• cassandrachan@cassandrachanonline.com

Tag Archive Affiliate Marketing

Manage Your Audience with MailChimp

The foundation of every great marketing campaign is a clean, reliable list of contacts who are engaged and have permitted you to contact them. MailChimp allows you to store and manage these lists and gives you the tools you need to grow your audience.

You can create as many lists as you want, but the easiest way to maintain the information is to create one list and then use segments and groups to keep them organized based on the criteria you choose.

Managing Lists
Each contact you enter into MailChimp has their own profile containing social data, location, history, and other information that may be useful for segmenting or targeting. Maintaining one manageable list of all of your contacts is far more accessible than creating multiple lists based on specific criteria because people are continually changing and evolving. Your list will do the same as your contacts become more familiar with your product, grow their own business, or create a history of using your product.

MailChimp provides list performance metrics as well, and maintaining one list allows you performance metrics across all of your contacts, regardless of segmentation, so that you can easily see at a glance subscriber activity, click rate, open rate, growth, and campaign performance.

Segments
MailChimp’s segmentation tools allow you to create targeted campaigns based on a number of factors, including interest, location, demographic information, activity, purchase history, and more. By doing this, you increase the relevance of your emails and drastically improve your open and click rates.

MailChimp allows for three different kinds of segments: auto-update, static, and pre-built.

Auto-update lists automatically update as new users meet the criteria you’ve selected for the list.

A static segment contains users that met a certain quality at the time you created the list. It does not auto update or moves users in and out of the list based on whether they meet that criteria today.

Pre-built lists allow you to automatically generate a list based on information you select in advance. MailChimp will move subscribers in and out of the list as they meet or no longer meet the criteria, enabling you to target these customers with just one click.

Groups
You can also set up groups to categorize people by their interests or preferences. For example, if you own a software as a service company, and you have a list of customers who have requested specific feature updates, you can categorize them as such, and then update them as these things become available at the click of a button, without having to remember which customers requested which features.

Sign Up Forms
Sign up forms help to improve your target marketing by allowing potential subscribers to opt-in and easily enter their information and preferences from a number of devices. Automating the signup process gives you more time to create your campaigns while it works to build your lists with the appropriate subscribers.

MailChimp will also allow you to set up Facebook Custom Audiences, letting you target your MailChimp subscribers with Facebook ads that are relevant to them. The Facebook Custom Audiences feature syncs directly with your MailChimp lists and is available to any business advertising on Facebook.

Automate Your Marketing
With all of these features at your disposal, MailChimp is the perfect way to build and grow your email marketing campaign. It’s easy to use, dynamic when you need it to be and allows for customization that other platforms don’t. You’ll find managing your lists fast and straightforward, and it will give you more time to focus on the content of your campaigns rather than who you’re sending them to.

For more information, check out DFY’s lead generation system.

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 the 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 Dallas, 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 Dallas. 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 $0.20 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 toilet repair near me,” you don’t want your hardware store ad to appear. That is unless you also offer toilet repair 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. Click Link Now…

How Link Building Affects Your Marketing Strategy

I get it. You want to be discovered. And search engine optimization is part of that. But it’s easy to stuff keywords into your articles or blog posts anywhere to get visibility. There’s more to online marketing than that. There are specific techniques you can employ to get the best out of your marketing strategy without affecting the readability of your content.

You have to use keywords the right way, or you won’t get noticed like you thought you would. Google and other search engines are smart. They value quality over quantity and can identify keyword density and its effectiveness.

Techniques
Engaging online with people who already interact with you and your website promotes your website to relevant audiences. By showing an interest in your followers, you present yourself as genuine and sincere, and you can provide a more meaningful and customized experience for them. Use a blog to accomplish some of this. You can create sharable content by being unique and original. Linking to other blogs or external sources shows that you foster a community of sharing within the industry and value the opinions of other industry experts.

Case studies highlight individual clients and their success stories. It helps other potential clients feel like they have second-hand experience with what you do and makes you more trustworthy. Present these case studies in a visual format like a video showcasing a client interview, or ask your clients to write a quick testimonial you can post on your site.

