

These are the people who will help to support your new company the most, especially in the beginning. You want their eyes on your site and your content.

3. Get Mobile

The number one rule of marketing is to hit the right person with the right offer at the right time, right?



Making sure your business is at the top of Google rankings in 2018 is how we’re hitting people at the right time.

Your local SEO is going to dictate just how well you rank on mobile. One of the biggest ranking factors is going to be your site speed. If you want to get a leg up on the competition, that’s a good place to start.

Getting to the top of Google’s rankings is just one of the major benefits of local SEO for brick and mortar businesses.

Unfortunately, this isn’t really an option anymore. Google has already rolled out this plan. Mobile marketing and local SEO working together can be what puts you where you want to be and help to make you and your business a ton of money. Play Google’s game and you will likely be rewarded.

Conclusion

The above reasons should be more than enough for you to place local SEO high on your to-do list.

If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, you can outsource it to a reputable agency for probably just a few hundred bucks a month. If you do have the time, then get on it.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave some comments below and I’ll do what I can to help out. Thanks for reading.

 

How to Sink Your Teeth into Real Estate Without Buying Property





Right now is one of the best times to get into real estate investing. Price growth is slated to slow and then pick up speed again. And we’ve seen only a marginal bump in mortgage rates. All of this spurs confidence in the market even if inventory is down. And with confidence comes increase in prices and increase in value. You’ve got to get on the cart now before it climbs too high.



But if you don’t necessarily want to bind yourself with a mortgage and a house you can’t sell for a while, there are other ways to invest in real estate. Here are a few methods investors use to increase their dividends.

1. Grab Those REITs While They’re Still Hot

A real estate investment trust is a company that owns or finances real estate. Said real estate must produce income for it to be a real estate investment trust. The company must also invest at least 75% of its total assets in real estate, cash or U.S. Treasuries.

There are three kinds of REITs you could invest in. Most are equity REITs.  These investments require the REIT to distribute at least 90% of the portfolio’s income to shareholders. These types of REITs invest directly in real estate.



Mortgage REITs loan money to real estate owners in the form of mortgages and various types of real estate loans. The money you earn comes from a net interest margin.

Hybrid REITs are a combination of the previous two.

2. Mutual Funds Are a Classical and Solid Option

While REITs are a type of mutual fund, you can invest in other real estate mutual funds as well. These kinds of mutual funds provide an opportunity to brush up against domestic and international stock positions.

They’ve outperformed the stock market historically, but they’re also slightly higher risk than your typical stocks and bonds. This means it shouldn’t be your sole source of investment. It should be part of a diverse portfolio.

But it’s a fairly lucrative investment if done right.



There are thousands of mutual funds available. A fraction of those are real estate mutual funds. How then do you pick a mutual fund?

Look at the Expense Ratio

Each real estate mutual fund must overcome costs before it can make money for investors. When mutual funds express this amount, they do so using a ratio or percentage.

You want to pick a mutual fund with a low expense ratio. If you don’t, the decision or lack of wisdom could put a massive dent in your potential wealth.

High Turnover Ratios Are a No Go

This is a tax problem. If you jump into a mutual fund that turns over 50% or more of their portfolio each year, stay away.

Why? Because the taxman will tax the property every time it’s sold. The longer a mutual fund holds onto property, the less the taxman will take out.

The Management Team Needs Experience

Who did the mutual fund hire to manage the portfolio? Will they be successful? Will they manage your portfolio well?

And ask if they have skin in the game. If a manager doesn’t have a substantial amount of their own net worth invested alongside fund holders, find another mutual fund.

Have you found other ways to invest in real estate without buying property? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below.

 

Not Getting Any Bites? Try These Five Marketing Hook Tactics





Fishing without the right bait is pointless. You’ll sit there on the shore or rocking back and forth in your boat all day hoping for some action. Marketing isn’t much different. If you put the wrong bit of content or information for the wrong niche, no lead is going to follow. What is a marketing hook? It’s a sample, something to give your leads a taste of what they’re missing if they don’t click.



For fish, this means the food they already consume on a daily basis yet better looking. For leads, it means the media they consume on a daily basis yet more entertaining or interesting.

Here are some tactics that might help you reel in those leads.

1. Command Their Attention

Babies and marketing campaigns are killed by passive voice. You don’t want either to happen to you, do you?

This is why it’s crucial you use a commanding and active voice in your marketing hooks. If your hooks sound like they rolled off the tongue of an academic, you’re in the wrong field.



57% of leads have already made up their minds before reaching your hook. The other 43% need a nudge.

Commands such as “Try!” “Do!” “Feel!”  compel people to act.

Here are a few examples:

Give in to your cravings and buy [insert delicious sale item]

Watch this!

Stop wasting your money!

2. Show Them a Better Future

Dissatisfaction is your friend. In 2017, only 33% of Americans said they were happy.



If over 75% of the population is dissatisfied, then it’s your responsibility to satisfy them. You merely need to find out what better future they crave.

What does your product or content do that will improve someone’s life? Hook them with a tutorial or an entertaining look at what they could be if they bought your product or clicked on your link.

3. Find That Pain Point

Sometimes people need to feel uncomfortable before they decide to make a change. Often they’ve been uncomfortable for a while and the solution just hadn’t presented itself.

This is where your hook comes in. You remind the lead of a problem they have. It needs to be fixed immediately.

Create a video that speaks to this. Write an article that solves their problem in part. And if they click the link, they could solve their problem permanently.

4. Show Off What Others Have Said

90% of consumers claim that a positive review will influence their buying decisions. A sincere, positive, and voluntary testimonial or review could be the perfect hook to bring in leads.

But be careful with this one. Your testimonials need to sound and be genuine. Otherwise, your leads will pass you by with nary a glance.

5. Show Them Value Upfront

You want to avoid sounding “salesy.” There are ways to present value and there are ways to present value.

When spouting off dollar amounts, you sound like a car salesman. Instead, show them what they could have if they clicked through to your product or content.

Ask yourself, how can you help your customers? That’s where the value of your product or content lies. Don’t sell specs or even the product. But hook them with how the product will solve a problem in their lives.

 

How to Keep Gmail’s Promotions Tab From Killing Your E-Mail Marketing





Google’s products aren’t really products. They’re portals. Just like a highway isn’t really a product even if it’s a toll road run by a private corporation. The real product is access. Google gives access to information. Gmail gives access to communication. How does Google make money from these things? Ads.



For a while, e-mail marketing was a free-for-all game. If you did it right, you could avoid spam filters and you were golden.

New Rules to Play By

Google changed the game. As a user, I’m thrilled. I get to choose when promotional e-mails pass before my eyeballs because Google automatically shuffles my e-mails into categories. But as a marketer, I’m not so thrilled.

Conventional e-mail marketing is 40 times more effective than social media at acquiring new customers. But will that be true in the age of the Gmail tabulation system?

You can circumnavigate this new system. Let’s look at how that’s possible.



1. Use List Segmentation To Get People’s Attention

It’s utterly tempting and easy to send out generic e-mails. You could capture a wide audience this way, right? Wrong.

If you send out the same e-mail to all your customers and leads, chances are you’ll minimize your impact. This is where segmentation comes in. You’re creating personalized lists for customers of various types and targeting each group.

Google will move your e-mails out of the promotions tab if your customers click on an e-mail and interact with a link. You’re more likely to get customers to do that if you’re using the list segmentation technique.

2. Avoid Promotional Language

In traditional marketing, words like “free” are old standbys. People gravitate toward things that are either free or will save them money. If you’re going to avoid the Gmail promotional tab, you’re going to disavow this habit.

Gmail’s filter uses similar technology to the Google search engine. It can determine context and it can “read” your e-mails. Starting with the subject line, eradicate any promotional language.



Make the subject line as personal as possible. Even if you weren’t avoiding the promotions tab, this is just good e-mail marketing.

3. Don’t Change Your Identity

If you’ve already registered with Google, they will know your e-mail address and know it’s connected to a business. Repeat after me: “That’s OK”

The promotional tab isn’t the only place business e-mails might end up. Social and Updates are two categories more likely to receive engagement than the promotional tab.

If you do change your name and e-mail address and attempt to re-register, you’re only doing harm. If Google figures out you’ve done this, kiss your e-mail marketing goodbye. You’ll be stuck in Spam bin hell forever and ever, amen.

4. Links in Moderation

E-mail marketing is the new SEO. You have to craft the perfect e-mail to get past Google’s sniffers. This means no more link stuffing in your e-mails.

One clear CTA with a link attached is all you need.

Also, be sure to avoid linking to your social media pages at the end of the e-mail. Nobody does that except marketers.

Conclusion: Less is More

Essentially, e-mail marketing hasn’t changed much since the promotions tab came into existence.  Less is always more and it always has been.

 

 

AdSense Alternatives to YouTube Monetization





In a move that even out-shadowed the whole demonetization controversy of 2017, YouTube announced significant changes to its partner program in early 2018. As a result, many smaller YouTubers got booted from the YouTube Partner Program because they no longer met the new requirements. As a refresher, the new requirements called for at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours watched in the last 12 months. And no one was grandfathered into the program either.



It’s through the YouTube Partner Program that video creators could monetize their videos using Google AdSense. This includes the pre-roll video ads and the banner ads shown in the video themselves, among other possible placements. Without this revenue source, many YouTubers felt distraught… but maybe they’re forgetting about all the other opportunities to make money on YouTube too. Here are a few that you may have left on the table (that you should now pick up if you haven’t already).

 

Amazon Associates

It probably won’t surprise too many of you to learn that many of the people who watch YouTube are interested in what equipment goes into shooting YouTube videos. This is especially the case with vloggers and other channels that target creative professionals (and amateurs and prosumers too).



