Learning How to Make Money Blogging

There are two major types of business models that entrepreneurs use to make money blogging. The first

and most common way to turn a blog into a profit making machine is to sell advertising to different

companies and brands who want to reach that blog’s readers. The second kind of money making blog is one that helps a single brand improve its image by creating positive associations between the blog and the product in the mind of consumers. Both kinds of blogs can make a lot of money, especially if the creator has a keen mind for marketing.

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If you are blogging with the goal of selling advertising, there are two basic ways that you can go about

recruiting sponsors who want to put ads on your site; you can let someone else do all of the legwork, or you can do the work yourself and keep all of the revenue.

Within the first group, many people make money blogging by selling space through Google’s AdSense

program. The advantages of this program are numerous, as it requires very little effort on the part of the blogger or webmaster to begin raking in profits. However, most people discover that they make less money through this method than they had hoped that their blog would earn.

Selling advertising directly to companies who want to put banner ads or sponsored links on your blog can take quite a bit of time, but it is often fairly lucrative. If you have a lot of contacts in industries that are related to the topic of your blog, you may want to try to go this route.

People who have a strong background in sales and are experienced at pitching proposals can make quite a bit of money by renting blog space to interested companies.

The most serious problem with this model is that you often have to build quite a sizable readership before you can attract advertisers, which can mean that you have to do several months of work before you start to make money blogging.

As blogging becomes a more and more lucrative business, a lot of established companies are considering

how they can get into the action. One way that companies are capitalizing on the blog movement is by

having blogs that provide a kind of friendly face for their corporation. Often, a company will employ an

established blogger to create a weblog designed specifically to appeal to that company’s customers and

to create positive associations with the brand in consumers’ minds. More than one writer who never

even dreamed that he or she could make money blogging has been approached by a company and

offered quite a pretty penny for this kind of gig.

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Why Online Marketing is a Solid Investment Today

Why Online Marketing is a Solid Investment Today

Online marketing, also known as “eMarketing, Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing,” as well as other terms translates into “advertising online or on the web.”

There’s no disputing that it is a valuable tool when it comes to bringing business owners and consumers together. However, as a business owner, you may be wondering if it is truly worth the investment.

Online Marketing is Effective

The sole purpose of successful online marketing is to utilize a campaign strategy at the lowest possible cost and risk investment, while maximizing sales potential and profit.

However, just having a website does not work anymore. Whether your business is an e-commerce company or a traditional brick and mortar business, with the right visibility and exposure, you can generate more online traffic, increasing sales and profit.

Online marketing costs much less in comparison with most other marketing strategies. Moreover, online marketing allows you to target your efforts all the way down to specific demographics, which no other type of advertising or marketing can accomplish.

Online marketing also allows consumers to research and purchase your products and services at their own leisure, which is appealing to most consumers. Having a solid online presence allows them to do just that – putting them one step closer to doing business with you.

If you want statistics, online marketing lets you measure them very easily. Practically all elements of an online marketing campaign can be traced and tested in some form, including:

  • Email Open Rates and Conversion Rates
  • Website Traffic and Activity
  • Social Traffic and Activity
  • Video Views and Activity
  • PPC (Pay Per Click) Results
  • and much more

Web analytics are also useful in being able to track the exposure, response, and overall effectiveness of online marketing by collecting, analyzing, and reporting back Internet data.

Here, advertisers can determine the best return on investment (ROI). Tracing and assessing can be accomplished immediately since most tracking tools can be easily setup and ready to go in just minutes.

There are a number of steps you can take in order to successfully market your business online, from optimizing your website’s copy for search engines to writing an e-newsletter and/or a blog.

Online marketing is a collaboration of elements that produce a successful web-based advertising strategy or campaign. Recognizing the tools needed and making the most of them demands a huge amount of skill, expertise, and practice. The work that is put in eventually determines the level of accomplishment that will be achieved.

Social Media Marketing Conversation-Starter Tips

Social Media Marketing Conversation-Starter Tips

When it comes to social media marketing, establishing good communication between you and your followers is pertinent in driving your business forward in today’s competitive market. Depending on the type of business you run, there are different methods you can use to start conversations that will ultimately generate new business.

While there are numerous ways to start successful conversations, the key is doing it in a way that supports your business goals. The following are a few basic tips you can use to get the ball rolling towards meaningful connections with your social media followers.

Establish a Human Connection

Unfortunately, with today’s technology, the use of robotic responses has caused many people to feel like just another “sale.” Because of this, establishing that you truly are a living, breathing human being goes a long way towards gaining trust amongst your followers.

There was a time when addressing your audience by their first names or posting pictures was enough to show that you are real; however, that is no longer the case.

While you can still use these methods, the trick is to verify that a person actually posted them. You can do this by making a comment on a posted picture saying when and where it was taken, commenting on the current weather in your area, or just sharing normal day-to-day experiences in your business that people will relate to.

If you can do all of these things, your followers, in their natural tendency to move towards human companionship, will leave comments in response to your posts. As a result, you show them that you are indeed a real person, and conversations will ensue based off your personal dealings.