Pump out news articles to your readers that are relevant to your industry. Keeping up-to-date on the current trends or industry struggles will always benefit you in ways other than direct marketing. Sounding knowledgeable when you speak with clients will get you farther than almost anything else will.

Online promotions or contests engage your social media followers, inspire friendly competition, and offer freebies that everyone likes. This is one of my favorite SEO marketing techniques because it gets the online community buzzing about your brand, no matter what sort of freebie you’re offering.

You should always use these marketing techniques safely and effectively. Ethical business practices and principles are at the core of everything you do. Using these techniques effectively can help you improve your marketing strategy performance and maintain integrity.

Link Building
Search engines are smart enough to recognize quality over quantity, so link building is an essential marketing tool that you shouldn’t overlook. Acquiring links from education websites and other trusted industry experts can drastically increase your rank on any search engine and make you easier to find.

I would even go so far as to say that it’s impossible to rank on Google or any other search engine without links. Here’s why:

Links are Google’s #1 ranking factor
Links define the entire internet
Links point to other great content that deserves to rank as well
Links transfer power and trust, hopefully back to you
Links help people discover your site

As I mentioned above, blogging is a great way to start link building. Linking to relevant external sources in your blog helps to build credibility with other experts in your industry. By sharing blogs on social media sites, you begin to develop inbound links as well.

Linking to other blogs on your site sometimes generates a ‘return the favor’ sort of attitude within the community, and simply linking to other people’s work can build a good linking foundation. You can also create organic inbound links by guest blogging on someone else’s site.

Researching the links your competitors use is a useful tool for knowledge building. You can learn a lot from the way your competitors link to other content. You gain valuable insight into their strategy, the keywords they are using, and what they feel is important. Using this information, you can build better links to outrank them.

Calls to action with internal links keep people on your site and help them to discover more about you. Writing content that links back to yourself does many things. It creates a backlink, and it promotes other products or services you offer. You can use these tactics to upsell as well.

Providing your users with genuine, useful content comes in many forms. It is critical that you understand how to use keywords effectively because keyword density impacts the readability of your content. Link building techniques provide structure and understanding to what you publish. Check out my done-for-you system for more ideas.

Five Best Opera Extensions for Marketing

Browsers are a highly personal choice. Everyone has a reason for using the browser they use, and often it’s not based on performance or features, but on habit. Switching browsers just feels weird.

With Chrome gaining sixty percent of the market share as of October 2017, the majority of extensions are available for Chrome only. Some are available for Safari, but Opera has been left in the dark for a long time. However, the Norwegian company is pumping out some new features, and users might be pleasantly surprised with the options.

Built-in Extensions

Opera recently introduced their newest version with a built-in ad blocker and VPN service. Ads significantly slow down website performance, so the addition of a built-in ad blocker increases battery life and strain on the processor.

Opera also has a power saving mode that reduces the activity of tabs that aren’t active, decreasing the energy your computer uses. Compared to other browsers, this can extend battery life up to fifty percent. It’s great when you need to power through essential tasks or have a lot of references open at once for writing a blog or scheduling multiple social media posts.

MailTrack.io

It’s important for digital marketers to track email opens, clicks, and generate daily reports. MailTrack used to be available only for digital marketers, but they’ve made it easy now for everyone to use it. One green check indicates that a message was tracked correctly, and two checks mean it was opened. All of this is at a glance and easy to see.

LastPass

The number of accounts you have between email addresses, client portals, and social media accounts makes your head spin. Keeping a document full of your usernames and passwords is highly volatile, using the same username and password for everything compromises every account in the event of a data breach, and writing them all down on a piece of paper is cumbersome.

LastPass is versatile, allowing you to store usernames and passwords, as well as credit card information, shopping profiles, and URLs. You can safely store all of the data you have in one place while maintaining security.