One of the simplest things to do is to leverage Amazon’s affiliate program and provide links in the video description to the gear that you use. Similarly, you should be including links to any products you mention in the video too, just as I did in the video where I compared different Amazon Kindle versions. If someone is watching a product video, they’re probably interested in buying it.

Patreon

You might remember when I wrote about Patreon in the context of YouTube monetization a few years ago and it’s arguably even more relevant today. The basic idea here is that instead of trying to get money out of sponsors and advertisers, you get money from the people who are watching your content in the first place. It’s a much more direct relationship and Patreon only takes a 5% fee for providing this platform.

Many of the top YouTube channels have taken this approach. Science video channel SciShow, as of this writing, brings in over $20,000 a month from over 5,000 patrons. That’s nothing to sneeze at and even if you have a smaller subscriber base, Patreon can provide a more consistent and predictable source of income that isn’t subject to fickle algorithms.

Affiliate Lead Generation

If you want to talk about the bigger bucks, this is definitely John Chow’s preferred method of making money from YouTub e. To put this all in perspective, his YouTube channel brings in about $1,000 a month in AdSense (as reported for May 2017). His MOBE earnings for the same month was nearly $250,000 and YouTube referrals accounted for almost a third of that. Put another way, the resulting MOBE affiliate earnings beat out his AdSense revenue by about a factor of 70-to-1.



When you position and target your YouTube videos accordingly and partner up with the right big ticket affiliate program, your earning potential can shoot through the roof.

Your Own Products and Services

You’ve got an online business, so why not leverage your YouTube channel to help build and promote that business even further? The natural tie-in would be if you have a specific product to promote. If you just published a new book or launched a new membership site, there’s no reason why you can’t spread the word on YouTube or include a “promotional message” (from yourself) at the beginning or end of your videos to coincide with the launch.

Collaborations and Sponsorships

Influencer marketing is bigger than ever before. It’s a common misconception that brands only want to work with online influencers who have millions of followers. That’s just not the case. Brands are oftentimes better off working with a larger number of influencers with smaller followings to get the most bang out of their marketing buck.

Speaking for myself, I worked with Subaru Canada on a video that showcased the new Impreza at a local event and that was a sponsored video. Similar partnerships, collaborations and sponsorships are available both through influencer networks and by working with brands (and their PR agencies) directly. Don’t be afraid to reach out. There’s no harm in asking.

Of course, there are innumerable other opportunities for making money on YouTube beyond the AdSense alternatives listed here. Do you have any favorites? Share your experiences and insights in the comments below!

[Case Study] Testing The Skyscraper Technique





In the digital marketing world there’s an annoyingly persistent myth which undermines the work of marketers all across the world. That myth is that great content is enough. This all stems from that often repeated marketing mantra that content is king. The idea that if you write good content, readers will flock to your website, consume all your blogs and shower you with comments, shares and backlinks. Sadly, it’s just not true. It’s a fantasy concocted by industry onlookers who spin generic blogs about content rather than actually designing, implementing and testing strategies.



I’m not exaggerating when I say the If You Build It, They Will Come content strategy is seriously and dangerously flawed, and will sink your website if you follow it blindly.

You see, a content strategy is much more than just content creation. It’s a strategy. It’s a comprehensive approach to marketing that encompasses the creation, publication and distribution of content.

It’s the way you create content and use it to attract readers, engage influencers and earn backlinks.

One of these strategies is the Skyscraper Technique from Brian Dean of Backlinko fame. With so much floating around the web either praising and damning the technique, I decided to put it to the test myself and see whether it actually could deliver the results it promised. This post comes as an advanced method beside Thoughtful Blog Comments for a perfect linkbuilding strategy posted earlier in Seonick blog.

How Does The SEO Strategy (Skyscraper Technique) Work?

The Skyscraper Technique is an absurdly simple system. In fact, it can be broken down into three simple steps:

  • Step 1: Find some link-worthy content
  • Step 2: Make something better
  • Step 3: Outreach your content to the right people

That’s all there is to it. Find something good, make it better and show it to the right people.

Brian explains the technique with this rather apt analogy.

“Have you ever walked by a really tall building and said to yourself: ‘Wow, that’s amazing! I wonder how big the 8th tallest building in the world is.’

“Of course not.

“It’s human nature to be attracted to the best.

“And what you’re doing here is finding the tallest “skyscraper” in your space…and slapping 20 stories to the top of it.

“All of a sudden YOU have the content that everyone wants to talk about (and link to).”

Sounds simple, right? Well, here’s how it works in practice.

Step 0: Find a problem

Our strategy actually starts a little bit before Brian’s and to explain why I’ll need to tell you a little bit about our agency.

When we were first sketching out our own content strategy, we decided that our blog was going to be tailored towards providing practical advice to SMEs and freelancers.

What payment gateway should I use? How should I run a giveaway on social media? How can you leverage negative feedback in your marketing? Which of these payment gateways is going to cost me the least? And so on and so on.

You have a problem and we have the solution. It’s a match made in heaven.

However, for this content strategy to work we needed a problem. A good problem. A right doozy of a problem that hadn’t been documented within an inch of its life.



Thankfully, one landed right on our doorstep.

You see, a few months ago we took on a new SEO client. Let’s call them Blueridge Cupcakes. This gourmet patisserie used to work with one of our rivals and had been with them for years. However, for whatever reason they decided they wanted a change.

As their contract was expiring, they stuck their SEO contract out to tender and digital agencies across the country buried it under pitches, presentations and applications. We threw our hat into the ring too and, after several rounds of competition, won the contract.

Champagne and caviar all round!

The first thing I did was review all the work our competitor had previously done. I was actually quite impressed. Their campaign was content-forward and ethical, the sort of stuff that wasn’t ever going to come back to bite them.

They had created a handful of really attractive pieces of content and these were continuing to attract visitors to the site in their droves.

However, two weeks into Blueridge’s new campaign I received an email forwarded to me from their marketing manager. It’s originally from Getty Images.

Sigh.

Now, anyone who’s worked in digital knows exactly what an email from Getty means: someone’s used an image they weren’t supposed to use and it’s going to be expensive.

Sure enough, after a quick dig we discovered a nine-month-old blog that used an image of a sunset from Getty’s RM section.

It was just one image, and not even a particularly good image at that, but it was one that we simply didn’t have the right to use.

A quick Google for sunset found the image on some blog that collected pictures of sunsets. Hardly exculpating in the eyes of a stock photo goliath but certainly an explanation for how someone confused it for an image released for free use.

While it was frustrating to shell out money for someone else’s mistake, the whole ordeal did give us a problem to solve. Silver linings and all that.

You see, I don’t think people use copyrighted material because they’re cold, heartless and hate photographers. I think they use copyrighted images because they simply don’t know where to look for quality free alternatives.

And just like that we had a problem to solve.

Step 1: Find some link-worthy content

So we had got a problem. The first step in the Skyscraper Technique is to find a model piece of content. Something unique and valuable. Something useful and helpful. Something people genuinely want to link back to.

Brian calls content like this a linkable asset.

So off to Google I went and did a quick search for Best free stock photography sites. The top result a Bootstrap Bay article called 17 Amazing Sites With Breathtaking Stock Photography.

I took Bootstrap Bay’s article and ran it through Raven’s Backlink Explorer, which returned 1,781 backlinks pointing at the article.

An additional 689 shares on Facebook, 285 retweets on Twitter and 465 mentions on LinkedIn confirmed my suspicions: this was was definitely a linkable asset.



Step 2: Make something even better

The second step in the Technique is take your linkable asset and make it even better.

I set out to improve Bootstrap Bay’s article across three key areas: length, relevance and detail.

It’s worth emphasising here that I wasn’t trying to do anything original or innovative. All I was trying to do was take something that was going well and make it better.

The first thing I did was increase the number of entries. I scoured my own bookmarks list, trawled online discussions, borrowed from other Best Stock Photography Sites lists and finished off my search with crowdsourced recommendations from our social followers.

When I was finished, I had almost three times as many websites as the Bootstrap Bay article.

Next I wanted to make sure my article was the most up-to-date article on the web. So off I went on the hunt for the freshest sites out there. If the site was too new to have been included in the Bootstrap Bay article, I wanted it in mine.

The quality of the website blurb was the final thing I wanted to tighten up. I focussed on writing blurbs which gave a brief background of each site, explained whether it has a speciality and detailed what license images are released under.

Once it was finished, I published the full article on our blog and promoted it through our usual channels.

Step 3: Outreach your content to the right people

Linkable asset identified and improvements made, it was time put the final part of the technique into action.

I headed back to Raven and grouped the 1,781 backlinks by linking domain. That gave me a list of 104 websites which linked back to Bootstrap Bay.

I fired up BuzzStream and used the list of contacts to create a prospecting list. Over the next few hours, I worked through the list and updated each entry with contact details.

During the prospecting process, I filtered out a few sources that it didn’t make sense to contact. The final list stood at 96 contacts.

I emailed all of the contacts with the following template:

And that’s it. That’s the Skyscraper Technique. Find a linkable asset, improve it and promote it. But does it work? Did my new content earn any backlinks?

Let’s find out.

 

Results

Of the 96 emails, I received 20 replies and 12 links. That’s about a 12 percent success rate, which is actually slightly better than what Brian achieved in his own case study.

Some replies even brought a nice warm feeling, including this one from the owner of an online consultancy.

Now, if you’re one of SEO old guard, you might be my results as insignificant. You can buy 800 “high quality backlinks” on Fiverr for five bucks so why would anyone be fussed about a dozen?

Well, while it’s true that you can buy links for little more than pocket change, that doesn’t mean you should. The vast majority of bought links are garbage and given time will probably hurt your website.

Conversely, Skyscraper links are generally very good. They’re natural, they’re from websites related to my niche and they’re permanent. They are the type of links that Google likes and that makes pretty them safe for the future.