Involvement

Involvement from social media fans is a great way to start conversations. By opening up real discussions, you close the “disconnect” that people experience when they are conversing through a computer. You will be able to make them feel as if their input truly means something to you.

Some examples of involvement include:

  • Asking your audience for advice about a particular subject, asking them about personal struggles (related to your industry)
  • Asking for pictures of customers using your products
  • Having “customer of the week/month” competitions
  • Asking for customers’ opinions about decisions you are making in your business

When you open up to your social media followers and truly treat every one of them as a personal member of your online world, the conversations will come and flow naturally; this is the key to overall social media success.

How Social Media Activity Impacts SEO

How Social Media Activity Impacts SEO

The key to website marketing success is search engine optimization, or SEO. Obviously, as a business owner, you want your website to be listed among the top search results when people search for something related to your products or services.

While there are many ways to enhance the SEO of your website, it is important to note that social signals are an important piece of the puzzle.

However, some business owners are under the assumption that the more page “Likes” and “Followers” they get on social media, the better SEO success they will achieve as a result. If you have 400,000 followers on Google+, Twitter or Facebook, that must mean you are well-known to the search engines, right?

Not exactly; while studies have shown a correlation between higher search rankings and page activity, they may not be directly related. A Google employee, Matt Cutts, made a statement saying, “…you have this many followers on Twitter or this many likes on Facebook, to the best of my knowledge, we don’t currently have any signals like that in our web search ranking algorithms.”

In other words, just because you have thousands of page Likes and Twitter followers does not mean your website will rank higher on Google searches.

Social Content is Powerful

It’s all about valuable, quality content. SEO has changed in the past few years; today, human-friendly content rules the world of SEO. Since social media is mostly about posting and sharing great content, it definitely enhances your SEO efforts.

Content that is shared often across social media is viewed as “quality information” by “credible sources” that should be ranked accordingly. As a result, it is indexed and can show up in the search results.

Social Media is the New Link Juice

Having quality links back to your website is one way to strengthen any SEO. Gone are the days when we could just buy a bunch of backlinks from random sources; the search engines got smart and decided that any old backlink won’t cut it. Socials signals from sites such as Twitter, Google+, and Facebook are powerful, credible backlinks to your website that will definitely contribute to your overall SEO efforts.

Social Engagement Matters

If you use sites such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to share links and other connections to your website, chances are better that more people will check it out and talk about it.

Once people are talking about something, sharing links, and posting about the content, social signals kick up a notch.

Speaking of Google+… obviously, this is Google’s favorite social media platform. Therefore, being consistent and active there is a surefire way to boost SEO.

Social Media Profiles Rank in Search Engines

Social media profiles also rank in the search engines, which is a great way for additional exposure. If you do a search for any company’s brand name, they’re social media profiles are likely to show up in the results.

In conclusion, social media definitely plays a huge role in your search engine rankings. While there is no definite outline on how it all works together, it is a fact that social media is a valuable addition to your marketing efforts. Focus on consistent engagement and creating great, shareable content and you’re on your way.

Local Citations and How They Impact Your Online Visibility

Local Citations and How They Impact Your Online Visibility

Usually when you hear that you have received a “citation” it is a bad thing, but in the online marketing world, the opposite is true. If you own a business and you have heard of or read about citations, you may have been confused about exactly what they are.

In simple terms, a citation in the online world refers to any time your company information is listed on a website. These include listings such as local directories, such as Yelp.com, YellowPages.com, and SuperPages.com.

Also, citations can be found on other types of websites such as local blogs, news website, employment sites, social media sites, government sites, the Chamber of Commerce site, and anything else that may mention your company.

Even if the mention has no link to your company’s website and only your company’s name is mentioned, it is still considered a citation.

However, the more information included, the better.

Why Citations Are Good

Any online exposure for your company will bring attention to your products and services, which you can obviously benefit from. Exposure opens you up to potential customers that may have previously passed you by; and citations play a vital role in helping you connect with these potential buyers.

In addition to that, citations are critical for search engine optimization today. Google and other search engines use citations to rank your business. The more citations you have, the higher your website will list in the search results. A higher ranking means more web traffic, which in turn equals more business for you.

So what is the key to getting more citations for your business? While there are a variety of ways to accomplish this, it all boils down to building more of a presence online.

However, several factors should be considered when building these citations.

Tips for Citations

At the very least, your citations should mention your company’s formal name, your physical address, and your local phone number (also called NAP for “Name, Address, Phone Number”) – and anything else that tells a search engine or a customer exactly who you are.

Even more important is that all of your citations are consistent and contain the exact same information. Using different addresses and phone numbers (except in the case of multiple locations) could actually hurt your ability to gain any benefits from them.

Finally, a citation is most effective when it is accompanied by as much information about your business as possible. So be sure to include your hours of operations, pictures, videos, details about your products and services, and any other helpful information you think your potential customers would like to have.