Evernote Web Clipper

If you regularly save articles to reference later or take screenshots, Evernote helps to organize these things, so you don’t lose track of them. You can keep your bookmarks and tabs under control, while never forgetting where that article was that you wanted to read. Evernote automatically syncs with all devices so that you can access your saved pages from your smartphone or tablet as well.

Download Chrome Extension

Just because your favorite extension is only for Chrome doesn’t mean you can’t use it. A lot of people who love Chrome only love it for the extensions and are reluctant to switch to a new browser because they don’t want to lose productivity.

However, if there’s an extension not available at the Opera Store, just use Download Chrome Extension to add it to the Opera browser. It’s easy and keeps you moving with great marketing apps only available for Chrome with the increased performance of Opera.

Opera is one of the best browsers for reduced processor load and faster web browsing because of all of the built-in extensions. Opera continues to increase its offering by offering a power saving mode on all future versions which recognizes when your computer isn’t plugged in and reduces the activity in background tabs, wakes the CPU less often, pauses unused plugins, and much more.

Whether you’ve been with Opera for a long time and are a dedicated user or are looking for a browser to increase your performance and help your laptop run more optimally, Opera has a wealth of plugin options to keep you moving. Check out my done-for-you system for more ideas.

Firefox Extensions for Small Business Marketing

While the browser wars are far from over, there remain only a few significant players in today’s business world. Everyone knows that Internet Explorer comes with Windows, and the running joke is that it’s “a tool used to download Google Chrome.” Speaking of Google’s powerhouse browser, the Mountain View web client has a chokehold on the browser market, owning nearly sixty percent of the market.

Still, there are other alternative browsers which provide unique and innovative options for small business marketing. Firefox, for instance, includes add-on tools that Mozilla has developed which can help a small business keep up with larger and faster-growing markets in today’s online industry. Below are just a few of the best Firefox extensions for small business marketing.

Shareaholic
This social media sharing aggregator allows businesses to integrate all platforms into one unified application. If you have a message you want to get out, but don’t want to take the time to post it to each platform, Shareaholic provides the answer. Businesses can share content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and StumbleUpon all with the single click of a button.

Firefox Blogging Extension
The beauty of the blogging extension provided by Firefox is that it allows for marketing and promoting through the use of an online blog. In today’s marketplace, blogs are more important than ever in their use to attract visitors to your site. These integrated blogging tools make it easier to promote and provide greater visibility to your blog. It also helps with optimization of links, tags, and metadata, along with many other marketing features.

SEO Quake
In the world of online and internet marketing, everyone knows how crucial SEO can be. SEO Quake is an essential Firefox extension which allows users to set a variety of SEO parameters which can track data and provide valuable information on how a website is performing. Through its simple, yet intuitive interface, SEO Quake can offer a detailed report relating to each SEO parameter.

RiteTag
As a small business, no one needs to remind you of the importance of the Twitter hashtag. This powerful feature can drive traffic to your site when used appropriately, so it is essential to keep a weathered eye on growing trends or tags. RiteTag provides the opportunity to see how well a hashtag will perform before being used with your tweets. It can also suggest alternative tags, or point out when a hashtag is overused. Use this tool to create the best tags when marketing your business, creating campaigns for social media, or reaching out to others within your industry.

SimilarWeb
SimilarWeb is a fantastic Firefox extension to use to measure your performance against the competition. This plugin goes a long way toward showing your company’s strong points along with areas for improvement. You can view your global, national, or local rank, receive traffic overviews, determine where your traffic is coming from, and which sites are referring yours most often. SimilarWeb is a handy extension for small business marketing.

Bitly
This Firefox extension provides many features that are beneficial to small business marketing. Users can create customized, shortened links, view analytics, and share the link easily on social media. Additionally, Bitly has a component which allows for bundling similar links, which can make shortened links easier to find and manage. It will also notify you when the link you created reaches a specified number of views.

Remember, just because a browser doesn’t command the same market share as some of its competitors do, does not mean that it doesn’t offer key features, extensions, or plugins that can create marketing and social media benefits. Install and play around with some of the more interesting ones, and you’ll be sure to find the extensions that work best for your company. Check out my done-for-you system for other useful advertising tips.