Since I put the Skyscraper Technique into effect, it’s having a measurable effect on traffic too.

Since I began started the Skyscraper Technique, organic traffic to my article has increased by 72 percent. Site-wide organic growth for sits at around 40 percent during the same period.

 

Does it work?

The Skyscraper Technique divides digital marketers. Some swear it’s a foolproof method for SEO success and others label it yet another SEO fad.

Dale Cudmore is one of the the Skyscraper Technique’s biggest critics and didn’t pull any punches in his infamous blog Falling From A “Skyscraper”: Why Famous SEO Strategies Won’t Work For You.

His argument is that most SEO strategies suffer from the Facebook Effect, that you see all of the successes and none of the failures.  

Cudmore decided to put the strategy to the test and followed Brian’s instructions to the letter. However, he was unable to replicate Brian’s results. Yes, he did earn some backlinks but they had nowhere near the effect Brian writes about in his case study.

From my own results, however, I can see legitimate value in the Skyscraper Technique. I followed the three basic steps and I did earn links and it did have a long-term positive effect. And while I didn’t build the biggest content skyscraper, my article certainly drew in a sizable crowd.

My advice to curious digital marketers would be to give the technique a test and see if it works for you, your business and your industry.

If it works, you’ve gained a bucketload of links and established quality traffic streams. If it doesn’t, you’ve still got your content and you’ve made contact with hundreds of potential future influencers.

 

Competitive Analysis for Entrepreneurs





What Is “Competitive Analysis”?

Competitive analysis is the process of analyzing your competitors, which are the people you’re trying to run against in specific markets. If you’re somebody that is interested in providing a website that sells shoes and such, you’ll be going head-to-head with all of the other consignment stores and such around the world. As a result, it’s always a good idea to analyze the competition and see what’s trending (in regards to some of the better brands on the market).



If a company is incredibly successful, odds are you’re going to be analyzing their ways quite thoroughly. There are many different aspects of competitive analysis that need to take place, which is what we’ll be covering here today. Google SEO keyword analysis isn’t the only thing you’ll need to ponder, as there are plenty of other things that could help propel a company into popularity.

In order to put together a successful business, you need to be taking initiative when it comes to marketing. To make the most out of your marketing campaigns, you’ll have to understand what makes your target demographic tick – as well as look at what as been successful before you. This article is going to cover how you can go about handling the competitive analysis process, as well as cover terms and phrases that might pop up throughout the entire ordeal. Without the right information under your belt, competitive analysis is going to be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done for your business.

 

How Important is the Property Marketing Plan?

If you’re asking this question, it’s quite obvious that you don’t know how much weight a marketing plan can bear upon your success. Marketing plans are essentially in order to make sure that your business is in good hands, especially when you’re jumping into a relatively competitive industry. If you aren’t ready to effectively market your products or services, then you really aren’t going to get anywhere major.

There’s a reason why some of the largest corporations that the world has ever known sport an abundance of commercials. We all know their brand name and logo because they keep it all in front of us, consistently running advertisements on television and the internet (among other things). The right marketing plan could grace you with things such as:

More Customers – When you have a high-quality marketing plan set in place, you’re going to notice an increase in the amount of sales/business you’ve been seeing. More customers are going to translate into more money, which is critical (and essentially what you’re striving for, these days).

More Experience – Once you’ve put together a single marketing plan, it’s going to get easier and easier. As time progresses, you’ll understand how certain industries tick, and you’ll be able to navigate them (on a marketing level) with complete ease.

More Freedom – The better the marketing plan you put together, the more popular your business is going to be. When you’re a household name, people are automatically going to be drawn towards your services/products. This allows for more freedom when it comes to marketing, as well as many other traits.

In order to curate the right marketing plan, you’ll have to have the right people on your payroll, as well as an abundance of information on the industry at hand. If you’re an expert in your respective marketing industry, you already have an upper-hand. Use that to your advantage and appeal towards the competitors.

Identifying the Competition

This is the portion where you’ve got to identify the competition at hand. If you plan on entering the sports equipment market, you don’t need to be analyzing a technological company; it’s all about maintaining relevancy. If you notice any successful sport equipment business around your local area, try and add them to the target list. From there, you can expand out and look at some of the largest brand you can find within the industry.



When you’ve got a few targets you want to look at, try and see everything from the customer’s point of view. What products are they offering that many other places don’t? What’s the building like? Are the staff friendly? You could ask about 100 different questions right off of the bat, all of which should be taken into account.

You should also probably be worried about looking at it from a business point of view, as that’s how you’re going to be perceiving it most of the time. Is it a difficult industry to navigate? Are there enough potential clients to keep your business in good standing? Look at some of the assets they withhold, and try and plan out how you can compete against them in the marketplace. In order to make the most of your SEO competitor analysis process, you need to figure out their weaknesses. This will allow you to thoroughly plan out (and execute) the right steps needed to succeed.

Going Through a “PEST” Analysis

One thing that I would seriously recommend, is going through a PEST analysis. PEST is an acronym which stands for ‘Political, Economic, Social and Technological’ – it’s a test that looks at the 4 different traits and fields that could be associated with your competitors. You go through a PEST analysis to make sure that you’re well-aware of your competitors’ pro’s and con’s, and when they plan on making a drastic change. When you mix this with the use of the right SEO competitor analysis tool online, you’ll have a lot of important information to work with.

This is pretty much the practice of knowing whenever your competitors make a change, or anything PEST-related changes. If they release a new advertisement campaign, you’ll know about it; and if they release a new product, you’ll know about that as well. Not only that, but you might even be able to build upon a marketing strategy of your own (through the use of inspiration from competitors). The PEST process should keep you in tip-top shape, and always updated when it comes to competitor-related releases. It’s important that you’re not only on top of the target demographic, but the people you plan on going up against as well.

Political – If your competition has a political influence of any sort, local mayor candidacies and such might have an effect of how well they do with marketing.

Economic – Money is always going to be something that is taken into account, regardless of what you’re doing with your life. It makes the world go around, and it definitely has a drastic impact on marketing campaigns. If there are economic problems within a business, odds are there are going to be changes.

Social – Look at their social media presence and see if they’re consistently growing. If so, how are they doing it? When are they posting? What are they posting? There are a lot of questions to ask here, especially since social media is so popular these days.

Technological – Changes in the technology being used (in regards to a business) may have an impact on the way they approach the industry. Look out for changes, and jump on top of anything that might drastically benefit your brand.

Questions to Ask Yourself

There are a few questions that I would suggest you ask yourself before diving into a marketing battle, especially if you’re in one of the industries that has a lot of potential competition to take into account. Keyword research SEO services can give you the right keywords, but they won’t allow you to naturally beat out your competition – that’s what analysis is for. The questions I would suggest you ponder to yourself would be:

Who are the competitors you’re going up against? – You need to know who you’re ultimately going to be challenging. As a result, it’s important to identify the proper competitors.

What kind of products or services are they offering up to people? – Figure out what they have to offer, as well as look at some of their most popular options. This will help solidify the amount of popularity that these things sport within your market.

What types of past strategies have they worked with? – By looking at the past strategies that they’ve made use of, you might be able to determine exactly how they’ve maintained their success over the years.

What does their market share look like? – If they hold a hefty amount of the market share, you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s going to be a pretty tough competition.

Are they incredibly aggressive/well-funded when it comes to advertisements? – The more money they have to blow, the harder it’s going to be when you’re looking to “overthrow the top brands”.



Are they very competitive? – If they’re ready to compete, you can know that it’s going to be a battle before you even get into the meat of things. It’s nice information to have, and can prove relatively useful in the future.

Do their strategies directly affect your business as a whole? – If they’re going things that are going to have a direct impact on your sales or advertising techniques, it needs to be taken into account. It doesn’t mean you should avoid the market altogether, as opposed to just take a much more secure stance.

Do you share strengths and weaknesses? – If you share strengths and weaknesses with a successful company, odds are you can follow exactly in their footsteps.

Are they a large threat? – If they serve as a large threat within the marketplace, it’s going to be a relatively large hurdle to overcome.

These are a few questions that should give you a better insight on your competitors, which will allow you to make the most of SEO competitor analysis process. It can very well be the difference between turning a bit of a profit, and really raking in the cash; as a business owner, you always want to turn as much of a profit as possible. Money is the name of the game, and when there is money to be made, there is going to be competition. That’s the way of the world!

PPC – How Are They Doing It?

A lot of businesses rely on PPC (pay-per click) advertisements to keep them in the popularity realm these days, which is going to make things much tougher. For example, some industries are going to call for a much higher rate when it comes to a PPC campaign. Not only will PPC ads help you drive traffic towards your projects, but it’s also much easier than trying to constantly outrank your competitors. The only thing is that you need a reasonable budget to work with. Analyze the PPC process that your competitors are taking part in, and try to work with it for your own gain. Google AdWords is the most optimal tool out there for PPC purposes, and the ‘Analyze Competition’ tool (which is strictly used for Google AdWords purposes) will make things even easier. It allows you to monitor your competition and compare your PPC campaigns to theirs. Even if your competitors are still constantly beating you out, you’ll at least be able to learn from them.

Use the keyword research SEO process to determine which terms you could be targeting for your PPC campaigns, and then see if your competitors are applying them as well. If they are, you’ll know that you are on the right track!

Link Profiles

Comparing the link profile that you sport alongside your competitors is necessary, as it allows you to see how many backlinks they’ve built (as well as where these backlinks are pointing to). In order to make the most out of your SEO practice, comparing competitor link profiles to your own is a process that you should keep consistent. Constantly update it and figure out whether they’re making a major push or not, because it could be the difference between maintaining your current spot, or getting pushed off the block. If you can potentially spot any major link building activity, you could combat it with some of your own. In order to keep your brand renowned and popular, you’re constantly going to struggle with the competition; this is just another aspect to aid you. Link profiles shouldn’t be looked at as the only way to go about optimizing your SEO process, but comparing one another is always good.

