I Need A Website – What Do I Choose?!?

Photo courtesy of Freepik

WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Website Builders oh my. 

When it comes to building a website – there’s no shortage of options open to you.

Most business owners just won’t care, and will go with whatever their web developer/designer recommends.

But you should know – even just a little bit – so when you’re discussing it with them – you understand at a high-level what advantages and disadvantages come with each. After all – a shiny new website can be built on any of them – but you’re the one who is going to rely on it to bring you new traffic, leads and customers for a few years to come (when your developer may well be long gone), and your choice now *will* make a difference in what you can do down the road.

7 Steps You Should Always Take to Promote Your Blog Post

Photo courtesy of Freepik

You write an amazing piece of targeted content, hit publish, share it a few times on social media, rinse and repeat.

Ever wonder why your posts never end up having much reach?

Even brands with an established blogging audience can’t get their content viewed and shared with that strategy.

Getting views and shares involves a whole lot more than writing awesome content and putting it out there for people to see.

A quick Google search will tell you there are hundreds of ways to promote your blog posts, but some strategies are more valuable than others. Here are 7 steps you should take to promote your blog post, every time.

The Real Dynamic Duo: Email Marketing and Dynamic Segmentation

Holy alliterative descriptor, Batman!

The Dynamic Duo will always be Batman and Robin for some. They fight crime. They wear tights. They drive some epically cool vehicles. They’re dynamic alright.

Dynamic segmentation, on the other hand, may not be as flashy as the Caped Crusader and his colourful sidekick, but it can be just as powerful. Nay! More powerful. It could take on the Joker, the Penguin, and Two-Face all at once…metaphorically speaking.

But what is it exactly, and why is it so crucial to your success in 2016? In the immortal words of Bette Davis:

“Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

Or morning, or mid-afternoon. Whenever you’re reading this, really. And it won’t be so much bumpy as informative and helpful…but “it’s going to be an informative and helpful night” just doesn’t have the same ring.

How to go from 0 to 21.5 million users in 8 years through Content Marketing. (yes, YOU CAN achieve this)

Photo courtesy of Freepik

[Editor’s note] This is a guest blog post by Cristian Rennella of El Mejor Trato. El Mejor Trato provides comparisons for financial products like loans, mortgages and credit cards in central and south america. Renella and a friend started the company in Argentina in 2008 and have grown it to several dozen employees and over 20 million uniques in the past 8 years.  He tells us how he did it here. Please be sure to ask any questions in the comments below.

When we began our business venture in 2008, the goal was simple: help the user to make a better decision by using the internet to compare all available services. Similar Expedia or Priceline but focused on loans, cell phone plans, medical and other types of insurance, etc.

As perhaps you have experienced first hand, if you have your own start-up and you have programmers working for you, developing the platform and the technology has its own measure of challenges which generally take up most of your time in the first months. Once a minimum viable product has been obtained, the error of all rookie entrepreneurs is to think that success is guaranteed. However, this is just the first step.

Your next goal is based on designing a scalable process in order to gain new clients and this is where content marketing comes into play, with which I would like to share 4 points for you to implement:

The Complete Guide to Building Audience Buckets

Photo courtesy of Freepik

Remember the olden days of digital marketing when it was enough just to have email segments? This was the same golden era when having a mobile site was considered advanced and SEO was a magical black box.

Today, personalization and segmentation is expected by your superiors, your peers, and even your customers. They know when they’re added to the “spray and pray” marketing list and will unsubscribe before you have a chance to get to know them.

This is a huge challenge for marketers: how do you segment visitors if they don’t have history with the site? The answer lies within the audience buckets you create. When you understand your site the general population of your visitors, you’re able to predict their buying behavior and eventually market to new audiences with desired results.

Let’s rewind and start with the basics: how should you segment your audiences?

When Nursery Rhymes Lie: Words CAN Hurt You

Photo courtesy of pakphoto/Depositphotos.com

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Remember that one from childhood? Useful anytime someone had the audacity to toss verbal ninja stars at us…but turns out it was false! Words most definitely can hurt you.