Google vs. Yahoo For Marketing

You used to rely on word of mouth to get customers. Referrals were the name of the game for getting more business, and sometimes an ad in the local paper didn’t hurt. Things are different today because we operate in the digital age with a worldwide market. It’s not easy to reach your community, let alone the world. Even if you set up shop in someone’s backyard, they probably wouldn’t notice because their face is stuck on their phone.

There are more factors to consider when building an internet marketing plan than there used to be. You have a website and a blog already (at least I hope you do), and probably some social media accounts, but when it comes to advertising on search engines, things get a little tricky.

Google leads the search engine world in the number of users, but don’t be too fast to discount Yahoo yet. Let’s take an in-depth look.

Google
Using Google Analytics tells you how traffic comes to your site, including demographic information like geographical location. These details help you narrow where you want to advertise on Google using pay per click campaigns. You can directly place your ads where you know potential clients see them.

Because Google AdWords is well-known, it’s more expensive. It costs nearly three times as much as advertising on other search engines, but you’re also paying for volume. Google controls sixty-seven percent of search marketing. You will likely get a more significant return on investment with Google over time.

Google provides a little more flexibility in keywords than other search engines do. You don’t have to worry about targeting specific words or phrases to get the recognition you want because Google is intelligent enough to crawl for closely related searches and return appropriate results.

Google has also made setting up AdWords easier than most other search engine ads because Google products like Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics are easy to integrate. There are benefits to keeping all of your marketing and analytics in one place if you can afford to do so.

Yahoo
Let’s clear something up before we jump into the benefits of using something other than Google. Bing controls the Yahoo search engine, as well as that of all of their affiliates like duckduckgo.com and slickdeals.net. With Yahoo behind them, Bing continues to grow, so don’t underestimate the power of this team.

Bing and Yahoo rankings are virtually identical even though your search in each engine may return different results. Also, consider that many cell phone providers have made deals with companies like Yahoo to be the default search tool for mobile.

Markets exist regardless of your personal preferences. You may not use Internet Explorer anymore, but some people do. Why? No idea. The point is, just because you like or use or advertise on Google, doesn’t mean everyone does.

It would be difficult to spend the same amount of money on Bing or Yahoo using pay per click because there’s not enough volume. But performance makes up for this. You get more for your dollar, and if optimized correctly, your ads will land on the same corresponding pages, meaning they have the potential for the same click-through rates as Google.

Yahoo’s network of search engines makes the audience quality fantastic, so even at a smaller volume, you get a high concentration of quality clicks. Bing also has options that Google AdWords doesn’t. Advertising on Bing gives you transparency to the websites where your ads are running, allowing you to exclude poorly performing ones. You can also run segmented campaigns to run ads exclusively on specific search partners.

However, setup isn’t easy. It takes more work to integrate with things like Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager because Yahoo and Bing aren’t Google products (obviously). What you don’t spend in money, you may spend in time. Regardless, Yahoo tends to have better conversion rates, and cost per conversion is cheaper.

We’ve established that Google has more volume, but Yahoo and its affiliates have higher quality. Any advertising platform will eat you for breakfast if you let them. You have to set bids and control the parameters of your campaign no matter which one you use.

If you already use Google’s suite of products and you don’t have time to configure a new service or optimize your keywords, Google is probably the best choice for you. However, if you are running ads under budget constraints, you may want to consider Yahoo. If you want to optimize nearly one hundred percent of the market, I would recommend using both to measure the quality of each campaign and find what works for you. You can also check out my done-for-you system for more advertising ideas.

Best Chrome Browser Extensions for Marketing

If you’re anything like me, your head is always full of to-do lists, passwords, reading material, and so many other things you can’t possibly remember. We all need a little help sometimes.

Especially in the world of digital marketing, there’s always a social media account to manage, marketing materials to write, and influencers to find. There are plenty of resources available to make life easier. Here are just a few that can help you organize your brain dumps.