On-Page Optimization (and Why They Take Such a Long Time to Handle It!)

On-page optimization is something that you should be taking a look at as well. Notice that a certain webpage was built with keywords in a specific location? Maybe they have a section where the most popular product is currently present? There are plenty of ways to go about optimizing the on-page SEO of your websites, and it’s one of those things that is quite easily forgotten. On-page optimization could follow things like:

How long is the content that they are using (word-wise)?

What types of keywords are they focusing on for individual pages?

What does the layout look like?

What colour scheme are they using?

How many pages are present?

On-page optimization has the ability to go above and beyond those few questions, but it’s up to you to understand what the competition is doing to get ahead. If you see fit, you can draw inspiration from your competitors to better your own page. Make sure that you don’t copy them step for step, meaning that you don’t use the same colour schemes in the same sense (among other things). You should always strive to make changes, as opposed to just blatantly copying the next person up; ideas that are just regurgitated in a brand new from might not always provide a splendid return. Innovate and create as you please, especially when it comes to using the competition as a reference.

Where Else Can I Gather Information?

The internet is a vast place, and will offer up a lot of information about your potential competitors. If you want to get serious about gathering and researching, it’s a good idea to broaden your mental horizon. There are a lot of different information sources out there, and plenty of them are going to offer up some pretty intricate insights. Some of them are going to be relatively obvious, whereas others are going to leave you scratching your head a little bit. Check out some of the most optimal information sources on the planet:

Advertisements – We touched on this a little bit already, but your competitors’ advertisements can give away a lot of information. You can get a feel for the type of budget they’re working with, as well as the customers that they are looking to target. It will tell you the price point they’re offering up, as well as the different products and services available as well.

Sales Pamphlets/Brochures – Have your competitors ever handed out a pamphlet or a brochure of sorts? Well, they’re the perfect place to fish out information in regards to your competitors. They’re trying to make a sale with these things, so it’s going to show; price, product and service, location, and even give you a feel for the type of advertisements that your competitor will be putting out.

Databases (Reference Books) – Census organizations are always going to offer up a plethora of information, such as; the Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining and Trade Corporations, or even just Economic Censuses.

Magazine/Newspaper Articles – Is there an article talking about your competitors unveiling a new service? Maybe they’re just letting people know about their brand new pricing change, which gives customers more bang for their buck. It could also tip you off in regards to any future implementations that may occur, or even just reveal some negative information about them. In most instances, ethics are going to be thrown out the window when it comes to competition; especially for those business owners that seemingly lack morals! In any case, it’s still good information to know of. Visit your local public library and look up some stuff on your competitors; odds are you’ll hit a gold mine of sorts.

Annual Reports – Annual reports are conducted on a yearly basis, meaning, you’ll have an entire years-worth of information to skim through. This should allow you to identify the financial information behind your competitors, like how much product they were able to sell that year. It’s also going to show you how much of a profit they’ve turned! If you’re competing against a privately-owned corporation, you may be able to get annual reports from a friend who owns stock in said company.

Observe – Head out to the local retailer and observe some things for yourself. Don’t try and put on a character or person of sorts, as that’s downright deception (something that competitors don’t take kindly to). If you have a product being distributed out to retailers, you can check the shops to see what the inventory is looking like. Compare how many products of your brand are on there, versus the products of your competitors.

Competition Analysis in a Nutshell!

There are a lot deeper things to cover when it comes to competitive analysis, but that’s all stuff you’re going to handle when the time rolls around. For now, you can understand just how important it is – as well as how to actually go through the process yourself. There are a lot of potential entrepreneurs out there that just want to stay ahead of the game, and this is something that can help them achieve that. In order to compete with the big corporations and competition, you’ll have to think like them. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which is definitely the case here; you want to be just as successful (and respected) as the competition you’re going up against. Never back down from a challenge, but be reasonable with your expectations! The analysis is so that you can make calculated risks, in a sense – something that could seriously benefit just about anybody.

 

8 Step Guide to Help Your Blog Improve Conversion Rate





As a blogger in need for fast recognition you will need to find the best way to optimize your blog. I’m thinking here if you are more interested in having a better Search Engine Optimization, Conversion Rate Optimization or both of them. Depending on your profile, you will probably choose one of them. My advice: go for both!



What is a blog?

According to Andrew Sullivan (former editor to The New Republic, author, publisher and blogger) a blog is “the first journalistic model that actually harnesses rather than merely exploits the true democratic nature of the web. It’s a new medium finally finding a unique voice.”

Why blogging?

The answer lies in the fact that every human has a voice and wishes their voice to be heard.

I would say a blog is like a vehicle.  All you need to do is to start it and you’ll have to figure out how to keep it running because, as far as I know if the engine stops, all the other vehicles will overtake you and you’ll find yourself as you were before “ no voice to be heard”.

We will focus on optimizing your “vehicle”. Keep it loud and running!

 

Basic On-Page SEO Tips for Blogs

SEO for blogs is defined by the content the audience wants and needs but also by what you need to tell your search engines, so they can share it to your target audience.

Some of the main keys we need to focus on are:



Keywords

  • you need to find out what your audience is searching for on search engines
  • for keyword research you can use tools like SEMrush.

Title

  • Title is very important as it leads your audience to your content and the search engines to your audience.

One thing is for sure, you need to think at the search engines as to your audience. Don’t make the difference as one of them might feel offended.

Rules for a properly optimized title:

  • keep it under 60 characters
  • use the focus keyword once
  • don’t stuff it with keywords
  • title has to be natural, relevant and clear for readers

URL

  • The URL has to provide relevant information to your audience. You can use the title when possible.

Rules for a properly optimized URL:

  • no date inside the url (just in case of duplicate URL’s)
  • no underscores (use dashes if needed)
  • no uppercase or proper case (use lowercase)
  • avoid using dynamic parameters in the URL’s (?)

Meta Description

  • Goes with the title and describes what the people will find on your website

Rules for a properly optimized Meta Description:

  • keep it under 160 characters
  • must include page’s main focus keywords but don’t abuse the keyword density

Headings

  • Headings help both the audience and the search engines. The audience can read the content easier and it’s a signal for the search engines.
  • Headings must be set accordingly to their importance from H1 to H6.

Internal linking

  • keeps your audience on your blog
  • increases traffic and time on site.

Content

How do you write it?

How do you do keyword research?

Check for keyword density.

After we focused on SEO and we managed to acquire a decent percentage of Search Engine for our desired keywords, our main focus should move towards optimizing the page for a better conversion rate.

Optimizing a blog is more about retaining user attention and getting credit for spreading ideas than it is about optimizing content to match search relevancy algorithms.

Conversion Rate Optimization for Blogs

 Conversion Pages Attributes:

The page may rank for keywords but is primarily concerned with direct conversions. Keyword targeting is secondary or may be unnecessary. We need to focus on one particular audience. To have a good start you should put your calls-to-action in people’s natural eye path.

1. Make sure that your CTA buttons look clickable

  • Clean and contrasting background to text color
  • A distinct button text (e.g., “Get free access”)
  • Have white space surrounding them
  • Rectangular (sometimes rounded) shape
  • Complementary border

The point of contact between your visitors and your offer is the call-to-action, whether buying, trying or sharing on social media.

2. Define and know the points of interest of your page – Heatmap Usage

I would say, this is your map to success. As long as you will pay attention to this, the content and all the actions your audience will take will lead to conversion.

There is the “F” rule where all the attention of your audience will focus on this magical shape.



Of course, testing is the key but having this hint is easier to check your visitor behavior.

3. Have a compelling and short button copy

It’s time to click: “reading mood” to a “ready to act mood”  has to be encouraged.

 

4. Use power words in your button copy

It’s proven that power words are the key. Why not to use them where you can confirm your audience impulse.

Here is an example of power words but may be different depending on your blog type.

 

5. Create anticipation in your copy

According to a research study reported in The Atlantic, 47% of the time, the human mind is wandering. Your mind wanders about a third of the time while you are reading or talking with other people.

It seems that the key to getting people to do what you want – e.g., click a button – is to promise a better experience.

6. Test and use the right font color

  • “If a good color sells, the right color sells better.”

Since less than 5% of the population suffers from color blindness, color theory should be explored.

There’s no perfect color for any specific emotional state. You can’t accurately say “red is the best color for CTAs,” or that “green symbolizes wealth and productivity, which means that you should always use it in those niches.” There is no one color rule – you just have to test out options for yourself.

 

7. Use pop-up and slide-in forms the right way.

There are four types of pop-ups. Depending on the information you are about to show, a pop-up may be pleasant or annoying. You have to make sure you will provide the best user experience in order for you to reach your goal.

  • Welcome mats: Full screen pop-ups that slide above page content
  • Overlay modals: Center screen pop-ups that appear on top of page content
  • Top banners: Small banners at the very top of the page
  • Slide-in boxes: Small boxes that slide in from the side/bottom of the page

 

Action:

  • Page entrance:Pop-up appears when the visitor first gets to the page
  • Page scroll:Pop-up appears when the visitor scrolls to a certain point on the page
  • Element interaction:Pop-up appears when the visitor clicks on or hovers over a specific element
  • Time on page:Pop-up appears when the visitor has been on the page for a specific amount of time
  • Exit intent:Pop-up appears when the visitor scrolls towards the top of the page to leave

Timing:

Wait X seconds before showing the popup
Show when user scrolls to X% of your website
Show when user attempts to leave your page (exit intent)

TIPS:

  • Give them a tease. If a visitor closes the form, they can be shown a teaser in the bottom of the site which can be opened at any time. You can see how many visitors sign up after having closed the form.
  • Keep it closed. If the form is closed, it will not reopen during the same visit/session.
  • Give it a limit. It’s essential to set a limit for your form. All Sleeknote pop-ups are created with a default limit on four exits from a single person. After this, the visitor will never see it again. You can also modify this to your needs.
  • Don’t show it again. Finally, if a visitor signs up, they are counted as converted and will not see the form again.

