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Choosing Topics That Draw Visitors to Your Website

Choosing Topics That Draw Visitors to Your Website

By now, most online marketers know the basics of maintaining a relevant website. Regular updating, easy readability, intriguing headlines, and accessible writing are all widely understood to be essential to keeping people interested in your website.

However, none of these things address the most essential aspect of generating and maintaining traffic that can ultimately be turned into sales. That all-important detail is…finding topics your audience will be interested in to begin with. 

Topics Are What Matter

No matter how often you update your site, how well-written your material is, how cleverly you promote your content with catchy headlines and good writing, it will all come to nothing if the subject matter is boring.

The trick is to come up with topics that your visitors will want to read and which also make them feel that your site is worth visiting again when they’re done.

Today’s internet audience is amazingly fickle, so if you can’t keep a steady stream of relevant, compelling topics coming out, then you will find your traffic tumbling as your audience deserts you. 

Uniqueness is Gold

What actually constitutes compelling website topics? That, of course, will vary widely based upon what the subject matter of your website is. However, there is one characteristic that readers value which cuts across all possible topics. That golden characteristic is uniqueness.

No matter how well-done your article is on the topics you cover, it will fall flat if people have already seen it before. No one wants yesterday’s news or content that they can get anywhere.

What attracts and holds traffic are articles that you have but that no one else does. Once you establish a reputation as a website with a fresh perspective with info that only you offer, you will find traffic flocking to your site from all over on a daily basis. 

How to Know What is Unique

So, how do you know what is unique? There is really only one way to find out, and that is to see what everybody else in your market is doing for readers like yours.

Monitoring the sites of your competitors and sites dealing with areas related to your field will give you an overview of the types of topics and subjects of interest that others have already covered. Your task then becomes coming up with material that these other sites have not explored. 

How to Choose a Topic 

Ideally, after familiarizing yourself with what others have done, you will be able to come up with topics that are completely different from what anyone else is doing. It can also be effective to do articles similar to what others have done—provided that you have a fresh perspective on them.

Often, there is a lot of content out there on a certain subject, and everybody saying the same old things but using marginally different variations. You can attract a lot of traffic if you can approach these old subjects from a new angle or with fresh information. What is old can be made new again, provided you have an original and interesting way of looking at it. 

Finding topics that draw traffic to your website is something you can do if you carefully monitor the web. Unfortunately, many people are too busy running their business or other enterprise to devote a lot of valuable energy to keeping their website current with relevant and unique content.

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How to Grow Your Blog Into a Business

How to Grow Your Blog Into a Business

Most of the time, businesses start blogging as a way to build an audience. However, the reverse seems to be happening. More and more people with blogs are starting to monetize their traffic. It makes sense because one of the hardest things to do as a business owner is grow your traffic. If you grow your blog first, you already have a solid following to support your business idea.

Starting a blog is easy, but if you want to make money later, you need to think about your strategy and set yourself up for success. It’s important to know what you need to grow your blog and grow your traffic.

What is a Blog?

A blog is a weblog of content updated regularly. It’s an online publication written in a personal tone, meant to share opinions, teach others, develop a personal brand, or sell products or services. Blogging is fulfilling, but it also requires commitment.

It’s important to be consistent, no matter how often you publish. Your audience grows to expect your posts, so keep at it, and don’t disappoint them.

How to Start a Blog

Finding the time to flush out your ideas and do it consistently is the hardest part of blogging. Once you find the time, starting a blog is straightforward. Consider your opportunities to monetize your blog, determine your audience, and plan a publishing strategy.

You need to think like an entrepreneur to make this venture profitable in the future, so map out the groundwork for your distribution and monetization now.

Ways to Make Money

Most people think of running ads on their blogs as a way to make money, but there are other ways. Building a loyal audience is more important than building a big one, and you won’t earn the trust of your followers by spamming them with ads all the time.

Instead, think of ways you can sell physical or digital products that align with your audience. Sell your services as a writer or designer. Publish a book. Create subscription-based packages with platforms like Patreon. Do paid reviews or become an affiliate for other brands.