Evernote Web Clipper
If you regularly save articles to reference later or take screenshots, Evernote helps to organize these things, so you don’t lose track of them. You can keep your bookmarks and tabs under control, while never forgetting where that article was that you wanted to read.

OneTab
My husband is the king of tabs. It drives me crazy. All the way across the top of his screen are these toothpick-sized things you can’t possibly click on let alone know what they are. Somehow, he still knows what every single one of them is and can return to it in a flash while I remain stumped as to how he can work that way. Until he asks me if I can find something on his computer for him. Um, no. I can’t.

Enter OneTab. The OneTab Chrome extension closes web pages but saves their URLs in a tab for reference later. You can feel better about ‘closing’ those tabs, knowing you can quickly return to them later.

Save to Pocket
Save to Pocket allows you to tag references, reading materials, and other examples for use later with just one click. The tags you assign allow you to sort them so you can keep organized notes for each blog, task, or assignment.

Grammarly
Grammarly is a glorified spell-checker. Plop text for your next blog post, email, or web page in the form, and it can identify improper grammar, word usage, punctuation, overused words, and more. It also suggests changes, so you spend less time editing.

KUKU.io
KUKU.io helps you schedule content for social media with a click. You can also share to multiple networks at the same time. Adapt your post to specific mediums with hashtags, pictures, or original content.

EmailHunter
You no longer have to search endlessly for contact information. EmailHunter finds the email addresses of your leads from LinkedIn pages or a company website and shows you confidence in the source with a percentage of reliability. You can use this service in conjunction with Rapportive to see if an email address is valid.

Rapportive
This extension validates the emails you add as recipients when drafting an email in Gmail. It helps you to reduce your bounce rate and associates each email with LinkedIn and other social profiles so you can gain valuable insights into your contact list before communicating.

Sidekick by Hubspot
Check open and click rates for your emails to help with statistics and tracking. You can schedule emails for later or review your activity history. Hovering over an email address shows the person’s title, company, social profiles and recent tweets.

Giphy for Chrome
Search GIFs and add them to social media posts and emails by dragging and dropping. It’s fast and easy, with a massive library of relevant images, leaving you more time to draft meaningful content.

These should get you started down the path of time savings, organizing your thoughts, and creating more content to increase traffic and conversions. By keeping you sane, these tools reduce stress and condense your ideas into one easy-to-remember place. Check out my done-for-you system for more organization ideas.

Why your Small Business Needs Periscope

In case you aren’t sure what Periscope is, it’s a live streaming video app that was purchased by Twitter in 2015. The allure of Periscope is that it allows you to ‘Go Live’ from anywhere, at any time, while anyone in the world can watch you via your mobile device.

There are over ten million users on the platform today, so needless to say if you’re not using it, you’re missing out on some markets that might be of use to your business. If you can conceive of any way your company can put Periscope to use, you should do so. Today.
So why does your small business need to be on Periscope? Let’s take a look at a few reasons.

Market Saturation
Or lack thereof. The market for Periscope isn’t as saturated as other social media behemoths like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It’s still in its growing phase, and hopping on board now would go a long way toward getting in ahead of the game.

Many large businesses have yet to make this technology a part of their marketing strategy, leaving plenty of opportunities for small companies to jump in and fill the gaps.

New Followers
A new social media platform means a new follower base. Those that follow you and your business on other social media sites are not necessarily the same ones that are going to follow you on Periscope.

The Periscope market offers a whole new list of bloggers, small business owners, and marketers that weren’t available before joining Periscope. Connecting with this group of followers provides the opportunity to move them over to your other social media platforms as well.

Engage in Real-Time
When it comes to engaging and responding to customers, nothing beats being able to see and react immediately via a live stream. Facebook and Twitter response times are nice, but customers will appreciate the immediacy and personal connection the Periscope provides.

Today’s society seeks instant gratification – we want it now – otherwise, users will move on and find what they want somewhere else. Periscope allows for real-time engagement and gives followers actively involved in the feed the answers they are seeking at the moment.