Some additional tips include:

  • If you’re using a timer, set it to at least five seconds.
  • Make sure your form is not shown during checkout, receipt pages or other conversion points. After all, you don’t want to interrupt potential customers during the process of buying.
  • Avoid more than one pop-up on the site at one time. You can easily have a slide-in and pop-up on the same site, but never two different pop-ups.
  • Think about the copy on your call to action button. For call to action tips, check out our how to create the perfect call to action post.

8. Use social media strategically for lead generation.

The goal of a brand social media page is to get a follower over the blog, not the other way around.
If they click over to your social page, they may not return and may not convert.

INCLUDE IT ON THE BUSINESS WEBSITE

Have you provided people with a way to easily access the blog from the company website? Even if you have opted to host your blog on a separate domain from the business website, you still need to make sure that they are both accessible to one another. One of the biggest reasons for this is that the company website gives the blog a level of credibility that may not exist if they don’t realize that the blog is part of the overall web presence of your company.

When the website and blog aren’t able to be navigated from one to the other, vital information that conveys trust to the visitor is missing. If the blog is part of the business website the visitor automatically knows who the author is, what the industry is, who they can contact, etc. The website navigation is right there for them to see. As a result, this establishes a sense of credibility and trust, which could then encourage the website visitor to take the desired action.

 

How Barbara Corcoran Turned $1,000 into an Empire – Entrepreneur Wisdom You Have To Read (2018)





I genuinely wish Barbara Corcoran would run for President. Not because she’s rich. Not because she has any kind of political experience (she doesn’t). But because of her humility and wisdom. Barbara Corcoran did not grow up rich. She lived in a two-bedroom apartment with ten siblings. She struggled through school due to her undiagnosed dyslexia and was often considered the “dumb kid” in school. She worked 22 different jobs before she became rich. It wasn’t until she met a guy in real estate that her life began to change.



1. Where Is Barbara Corcoran Now?

Now, everybody knows Barbara Corcoran for Shark Tank, a TV show where entrants get to compete for the attention of investors. Corcoran is one of those investors.

Her years of experience in real estate gave her a keen eye to suss out the best investment opportunities and shy away from bad deals. She’s the kind of investor Trump wishes he could be.

When sizing up contestants, Cocoran looks at whether the contestants can stand up to the scrutiny of the “sharks.” She herself muscled through a hard life when she was younger and always hires people who can do the same.

But before you start to think that Corcoran is some hard-ass with a penchant to hold herself above others, know that Corcoran never forgets where she came from.

While she is worth millions, she flies economy instead of first class. She even saves up her airline miles for relatives rather than use them for possible upgrades. Although, Corcoran does bring a gourmet meal onto the plane. She believes that it’s your responsibility to make the best out of every situation you’re in.

She waited until her 40’s to have children, but once she did, they were taught humility. When her son was five, he asked on a plane, “Why can’t we sit in those big seats?” Her reply? “Get a job.”



It sounds harsh, but when you’re raising children who never knew want or worry, you have to teach them the value of work. Gordon Ramsey treats his children similarly. He doesn’t let his children sit in first class with him because they “haven’t worked nearly hard enough to afford [it].”

Sold Her Company

Corcoran sold her real estate company for $66 million in 2001. It was a company of over 800 employees that she had built from the ground up.

She sold the company because she wanted to focus more on her children. But Corcoran, having lived a life of hard work, couldn’t just stay home. She began making appearances on shows like Good Morning America and the Today Show.

Then, in 2009, Mark Burnett asked her to join a reality TV show Shark Tank. This is the Barbara Corcoran we know now. Successful, rich, and a full-fledged TV personality.

But how did Corcoran get here? It all began with a $1k loan and a budding romance.

2. How Barbara Corcoran Turned $1k Into an Empire

In the 1970’s, Barbara Corcoran was a waitress at the Fort Lee Diner. She was only 21. She met a guy named Ramone Simone who offered her a ride home.

The two became friends and about a year later, Ramone suggested they start a real estate company together. They pulled out a one thousand dollar loan and split it evenly.

Naturally, they called the company Corcoran-Simone.



The off and on romance only lasted seven years. They broke up the company when Simone decided to marry Corcoran’s secretary.

At that point, Corcoran had one thousand dollars to invest again and she began her own company, the Corcoran Group.

Her First Sale on Her Own

Every entrepreneur remembers when they made their first dollar on their own without the help of a boss or a partner. It’s usually a fond memory.

Corcoran’s first sale was an apartment rental for the Gifunni Brothers, a building where she secretaried previously. It was an L-shaped studio apartment.

When she went to place the ad, she noticed that every other apartment offer read the same. She went to Gifunni and asked if they’d be willing to build a partition so she could advertise a den. The super agreed and she placed an ad that said, “1 BR Plus Den: 340.”

All other ads read, “One bedroom 320 a month.” She got 80 calls the next day.

Splitting the Business

Corcoran-Simone hadn’t officially split off at this point. And Simone showed up looking for his half of the new business. They split the clients 50-50 and Corcoran eventually moved a floor above.

She says that her choice to move up a floor was a positive psychological move. Being below the guy that dumped her for her secretary would have hampered both her mood and her ability to work.

Over the next twenty years, the Corcoran Group went from a one-woman show to a company of over 800 employees. Barbara Corcoran built an insanely successful career off of that one sale.

What Can We Learn From Barbara Corcoran?

Corcoran saw something other people didn’t. While her move to build a partition to create a “den” in her apartment rental was a gimmick, it set her offer apart from others.

When selling either a product or yourself, find a way to set what you’re doing apart. This could mean honing in on a vertical or merely flaunting what you’ve got. Are you better at something than most people? How can you use that to help or impress others?

Barbara Corcoran devoted her later years to setting herself apart. She claims that even now she works harder than anyone her age.

If you want more entrepreneurial advice, check out our other articles!

 

 

39 Actionable Ideas For Driving Traffic To Your Website





Lack of website traffic is one of the most common challenges I hear from business owners. Many report having lost a significant percentage of their search traffic over the past year or two, and are continuously looking for new ways to drive relevant traffic to their site.



This article is an attempt to give marketers and business owners a whole battery of straight-to-the-point, actionable tips for getting traffic to your website or blog. While some of these strategies won’t be a quick fix, you may be surprised how quickly many of them start to generate results.



    1. Focus on long-tail keywords – The days of focusing on a single keyword for each page are long gone. Make sure your posts include all the relevant terms and phrases related to your topic. For help with finding long-tail keywords, see my post How to Find LSI (Long Tail) Keywords Once You’ve Identified Your Primary Keywords.
    1. Start a forum on your website – An active forum can quickly begin ranking for long-tail keywords. They’re also great for decreasing your site’s bounce rate, increasing time-on-site, as well as building a community.
    2. Start a Facebook group that drives traffic to your site – Start a niche-specific group where members can ask questions and get support (and don’t forget to point them back to your site’s content where relevant).
get more traffic
  1. Submit your blog posts to StumbleUpon – It works!
  2. Promote your blog posts to your email list – This doesn’t have to be the main focus of all your emails, but including a link or two back to your blog posts can considerably increase traffic, leads, and sales.
  3. Answer a HARO query – Answering a pitch only take a few minutes, and can result in great PR, high-quality inbound links and referral traffic to your site.
  4. Work on your headlines – Your headlines are what will get people in the door, particularly when you share your blog posts via social media; make sure they pique interest and clearly articulate the benefit to your readers.
  5. Join a blogging community like ProBlogger or CopyBlogger  – This is a great way to network with other bloggers, and to cross-promote each other’s content.
  6. Include links to other relevant posts on your blog – When you write a post, always be sure to mention other posts your readers may find helpful; this is great for SEO as well as for increasing time-on-site, conversion rates, and referral traffic.
  7. Guest post on relevant blogs – There’s not much point guest blogging on a site in an unrelated niche; make sure you only contribute to highly-relevant, high-quality sites in your niche. See “The Ultimate, Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Business by Guest Blogging.”
  8. Become a columnist or contributor on a well-known website – If you can become a guest contributor on an authority site like Huffington Post or Forbes, you not only drive targeted traffic to your site, but establish yourself as an expert in your field.
  9. Optimize your existing posts – Comb through your old posts to make sure they have unique and relevant title tags, URLS and meta descriptions.
  10. Demote irrelevant Google sitelinks – While Google sitelinks are automatically generated, you can demote URLS you don’t want to show; this may increase the chances that the URLS you do want listed show up. You can do this from within Google Webmaster Tools.
  11. Arrange an advertising swap – Trade banner ads with a complimentary site in your niche.
  12. Post more frequently – Neil Patel of QuickSprout found that by posting high-quality posts 6x per week (as opposed to 5), blog traffic increased by 18.6%. Find your magic number and commit to seeing it through. Remember that in many cases, the traffic increases you see from blogging are scalable.
  13. Submit your posts to Reddit – Yes, this also still works.
  14. Mention influencers in your tweets – When you cite, quote or mention someone in a blog post, be sure to @ mention them in your tweet when you promote your post.
  15. Focus your energy on strategies that are working – You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Study your analytics to see your main traffic drivers, and focus on your energy on these areas.
  16. Build connections with others in your niche – I know this sounds cliché, but building personal relationships with other bloggers in your niche will often result in organic inbound links and referral traffic to your site.
  17. Make sure you have every relevant keyword you can think of on your site – I’m not talking old-school keyword spamming here. I’m talking about focusing on topical content; and making sure you at least have the chance of being found for all your relevant keywords, no matter how obscure they may be.
  18. Create a top 10 website post – Select the top 10 blogs in your niche, and write a post about them. You may also want to create a simple badge or banner those sites can embed to show off their award.
  19. Make the most of Facebook links – Be sure to include links back to your site in your About page, in your photo descriptions, in the comments of your posts (where relevant), and in your milestones.
  20. Get on YouTube – YouTube drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites, with an average of 2.99 pages per visit.
  21. Add text to your blog post images – Try including your post title and URL in your blog post images for optimal effect when pinned or shared.
  22. Become a member of industry Facebook and LinkedIn groups – Offer valuable advice and info to build relationships and drive traffic to your site.
  23. Connect with bloggers who are already sending you traffic – If someone has already linked to your site, they obviously like what you have to say. Contact them to see if there are other ways they could help promote your content (and vice versa).
  24. Ask a well-known blogger to guest post on your site – They’ll likely share the post with their audience, driving traffic to your site.
  25. Respond to blog comments – Respond thoughtfully to all comments on your blog. This is great for building relationships, as well as for driving commenters back to your site.
  26. Add your blog to Alltop – As an aggregate for all kinds of web content, submitting your blog increases your chances of getting found by people looking for content in your niche.
  27. Answer Questions – Visit sites like Yahoo Answers or Quora and answer questions relevant to your niche.
  28. Write a Response Post – Respond to a controversial post in your niche and then let the original poster know about it. Chances are good they won’t be able to resist responding to it on their blog.
  29. Contact influential bloggers – When you write a groundbreaking or newsworthy post, notify influencers in your field. You may be surprised at how many link back to your post.
  30. Make proper use of categories – If you haven’t already organized your content into relevant categories, now’s the time. Categories are great not only for SEO, but for helping your readers find relevant content.
  31. Write landmark posts  – Create at least a few long-form, authoritative posts that will organically garner links and attention over the long haul.
  32. Comment on industry blogs  – Become a regular commenter on a popular blog in your niche to help drive referral traffic and to establish relationships with other bloggers.
  33. Interview influencers in your niche – They will be very likely to promote the interview to their audience.
  34. Share your blog posts regularly on Facebook  – Post a short excerpt from your posts to entice them to click through.
  35. Share your posts on Triberr  – Meet other bloggers and share each other’s content.
  36. Grab my eBook – Grab my eBook for more actionable ideas: The Definitive Guide to Marketing Your Business Online (edit 4/28/15: This was originally advice to submit your blog to Technorati, which formerly housed a massive database of blogs. It has since closed its entire database of blogs, no longer accepts submissions, and thus is no longer relevant).