You have to enjoy blogging for it to succeed. Dedicate yourself to serving your audience as best you can.

Pick a Niche

With all of the information on the internet, it’s hard to stand out. Try to choose a topic that’s hard to find elsewhere. It’s also critical to choose a niche audience. There are so many internet users that it’s impossible to appeal to all of them.

You can focus on a specific location, present your content in a different style, or focus on a smaller segment of a bigger market. For instance, writing about steakhouses in Kansas City that serve steaks larger than forty-two ounces allows you to focus more deeply on your topic that choosing to write about steakhouses in general.

Choosing a Platform

When it comes to hosting your blog, you have two choices. You can host it yourself or host it on a paid platform. If you host it yourself, you have more customization options. You still have to pay a fee, but it’s less than a paid platform, and you have more flexibility in design.

Using a service to host your blog is the best option for those who don’t know a lot about design or HTML. Some options include Blogger and WordPress. Think about how you want to monetize your blog because not every platform gives you what you need.

You can also use free platforms like Medium or Tumblr. They have built-in audiences, making it easier for you to get started, but they provide less customization, and your blog design ends up looking like everyone else’s on the platform.

Picking a Name

This is a great time to think about what you want to name your blog. Unless you plan to build a personal brand or portfolio, don’t use your name. Think of something catchy, fun, and descriptive of your brand. This name should reflect your blog’s identity, add personality, and be easy to remember and type.

Groundwork for Growth

Thinking about how to grow your blog and having a solid plan in place helps you to build momentum quickly once you get started. If you don’t have a plan, you may end up struggling with distribution because you don’t have a strategy. Publishing is nerve-wracking, but having a plan can alleviate some of that.

Planning for growth involves collecting emails as soon as possible. Use a service like MailChimp to store your subscriber list and make distribution easy. It’s free for up to two thousand subscribers. You can also use MailChimp for signup forms, which is a critical piece of capturing this information.

Embed your signup forms directly into your content with a call to action to subscribe, so the experience is seamless for your audience and easy to manage for you.

Blogging can be stressful, but it’s also a blast. Use these tips to think about how you can grow your blog to make money later. The great thing about starting a blog is that you don’t have to quit your day job until you start making money. If done right, once you start making money, you’ll grow quickly.

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Content Marketing for Long Term Success

Content Marketing for Long Term Success

Content marketing is one of the fastest-growing forms of advertising online, and for several good reasons. More and more people are learning the power of strong content that potential customers are looking for, so it’s important to know how to make content marketing work for your long-term success online.

Content Marketing is Cheap

Yes, it is cheap, at least when you compare it to other forms of marketing that are out there for online marketers such as pay-per-click, media buys, video ads, and much more.

Content is not just limited to articles, as it can encompass all types of media, such as infographics (which are extremely popular now), videos, images, how-to reports, and slideshows.

In fact, it is best to diversify your content so that people do not get bored with the same content type all over your site.

Finally, it is best to get to know what type of media works best in your industry. Some industries, such as an auto repair business, would do best with how-to videos so people can see exactly how to fix a certain vehicle. Other industries, such as a logistics company, may do better with the use of the visually appealing infographic.

Test to see what works best for your industry, and you will see how cheap content marketing is when compared to the leads and sales that it generates.

Content Lasts Forever

Well, it may not last forever, but once you publish your content online, that piece will be available for as long as you allow it—meaning that people will benefit for a long time.

Unlike a TV ad that will be gone after the marketing campaign is completed, a content marketing campaign will create content that will last for years.

In essence, you are creating an asset that customers can reference for years to come. And, with the cost of content marketing being lower than other forms of advertising, your return on investment is often high.

Also, the longer that your content is online, the better chance it has of being linked to from other authority sites in the industry. The more links, likes, shares, and tweets that you get will just help solidify the investment that you initially made.