5 Reasons Online Marketing Overwhelm Can Ruin Your Efforts

5 Reasons Online Marketing Overwhelm Can Ruin Your Efforts

Every business owner feels overwhelmed at some point in time; especially when it comes to Online Marketing. This emotion can result in a number of negative consequences that can hinder success. This article will provide valuable insight into why becoming overwhelmed can ruin your online marketing efforts if you’re not careful.

Disorganization and Clutter Take Over

Disorganization and clutter are the physical signs of being overwhelmed. When it comes to trying to learn the ropes of online marketing, this disorganization and clutter take on a “mental” state.

Trying to figure out what you should do, how you should do it, and when you should do it when you’re suffering from overwhelm can wreak havoc on your ability to market online successfully.

If you’re not careful, this will lead to major procrastination, which happens to be something that many small business owners struggle with the most when getting started online.

Goals, Objectives, and Priorities Disappear

A successful online marketing endeavor follows a set marketing plan. Every marketing plan contains a set of priorities that ensure a company reaches its online marketing standards. A plan spells out in detail which marketing tools, sites, and strategies will be used to reach your goals. However, if you become overwhelmed too quickly, your planning goes out the window, which is a bad beginning to an even worse ending.

Every successful marketing endeavor, online or real life, requires setting goals and objectives. When individuals feel overwhelmed, goals and objectives are usually not met because guidelines are not followed.

You become simply confused about what task is more important, how or when to start it, and how long it should take to complete it.

The Quality Suffers

When overwhelm sets it, it’s extremely hard to focus, and as a result, quality suffers.

For instance, let’s say you dive into blogging just because you feel like you NEED to do something different – and you take it on without any guidance, research, or structure.

What started out as your first post could turn into an error-filled, irrelevant piece of content that has readers questioning your company’s quality level.

Health Begins to Suffer

Feeling overwhelmed frazzles the nerves. Stress levels increase, which can result in all types of negative health conditions. Self-confidence begins to decline. When this happens, you begin to question your skills, knowledge, and overall capability of getting the job done.

Stress is a well-known culprit for causing a number of negative health ailments including heart disease, cancer, nervous breakdowns, hindered mental functioning, and respiratory ailments.

Should any of the extreme conditions above become a reality, your ability to run your business at all is seriously stalled.

Productivity Begins to Suffer

Online marketing requires a continual effort to keep your company’s name out in the public eye. When you or your employees feel overwhelmed, thought processes and work tasks will be scattered everywhere. This negatively affects productivity, which is likely to make a negative impact your bottom line.

As soon as you or anyone in your organization starts becoming overwhelmed, nip it in the bud. Your profits, productivity, and online marketing efforts depend on it!

4 Vital Website Content Tips

4 Vital Website Content Tips

A website is made up of three essential components: URL/Hosting, graphics/design, and written content. Many website creators are preoccupied with aesthetics and have a keen eye for design, but not nearly as much concern and dedication is invested in the content.

While design is quite important, as it sets the tone and highlights the professionalism of your brand, it is paramount that your content gets at least an equal amount of attention.

Written content reigns supreme when it comes to your brand. It is the most difficult aspect of your website to flesh out, and can sometimes be an overwhelming undertaking. Here are some ways in which content makes the biggest difference.

Attract the Search Engines

The most impressive design on your website will never suffice in convincing Google that you have outdone the competition if you do not actually say anything. Above all else, search engines are driven by written content. When they crawl your page, they scan your text, searching it for quality, probing for links and relevant articles.

Search engines crave information that is pertinent to search terms, which is why keywords are the hallmark of your content. Having a lot of content, and ensuring it is rife with relevant information, is vital in achieving the organic rank necessary to drive the most traffic to your website.

Tell Your Story

There is no need to become over-involved in SEO jargon and lingo. What matters more than anything is that your content is written in a way that your guests, clients, and prospects find useful and helpful.

When you are writing the About Us page, do just do that. What is your business about? Offer your goals – past, present, and future. Insert images to divide large segments of text. Provide information in your content that will help answer questions your visitors might have.

Remember, your real target is an actual human being and not a search engine. That is why providing information that is both relevant and helpful is conducive to keeping your visitors from leaving your website to find one that can give them the information they are searching for. Be a human who writes like a human, for humans. There is nothing more sterile and inauthentic than a page so overwrought with key words that it becomes unintelligible.

Get to the Point

Successfully written content means understanding what your target audience wants. If you are a restaurant owner, then you probably want to provide your business hours, a downloadable menu, images of menu items and food, as well as photos of your restaurant’s interior.

A page about your catering service or accommodating large reservations is tremendously beneficial. Conversely, it would not make sense to have staff directories with bios on every employee; that would make more sense for a financial institution or a university.

Mix It up a Little

Blogs are a great way for touching on broader topics with more detail. It offers new content for your website on a regular basis, thereby attracting new visitors and, most importantly, garners new links. When visitors read your blog and want to share it with others, it gets passed on via link format, thus drawing in more traffic from sources you may not have had access to otherwise.

Content does not always have to be words on a page. Depending on what service or product you offer, consider other avenues, such as a vlog (video blog), a podcast for download, or a fascinating infographic.