    SEMrush

10 Successful Blogs That Earn Huge Incomes 2018





How do they earn those incredible high incomes?

In an astounding feat of bits and bytes, the internet buzzes with activity, teeming with thousands of terabytes of digitized information flowing every minute. It is a spectacle of data whizzing around the globe, invisible to the naked eye, but conveyed in the digital algorithms and lossless-compression systems that allow us to instantly see, chat and discover the world and communicate with our friends in real-time. It is a system of machines that stretches across from continent to continent, digitally snaking its way into our phones and lives through some magical ether that not many can digest. Yes, the internet is an enormous, buzzing behemoth filled with mind-boggling, vast amounts of free-flowing data. Amongst that data is information that many of us actively seek on a daily basis, looking to improve our lives by learning new skills or achieving outlandish goals.



Those answers are found amidst the websites that litter the internet, binding themselves to one another through hyperlinks that create a complex and convoluted web, digitally spun from the minds of billions of people across the planet. When you stop to think about it, the sheer amount of websites can also confuse and perplex us. The simple fact is that way back in September of 2014, one billion websites were actively humming on the web. That’s Billion with a capital, B.

Today, nearly 1000 websites are created every single minute of every single day. That’s a vast amount of data in the proverbial cloud. Yet with all of this content floating about the untethered net, the amount of quality-content sites, the type that many people visit on a daily basis, seem few and far between. Great content seems to be more of the exception rather than the norm.

That might be why, today at least, people are acutely aware that having incredible content is something that can’t be overlooked. High-quality content is one of the primary drivers of relevant search traffic, the kind that most digital marketers salivate over. And the simple truth and fact of the matter remains that no website, big or small, can succeed today without great content. Yet, people often overlook this one simple rule.

Blogs offer an avenue for delivering that value to a global audience. They provide a hub for tutorials and walk-throughs, and an avenue for crafting and constructing resources that help individuals that are looking for useful information. Everyone knows that. We are all experts at finding quality resources on the web that deliver real value, thanks in large part to Google.

While there are clearly an endless drove of blogs out there being started on a daily basis, most people who start a blog don’t actually follow through with it. Success in the blogging field requires consistency. And it requires the deliverance of real value constantly. Similar to a great magazine, a lauded newspaper or any other types of media outlet, you have to keep the content machine churning if you want to thrive.

Not everyone gets it. Most that decide to join the fray are enticed by the hype of internet marketers, promising them the sun, moon and the stars, with the ability to earn thousands of dollars per day, virtually overnight, on autopilot. Well, it doesn’t quite work that way. The harsh reality is that most blogs fail to generate even a few dollars in income let alone vast sums of money.

Yet, there are people out there that are making outlandish incomes from their blogs. Their monthly incomes far surpass the annual income of many executive-level employees, leaving most to wonder how they did it. This lucrative field is enticing for a reason, yet it involves an excruciatingly large amount of work for the average person looking to go it alone, so to speak.

However, those that have stuck to it, pursuing their dreams no matter what the costs, are reaping the benefits today. No matter where you look on the internet, no matter what niche you survey, you’ll find these wildly-successful blogs along with the bloggers behind them. We’re talking about windfalls of profits here. Not only do they make money online, but they quite literally rake it in.



So what’s considered an outlandish amount of income? We’re not just talking about a few thousand or even tens of thousands dollars per month here. What I was curious about were those that were soaring to astronomical heights. We’re talking the 7-figure annual earners, those that are pulling in more than $100,000 per month.

If you’ll sit and think about that number for a moment, you’ll realize that not only is this is an enormous figure to be earning on a monthly basis, but you’ll also realize that much of this is actually passive income. And while there are a number of great passive income ideas, blogging truly takes this to dizzying heights.

Why work once and get paid once when you can work once and get paid repeatedly by having a blog that individuals across the planet are constantly accessing? While it’s not easy, it is well worth it. Work hard now, reap the benefits years down the line. Sound good? Of course it does.

The following 10 wildly-successful blogs make the cut with at least $1 million dollars in annual revenue. Seem impossible to do? It’s not. All you need to do is stay persistent, deliver enormous amounts of value and build your audience slowly over time. Not overnight. Over time.

Please note that some of these figures are estimated numbers based on traffic and other publicly-available statistics. If you have audited financial information on any of the following sites, please contact me to update the proceeding figures. 

#10 — Tuts+: $175,000 per month

As a software developer myself, I am incredibly impressed with websites like Tuts+ that can deliver such outstanding tutorials for people that are looking to learn coding. However, Envato’s Tuts+ isn’t some newly-formed site. Founded in 2006 by Collis Ta’eed, Cyan Claire, and Jun Rundelivering, it’s been delivering outstanding tutorials and content to designers and developers from across the entire planet for quite some time now.

Today, they offer a hub of useful content and a tremendous marketplace where 2,000,000 active buyers are searching for site templates and useful paid tutorials that they offer as part of their platform. They earn their income primarily through a membership area and commissions from sales of digital goods on their platform.

#9 — Smashing Magazine: $215,000 per month

Smashing Magazine AG is a company that was also formed in 2006 by Sven Lennartz and Vitaly Friedman, dedicated to educating those in the web design and web development fields by offering incredibly useful content to those that are looking to prosper and learn any of these lucrative skills.

The site also has begun hosting web development conferences since 2012, which take place in cities across the world and are sponsored by some of the biggest names in the tech industry. The site earns its income primarily from a membership area where users can sign up to consume a vast number of tutorials from its palette of educational content.

#8 — Gizmodo: $325,000 per month

Launched in 2002, Gizmodo is a blog focused on subjects like design and technology, while also paying tribute to numerous areas of science and even politics. Originally started by Peter Rojas, Gizmodo gained in popularity quickly. Through partnerships with a variety of international firms, the blog quickly launched translated versions of its content across Europe in languages like French, German, Spanish and even Portuguese.



Gizmodo makes the majority of its earnings through advertisements. On its home page, which is its most valuable digital real estate, you won’t find an abundance of ads, but you will find ads that often repeat. For example, a large ad on the top will be parlayed along with ads for the same company on the side as you scroll, often repeating with each scroll and capped off with a large ad on the bottom of the home page. Subsequent pages often feature a variety of differing ads, likely based on historical traffic.

#7 — Perez Hilton: $575,000 per month

PerezHilton is a controversial gossip website run by Mario Armando Lavanderia Jr. The site was formerly known as PageSixSixSix.com. Lavanderia graduated from NYU on a scholarship, and later had dreams to become an actor. Around the same time that he began his career in acting, he started his blog.

Lavanderia’s acting career didn’t flourish, but his blogging did. Today, he earns his income primarily through advertisements from a variety of sponsors that appear across the site and Lavanderia himself continues to make appearances on television as a celebrity gossip commentator and has reached a certain level of notoriety and fame on his own.

#6 — CopyBlogger: $1,000,000 per month

CopyBlogger was started by Brian Clark, who’s been immersed in the online marketing field since 1998. He was content marketing before the term content marketing was even coined. In 2006, with just $1,000 in seed cash, he launched CopyBlogger, a site that provides some of the most useful online marketing advice in the world.