Become an Industry Expert

One more thing…The content that is created during a content marketing campaign will also help establish you as a known expert and authority in the industry that you are in, provided that you are supplying new and fresh thoughts. This will increase the likelihood that any leads you receive will be pre-sold and more likely to purchase what you have.

Becoming an industry expert is not only desirable among your peers, it’s also extremely valuable in the eyes of the search engines—specifically Google. The more content that you produce on a subject, the more you will start to organically move up in the search engines, thus increasing your traffic.

Getting Started

Content marketing will only grow in importance and effectiveness from here on. Since customers are already looking for and expecting specific industry information, it’s up to your company to get on board with this trend or risk losing a large portion of online visitors to someone else

Customers want to learn and trust the company they are doing business with, and content marketing will get you started in the right direction. It does not work overnight…but it does work!

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How to Use Bing to Advertise

How to Use Bing to Advertise

Bing Ads is an advertising platform used to display ads on the Bing network including bing.com, yahoo.com, and aol.com. Smaller affiliates like duckduckgo.com and slickdeals.net also fall under this umbrella.

Ads show up on Bing when a visitor searches just as they would on any other search engine. The top and sides of the page are premium real estate, and you want to be sure people notice you first by making your ads relevant.

How Bing Advertising Works

Bing shows ads relevant to a visitor’s search based on the terms used. Searching for “hardware store Kansas City” will return ads for hardware stores in Kansas City. Yes, that’s quite obvious. However, you may not know that whenever someone conducts a search, Bing gives ad placement to the highest bidder. Just because you have an ad on Bing, doesn’t mean people will see it.

Bing makes money off of the ads businesses place, so if you outbid your competition, your ad is more likely to appear. However, Bing only gets paid when someone clicks an ad. That’s because you only pay Bing when someone clicks on your ad.

This is why relevancy matters. If you operate a hardware store in Chicago, your ad will never appear using the search terms above no matter how much you bid, because no one would ever click on it. They need hardware stores in Kansas City, not Chicago. Showing irrelevant ads profits no one.

On your end of the ad, make sure when a visitor clicks your ad, it sends them where they expect to go. If your ad promotes drills, send the clicker to the drill page of your hardware store website, not the page with pipe fittings.

Advantages of Bing

Bing has a host of advantages that are similar to other search engines. Using proper keywords, you get your business in front of people when they need it, increasing your conversion rate. You only pay if your ad works, so you don’t spend money on useless advertising, and you’re less likely to exceed your budget by placing bids for the maximum you’re willing to pay.

You can also track your engagements on a dashboard, showing you how many people saw your ad, how many times they clicked, and how much you paid for each click, giving you the ability to segment your future ads based on what worked and what didn’t.

While Bing doesn’t have the same volume as Google, this proves to be beneficial. Fewer businesses advertise on Bing, meaning less competition for you, better ad positioning, lower cost per click, and higher quality conversions.

Cost of Bing

A pay per click model determines how much advertisers pay for ads. You only pay when someone clicks your ad, but how much you pay depends on how much you bid. You pay different amounts based on keywords. Niche keywords in small communities can cost less than .20 while popular keywords in big markets cost more than $20.

Bing’s keyword planner suggests bids for your ads, so you have an idea of how much you need to bid for your ad to appear in someone’s search terms. You choose how much you are willing to pay based on how much you stand to profit from acquiring conversions. $20 is worthwhile if a new customer means $500 or more to your business.

Factors to Consider

Switching to Bing from Google doesn’t mean you’ll lose your previous campaigns. When you sign up for a Bing account, you have the option to import these from Google AdWords. You can then use them to run similar campaigns and benchmark which service is better for your business.

Diligent keyword research tells you which terms have high volumes and low competition. Bid on keywords with purchasing intent. If someone searches for “best toilets to buy,” it’s likely they plan to buy one soon. If they search for “best art gallery near me,” you don’t want your hardware store ad to appear. That is unless you also offer hardware services.