Using certain words could be having a negative impact on your online performance. To paraphrase Napoleon from Animal Farm:

“All words are created equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Deciding on which words to use – and which to actively NOT use – can be the difference between ranking well in the search engines, and languishing in obscurity (using keywords for SEO). Between a successful pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, and throwing your money away (using keywords for advertising). Words, words, words. If the pen is truly mightier than the sword, we must carefully choose our weapons.

And with 12 billion monthly searches in the United States alone, there’s a lot of words out there for the plucking. Grab yours.

Evolution of the Beast: Content Marketing in 2016

Photo courtesy of Freepik

Content has been king for a few years now, but is it still lord of the manor, queen of the castle, um…duke of the duchy (okay, that last one is a bit of a stretch)? The short answer? Yes. The slightly longer answer? Yes, but…

“Content” is changing. It’s a living, breathing animal, but like any beast (and let’s face it, content marketing is a beast), it evolves over time. It’s not just blog posts and a Facebook Page anymore.

Content?

But before we open it up and play doctor, we need to define a few things. What exactly do we mean by content, and content marketing? What’s the difference between inbound and outbound marketing? What do you call the foam on a glass of beer? And what the heck is the day after tomorrow? These are the things we need to know moving forward.

Content Marketing

Creating and distributing valuable, useful, and consistent content to attract a defined audience and achieve a specific goal. The term didn’t really take off until early 2012, but it’s witnessed steady growth since then.

According to an authority no less than Seth Godin

Content marketing is the only marketing left.

Sheesh. If that’s not enough to keep content awake at night, nothing will.

Swipe files: Everything You Need to Know About The Copywriter’s Secret Weapon

Photo courtesy of koctia/Depositphotos.com

“Good Artists Copy. Great Artists Steal”- Pablo Picasso

Steve Jobs, who attributed this saying to Pablo Picasso, embodied this concept as a core philosophy in his construction of the mega-brand Apple has become today. What did Jobs find so endearing about this line?

The answer is Steve Jobs intuitively knew what all the great copywriters know: all great ideas start from a swipe file.

You might be thinking “But swiping sounds like plagiarizing…I don’t want to grow my business by stealing!”

That’s a perfectly valid concern. Which is why the first thing we’re going to cover is what a swipe file is versus what a swipe file isn’t. Then we will get into why a swipe file is important for your business, as well as how to build and use a swipe file.

13 Best Books for Creating & Running an Authority Blog

13 Best Books for Creating & Running an Authority Blog

Photo courtesy of Freepik

Blogging is easy.

It’s so easy, that millions of people are doing it. 

But building an audience and making money with your blog is, well, something entirely different. 

Since I began my first authority blog back in 2009, I’ve learned a lot. Both from the trenches and from dozens of books. 

In this post, I’ll share my favorite books for creating and running an authority blog. I’ve divided the books into four sections: business model, authority blogging, promotion, and content creation. 

Not sure where to begin? If you’re just starting your authority blog, see my top three recommendations at the end of the post.

Your Lucky 13 Roundup: Off-the-radar Marketing Services

Photo courtesy of Freepik

There’s an app for that. And that. And that. There are thousands of them. Some are useful, and some are not (I’m looking in your direction, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood). 

You know Buffer, and Hootsuite, Canva, and Salesforce (am I the only one who reads that to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”?). But there’s a digital plethora of lesser-known marketing services out there that are just as good – or better. Sadly though, they’re buried under several feet of marketing goodness that came before them.  

And that’s a shame because there’s some hidden gems. The ambitious among us will go digging. They’ll grab a shovel and roll up their sleeves. But the rest of us? We don’t have the time. Or the energy. Or the shovel.

But that doesn’t mean we’re not interested in them. So, consider me your spelunking guide, heading deep underground to find buried treasure on your behalf. I get dirty and chased by mole people while you reap the benefits.