Today, CopyBlogger’s parent company is known as Rainmaker Digital, with over 200,000 customers, the company is constantly releasing useful online tools for digital marketers and perpetually educating the public on ways they can expand their reach through things like social media, blogging and search engine optimization.

#5 — TechCrunch: $2,500,000 per month

TechCrunch is a massively successful blog that primarily covers news in the technology industry. Originally founded in 2005 by Michael Arrington and Keith Teare, the site was subsequently acquired by AOL in 2010. Today, many notable columnists for the blog feature heavyweights in the startup and venture capitalist fields.

Today, TechCrunch is also known for its Disrupt conferences that it has started hosting around the world in numerous locations with founders competing for a prize check to help get their companies off the ground. Its TechCrucnh Disrupt conference was also recently featured in the hit television series, Silicon Valley.

#4 — Mashable: $2,000,000 per month

Pete Cashmore started Mashable in 2005 from his home in Scotland. The site grew with Cashmore’s dedication to producing excellent content on a consistent basis. He wrote fortuitously in those early years, and in 2009, Time Magazine called Mashable one of the 25 best blogs in the world.

Since then, the blog has ballooned in size and reach, with a significant focus on social media, the company continues to reach droves of viewers through a variety of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It primarily garners its income through advertisements in various different formats.

#3 — Moz: $4,250,000 per month

Rand Fishkin is the purveyor of the world’s most successful blog about search engine optimization. The company, which originally started out as a family-run design business, eventually morphed into a search engine optimization shop. But it was the blog that helped gain them a massive audience and international appeal.

Today, Moz (formerly known as SEOMoz) generates an impressive amount of income and has been funded with several injections of venture capital. The site makes its money from a membership area that features professional tools and services for the avid search engine marketer looking to gain saturation, reach and visibility in the online space.

#2 — Engadget: $5,500,000 per month

Engadget is another wildly-popular blog with humble roots that was also founded, originally, by Peter Rojas of Gizmodo around the same time the other site was started. The site conveys advice and reviews on technology and consumer electronics. It was acquired and has been operated by AOL since 2005.

The company makes a vast fortune from advertising and employs a number of writers and editors that are constantly providing sound advice on every type of gadget possible.

#1 — Huffington Post: $14,000,000 per month

Arriana Huffington’s wildly popular Huffington Post is the stuff of legends. The site was launched way back in 2005 by Huffington, providing a very liberal view on life and politics. In 2011, Huffington, who is of Greek descent, sold the blog by her namesake to AOL for $315 million, while being kept on as Editor in Chief. She has since stepped down from that role.

HuffPost or HuffPo, as it is now referred to, makes it money from sponsored advertising revenue through banners and other digital ads across its variety of channels. It is by far the most successful blog of its kind, likely valued today at well over $1 billion, making it a clever investment for AOL.

Affiliate Marketing Strategies – How to Adapt to the Changing Times





Affiliate marketing is one of the greatest business models and opportunities in the world today. Anyone can start a business no matter where they are located, how much money they have, or even what language they speak or the type of education they have. However, as great as affiliate marketing is, if you’re going to find the success you will need to put in a lot of time, work, and effort.



Having been in the industry now for over 20 years now and getting my start an affiliate marketing back in the mid-90s, I can tell you right now one of the most important things to finding long-term success is being able to adapt with the changes around you. A lot has changed with the internet and affiliate marketing over the past two decades since I started making money online. What was once a static environment of one-way conversations, HTML websites, and easily ranking at the top of Google, has evolved into an engaging and competitive world of social media, WordPress-powered sites, and mobile usage at higher levels than ever before.

With all of this in mind, today I wanted to cover a few different affiliate marketing strategies and potential opportunities that business may need to change and adapt to as they appear on the horizon. As always, if you want to survive in this game, not only do you need to stay ahead of the competition you also need to adapt to these coming times.

The only question is… are you and your business ready?

Blockchain Technology Makes Its Way into the Affiliate Industry

Blockchain technology is getting so much attention lately and it’s not just because of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This form of technology is quickly changing the way data, online processing, and payments are being made online — while also being more secure than ever before. It’s simply only a matter of time before we start to see this type of data tracking and integration move into the world of affiliate marketing as well.

Actually, there is already a decentralized affiliate platform in place today at Attrace. Through their technology and blockchain processing, this platform is making it possible for merchants and advertisers to eliminate the high-costs that most affiliate networks are charging today, while also making the payment and commissions out to affiliates in a more seamless matter as well. Instead of paying traditional network fees that can range from 20-to-30% per transaction, Attrace is focused on payments of less than .05% per transaction while also offering immediate commissions and payouts to Affiliates through blockchain technology.



What also makes the network stand out, is how they are built from the ground up with blockchain technology, and also how the direct relationships between affiliates and merchants work. As listed on their site; “Attrace is the only affiliate marketing blockchain project that tracks and attributes every individual click/lead/referral of a prospect – sale or no sale – which means insights and statistics which are impossible to manipulate.

With so much discussion on cookies, browsers and mobile usage on the rise, it’s about time we saw a more secure tracking solution in place. How soon will we start to see more affiliate Platforms in a great blockchain technology into their business model?

Expanding Your Business and Reach into Asia

As we know, affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful forms of advertising on the internet today for several reasons. Affiliates love it because of the simplicity and never needing to hold inventory or process an order, and advertisers love the concept of only paying for actual leads and sales that take place. Best of all, it’s a working business model that can be applied to all business, brands, and audiences throughout the world.

While the United States and English traffic are always going to be a top priority and have the highest payouts, it would be a huge mistake not to take advantage of what other countries offer. Just focusing your efforts on the US and top-tier traffic will easily eliminate more than half of the world’s population. However, while many people think non-US traffic sources might be junk, others are finding it to be their own secret cash cow.

This is something Leadbit has been finding success with for years now. As one of the larger global affiliate networks in the game today, Leadbit focuses mostly on non-US traffic and affiliate offers – which makes them an expert when it comes to the reaching audiences outside of the United States.

To show the true potential of marketing to non-US countries (specifically Asia), be sure to check out this Asia Internet Usage infographic guide on their site, which breaks down the various countries within Asia and how to best target such audiences.

Media buying platforms and Facebook Ads makes the process of targeting exact countries, demographics and audiences so easy. If you aren’t currently advertising your own brand or affiliate offers outside of the US, what are you waiting for?

The Role of Artificial Intelligence to Improve Business

No matter where you look these days, there is so much talk about artificial intelligence, robots eventually taking over the world, and how businesses can start using AI to improve their dat to day operations. While most businesses and brands are focusing their efforts on using AI for customer support and chatbots, other brands have been using artificial intelligence in new and creative ways to propel their businesses to that next level.

Designhill is a brand that has been doing just that. Not only are they using AI to improve business and how people use their site, it’s actually building significantly on their bottom line as well. One of the most exciting components of their site, is their new logo creator that is completely powered by artificial intelligence. What’s unique about the tool is that it will provide users with a high-quality and professional logo in seconds, while also costing a fraction of what a typical freelance or design agency might charge — while also improving productivity, volume, and revenue for Designhill itself.



The way their innovative logo creator works is quite simple. The process starts when the user types in their company name, selects from a few different examples designs of their liking, along with a few color schemes, and also provide their site name, slogan, and industry. The last step in the process is to select a few icons and images that they might want to incorporate into their logo as well. Using all of this information, the technology, and AI-based platform will then spit out an unlimited supply of logo designs and concepts to choose from.

So what does all of this mean for your business and the future of AI?

If you aren’t currently using artificial intelligence for your business or brand, you likely will. However, don’t just think about the most common ways to implement such technology into your business. Instead, do something drastic like Designhill and create a platform or service, that can basically run itself and is always learning at the same time.

GDPR Regulations, Compliance, and New Businesses

Never before have so many emails been sent out in one day to let you know businesses around the world have updated their privacy policy. The average person probably had no idea what was going on, but every online marketer, brand, and affiliate were fully aware of what was taking place! While the majority of these emails were seen as a nuisance and probably just deleted, it was actually just the first wave of implementation of the GDPR regulations that just recently went into place.

In short… gone are the days of just randomly picking up, tracking, buying, or selling data without the expressed written consent of the end user… unless you want to pick up a few billion in fees like Google and Amazon have?

I’ll spare you the boring rules, regulations, and legalities of GDPR right now, but what I would like to focus on instead is how companies need to get compliant and have better control of their data while also having full transparency. The more exciting and interesting aspect of GDPR is the billions of dollars that will be generated from companies trying to implement these methods and getting compliant. The truth is, most people (even lawyers and the governments around the world) aren’t sure of the long-term effects of GDPR, or how it might change in the coming months.

One such example is of a company takes advantage of this opportunity is Bulletproof, an online security and data management company. While there is always going to be a risk for data leaks and attacks against a company, Bulletproof saw the business opportunity and demand here, thus launching a division of their company that focuses solely on GDRP compliance and regulations.

With so many harsh fines coming into play, and nearly every online business or brand affected in one way or another (Google Analytics tracking, affiliate links, cookies, lead forms), everyone needs to make sure they are fully covered. If you still have no idea what the GDPR is, the infographic below will give you a quick overview in a moments time.

As an affiliate marketer or brand, it’s no longer just an issue of making sure your business is compliant, it’s also a matter of figuring out ways that you can promote such offers or Services while also cashing in on the process.

What’s on the horizon for affiliate marketing in 2018-2019?

It’s not enough to simply know what changes, trends, and regulations are going to come into effect in the near future. You need to know beforehand and adapt your business accordingly. If you want to see a perfect example of legitimate business empires that failed to adapt to these changes, just look at what’s currently happening with Sears, ToysRUs, and many other well-known and loved household name brands around the world today.