After selecting targeted keywords based on your product, service, or location, you can also choose your match type. This allows you to select how closely you want your keyword to match the user’s search when your ad appears. Broad matches will look for searches containing synonyms of your keyword, whereas exact matches will only show up when someone searches for that exact keyword or phrase. Broad matches have the potential to appear on searches that aren’t relevant to your business, so you may have to narrow your match type over time after some careful study.

After several months, you should review and optimize your ad to improve future results. You have visibility to keyword impressions so you can refine and change as needed. Remember to remove negative keywords from your campaign.

Bing has a variety of targeting options you can use after you evaluate your initial campaign. You can run A/B tests, increase your visibility on weekends where you see more traffic, and bid higher on demographics like age or gender.

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Best Apps for Mobile Marketing

Best Apps for Mobile Marketing

It’s easy to hunker down and turn off distractions to get things done on your computer. But in an increasingly mobile society, sometimes you need to work on the run. With the wealth of apps available today, you can leave your bulky computer behind and work efficiently with your phone on the go.

Tweetbot

Sometimes a never-ending list of tweets is hard to sift through for relevant content topics or sort out what you care about most. Tweetbot organizes your feed however it’s most productive for you. Whether it’s a list or a channel, Tweetbot can separate your stream so you can tweet or reply directly in the app in a more digestible way.

Flow for Instagram

If you’re a heavy iPad user, you’ve noticed that your Instagram feed doesn’t look quite right. The official Instagram app doesn’t render well across devices, but Flow provides a solution. With a display made for iPads, you can browse, follow, comment, or like from the app without dealing with stretched images.

Dropbox

File management is a huge part of an organizational workflow. Instead of making a note for yourself to follow up when you get back to the computer, download the mobile Dropbox app to preview files like images, or share them for an upcoming campaign.

Nimble

Keeping in contact with influencers is critical for marketing managers. The Nimble app integrates with the social profiles for each of your contacts so you can stay connected to your network no matter where you are. Sync your phone’s contacts with Nimble so it will search for new social media profiles to follow.

Mention

Mention listens, so you don’t have to engage as often. You can focus on other things while Mention finds brand mentions all over the web from blog posts, social media updates, or anywhere someone mentions your keywords. Use these mentions to follow up and stay in contact without the effort.

IFTTT

IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. There are hundreds of recipes to choose from and implement, or you can create your own. Relevant social media sharing gets an upgrade by setting up your profiles to share only when they meet specific criteria.

Aviary

Supercharge your editing power by using Aviary’s suite of editing tools. You can edit existing images or create new ones. With more filters and advanced options that your phone’s default tool, you can share moving images and stand out from the competition.

Flipboard

Link your social media accounts, set up content preferences, and organize categories in this RSS feed in a flippable format. Discover new content, stay relevant on any topic, and quickly swipe through for the latest updates.

Prismatic

Prismatic delivers content catered to your interests, so you don’t have to go looking for it. The more you use it, the more it learns about your tastes, so each individual gets a fully customized stream. It gets smarter, so you get smarter.

Dashboard for Google Analytics

Get the best Google Analytics right on your phone. You can check traffic stats and campaign results on the move, and it shows a visually stimulating display of all the same analytics you find on your desktop. It’s great for managing your social media campaigns.

MailChimp

Forgot to send out that marketing email before you left the office? No problem. The MailChimp app is a helpful way to manage your campaigns from anywhere. You can control lists, send campaigns, and view stats all from your mobile device. If you use an iPad, you can download the companion app to edit on the go.

Quora

Marketing specialists always strive for relevance to their audience. It’s the best way to reach people, promote your brand, and influence the online community. But it’s not always easy to know what people think of you, the latest trends, or what’s happening in their neighborhood.

Quora crowdsources answers, so it’s an excellent source for information and content ideas. You can post questions and answers, or search trending topics to gain valuable insight into products or services.

In our increasingly mobile society, it’s hard to move and work at the same time. These apps make it easier to stay connected to your network of leads, influencers, competitors, and campaigns so you can increase productivity and remain relevant every day.