Showcase Your Business
Periscope provides an opportunity to show off your business and show followers what happens behind the scenes. Customers want authenticity, and what is more authentic than looking directly at your followers as you speak to them live?

You are no longer a faceless brand or company; people get to talk and interact with you, which drives the personal connect aspect of brand loyalty. Natural and organic conversation leads to followers knowing, liking, and trusting you, which leads to future decisions made in your favor.

Untapped Opportunities
Since Periscope is relatively new to the social media marketplace, businesses are still learning how to use the platform to interact with customers. The opportunities are limitless, but most commonly companies will offer live tutorials, product releases, special promotions, or live shows. Use your business to come up with new and creative ways to promote via Periscope.

Build Relationships
Communicating in real-time with followers offers the opportunity to have a more meaningful and involved discussion with someone. It can be fun to fully engage with those that are invested in your company and learn more about one another.

Consider for a moment what Periscope is offering. Through what another method can you pick up your phone, point it at yourself and begin communicating immediately with people from all over the world? If you’re able to do a good enough job of interacting and engaging with your followers, they might just buy what you have to sell. Check out DFY’s lead generation system for more information.

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 growing 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. Don’t forget to subscribe to DFY for weekly updates and more useful tips.

The Four Ps of Marketing

Marketing isn’t easy, and without a proper marketing plan in place, your company may suffer. The main ingredients for a successful marketing campaign are the four Ps. These essential marketing items are a product, price, placement, and promotion. To provide a positive experience for your customers, it is in your best interest to ensure that each P works with all the others.

It takes a lot of work and effort to determine what customers want and need, as well as identifying their shopping habits. Once these steps are taken, you will then need to produce your product, find the right price point, and promote it. All of these actions must be taken together to avoid problems. Let’s explore the four Ps of marketing, determine what they are, and how they work together.

Product
Your product is the heart of your business. It is near and dear to your heart, and if you’ve done your homework, it’s something that is unique to the market, allowing it to stand out from the rest of the competition. The challenge with any product, however, is remaining distinct and unique. From a product perspective, it is best if you have a solid understanding of what customers are looking for in regards to benefits and features.

It’s also imperative that you learn how they will use your product, that way you can make sure the product you’re offering fits their wants and needs. If the product doesn’t fulfill a need, it won’t be likely that customers will purchase it. Perform market research to have a good idea of ways your product will be used.

Price
Of course, your product is only going to sell if you set the appropriate price point. Your business will want to use production costs, projected fulfillment, and other key metrics to determine the proper price for your product. Make sure you are conveying the quality of your product to customers when considering the initial amount of your product. At the same time, do what you can to keep in mind how the price you select, along with costs of manufacturing and production, will have an impact on your product in the long-term.

Placement
In today’s market, placement is no longer simply about identifying the appropriate retailers or best locations. There are now many other channels and outlets to give consideration when thinking about your product placement. Where is the area with the highest foot traffic? Which retailer is showing growth and expansion? What businesses does it make the most sense to establish a partnership with?

These are all questions you will want to consider when it comes to product placement, but you’ll all need to think about the digital aspect of marketing. Will you want to have a social media campaign? Ensuring your product is in a spot which will gain traction and attention in the market is the key to successful product placement.

Promotion
With the continued growth and immersion of our lives into social media, it only makes sense to promote and market your product online. This means that your product marketing needs to be multi-pronged, something that did not require as much attention in the past.

Nowadays, customers want to see the product first-hand. They want to interact with it, ask questions about it, get answers about it and learn more about the brand, all from the comfort of their home. Provide high-quality videos and content to your potential customers, and they will reward you with their loyalty.

Take time to understand each of the four Ps and how they can make or break your marketing campaign. Have a strategy for each ingredient, and focus on trouble spots that may disrupt a successful product. Pay close attention to the four Ps of marketing, but also consider other marketing resources which can accentuate and highlight your product. For more information on the four Ps and other marketing tips, subscribe to DFY now!

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