The good news is, you likely don’t have hundreds of employees and millions of data records to take care of. In fact, adjusting to many of these changes won’t take much time or effort on your part at all. This is something that many businesses, affiliate marketers, and brands have done for a while now as a great majority of their audiences have moved from desktop browsing to mobile devices and also using social media more than heading to Google for a simple search result.

Feel free to leave your comments on what you feel the upcoming trends for 2018 through 2019 are, and how we can best adjust our businesses and adapt to these changes over time.

 

Top 5 Side Hustle Ideas





You could be making exponential amounts of extra cash if you do this one thing. Start a side hustle. The days of “getting by” on your bi-weekly paycheck are over; when the work day ends, people start making money with their part-time job or side venture. Not only does this increase your overall income, it allows you to be creative in a different role than you’re accustomed to in your 9-5. Side hustles can get you through a tight month of bills, help you save more for the future, and allow you to earn more while having fun.



Ready to start making money? Check out the following top 5 side hustle ideas.

1. Drive for Uber/Lyft

If you’re wondering how to start a side hustle with an irregular normal-job schedule, this one’s for you.

Driving for one of these great platforms allows you to pick your own hours, work close to home, and make as much extra money as you want. Drivers who work the busy weekend nights can make a killing but depending on your city there could be other optimal driving times.

Simply turn the app on when you want to work, drive some people around, and turn the app off when you’re done.



2. Reselling

Your neighborhood garage sale has hit a new level of profitability with the internet. Now, people are selling their unwanted items on websites like eBay and Craigslist.

Use this side hustle to get rid of things you no longer want, or take it a step farther and start sourcing items you know will sell well. Professional resellers will hit the Goodwill bins, clearance racks, and flash sales to find inexpensive items that can be flipped for a profit.

As soon as you get your items photographed and listed, you can start selling right away.

3. Social Media Managing

If you’re a tech-savvy social media user who knows your way around the various platforms, then this side hustle could be lucrative for you.

Lots of companies out there don’t have the time or knowledge to run a successful Instagram page or Twitter account. If you’re a social media butterfly, you could get paid to create content for these pages and run them for the company.



Some companies will even pay you to create their website and run it alongside their social media. If you land a sweet gig like this, check out https://spark.adobe.com/make/website-builder for website building help.

4. Dog Walking

This is an awesome side hustle for those who already work from home, are retired, or are students.

Place ads around your neighborhood and online letting people know you’re free to walk their dogs. You can also use dog-walking databases online that connect you with clients in your area.

Most people are too busy to give their dogs 1-2 walks a day; if you have the time, this could be an awesome source of extra income.

5. Online Tutoring

Families all over the world are paying online tutors rather than taking their kids to the local in-person tutoring academy.

If you have knowledge on a certain subject or can teach English to non-native English speakers, you could make a killing teaching online.

Sometimes the hours are really early or late at night if you’re teaching a student in a different time zone, but the compensation is usually well worth your time.

Want to Learn More Side Hustle Ideas?

Making extra money through side hustles is an awesome way to increase your budget and utilize skills you don’t get to use during your day job.

To learn more side hustle ideas and ways to make an extra buck by smartphone, check out my blog.

 

39 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers

get more traffic




Social media marketing works only if you actually have fans or followers. This article will walk you through 39 proven methods for increasing your followers across your social media accounts. There are three underlying elements that must take place in order for these to work:



You must be consistent. If you use any (or all) of these strategies for two weeks, and then give up and move onto something else, they won’t work. These need to be practiced consistently over the long haul to be effective. If you have limited time and resources to commit to social media, I’d recommend choosing only a handful of these strategies and then making sure you carry them out consistently.

You must know what your audience really wants. What you think they want and what they actually want may very well be two different things. Take a look at your analytics to see which types of posts and content have been most popular; this is what they want to see more of.

You must be a good social media citizen. While some of the tips may seem more like social media best practices, keep in mind that growing on social media is as much about keeping your current followers as it is about gaining new ones.

 

39 Strategies for Increasing Your Fans and Followers

1. Reach out to influencers: Find influencers in your niche using a tool such as Buzzsumo, and then share their content, tag or mention them, or comment on their blogs. As you build relationships, they are more likely to share your content with their followers.

2. Put social share buttons on each blog post: Make sure you include social media share buttons on each blog post, not just in your sidebar. This plugin for WordPress can help with that.

3. Post original, relevant content: This requires some outside-the-box thinking. Sharing other people’s content should be a valuable part of your strategy, but make sure to share your knowledge and insights as well.



4. Periodically channel your email subscribers to your social media accounts: Every once in a while, encourage your email subscribers to follow you on social media.

5. Link to your social media accounts on your Contact and About Us pages: These visitors are already reaching out to you; give them another way to connect with you.

6. Identify popular posts to get more shares: Getting new fans often comes down to how often your content gets shared. A tool like Fanpage Karma can help you identify the most popular posts in your niche.

7. Be responsive: Posting engaging content is just one piece of the puzzle. Respond to questions, comments, and complaints in a timely manner.

8. Hold giveaways and contests: Hold contests and make liking your Page or following your Twitter account a requirement for entry. Rafflecopter is a fantastic tool for this.

9. Actively find and follow others: Don’t just count on others to find you; go out and actively find others in your niche whom you can follow and engage with.

10. Tell stories: To avoid being overtly promotional, use stories to connect with and engage your fans. Stories are far more likely to be shared than promotional content. For more on this, see How to Maximize Your Marketing Campaign Through Storytelling.

11. Use relevant hashtags: Use a tool like Hashtagify.me to find relevant and trending hashtags. Use these in your posts to attract new followers who are searching for those hashtags.

12. Streamline your efforts: Being active and engaged on a few social networks will net you more followers over the long haul than sporadically posting on many networks.

13. Post viral content: Easier said than done, right? Post Planner can help by providing you with images and content that have been proven to go viral.

14. Post often: Optimal posting frequency will differ between networks and audiences. Test out different posting frequencies and see which ones result in the most engagement and shares.

15. Focus on quality over quantity: While posting often is important, social media growth is more likely to happen when you’re focusing on sharing amazing, quality content that you know your audience loves.

16. Link to your social media accounts everywhere: Don’t be shy about linking to your social media accounts. Do so in your newsletter, email signature, blog, etc.

17. Discuss social media conversations on your blog: Entice your blog readers to follow you on social media by crossing the blog/social network divide. Blog about heated or interesting conversations taking place on your social media accounts.



18. Offer incentives for people to follow or like you: Offer your social media followers exclusive discounts, freebies, or coupon codes.

19. Guest blog on popular niche sites: Regularly contribute guest posts to popular niche sites and link to your social media accounts in your bio. For help getting started, see “The Ultimate, Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Business by Guest Blogging.”

20. Add Facebook and Twitter widgets to your site: Go beyond simple social media icons, and use a Facebook Like Box or Twitter Embedded Timeline on your site or blog.

21. Promote your social accounts in-store: Offer your in-store guests an incentive to like or follow you on social media.

22. Try Facebook’s promoted posts: Extend your reach by promoting posts that have a history of getting engagement.

23. Give stuff away: Incentivize likes and follows by giving away free product samples or prizes for new fans or followers.

24. Cross-promote with a complimentary business in your niche: Connect with other businesses in your niche and promote each other’s social media content.

25. Build network-specific landing pages: Create landing pages on your site for visitors from each social network you’re on, and then link to these pages in your social media bios. This may increase your follows only marginally, but you should see an increase in traffic and conversions.

26. Provide valuable education without being a know-it-all: Unique, valuable content that only you know has a great chance of getting shared. Think about what info or insights you can provide based on your unique experiences and industry knowledge.

27. Use humor: Evoking emotions (positive or negative) through your posts is great for increased sharing; however, posting funny or happy content will net you more sharing overall.

28. Reshare other people’s content: Share posts, images, and tweets from other businesses, and they’ll be more likely to share yours.

29. Become a valued member in an industry LinkedIn group: As you provide valuable insights, group members will be more likely to want to hear more from you on social media. For more on this, see my article “The Definitive Guide to LinkedIn Groups for Marketing.”

30. Create topical boards on Pinterest: When naming Pinterest boards, be sure to target keywords people are actually searching for. To see what people are looking for, start typing possible keywords into the Pinterest search box, and see which keywords are auto-suggested.

31. Set a goal: Set short-term, specific goals for how many new fans or followers you want. This will help you keep your efforts focused and give you the best chance of actually achieving your goal.

32. Be a source of trending content and breaking news: Set up Facebook Interest lists and follow leading industry sources on Twitter, and then share breaking news with your followers. To find more info to share, see my article “How to Find Trending Blog Topics Your Audience Will Actually Care About.”

33. Post only your best photos on Instagram: This suggestion goes along with an earlier one–focus on quality over quantity. With users having shared over 20 billion photos to date, p

34. Be relatable: Let your fans and followers know you’re a real person rather than a faceless business; this will make sharing your content with their friends feel like less of a risk.

35. Cross-promote your social media accounts: Periodically promote your other social media accounts to your fans and followers.

36. Answer questions on abandoned Facebook Pages: You’d be surprised at how many big brands have massive numbers of Facebook fans, and yet virtually ignore the questions and comments these fans leave. Respond in a helpful, non-promotional way to unanswered questions (and be sure to answer as your Page).

37. Include a social media call to action on your business card: Hand these out at trade shows, networking events, and speaking engagements.

38. Make sure your social media usernames are consistent: If you want people to actually find you when they search for you by name, make sure your account handles and usernames match your business name. Avoid abbreviations whenever possible.

39. Make your blog content tweetable with a click: Use a plugin such as Inline Tweet Sharer to encourage visitors to share your tweetable content.