Jan 13

A Service Professional’s “Newbie” Guide to Content Marketing

Understanding Content Marketing… In Less Than 5 Minutes

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the term “Content Marketing” but sometimes these industry buzzwords end up being quite meaningless to the people who need to understand them the most.

In this case, anyone who is in business needs to understand what this term means.

So at the risk of using “industry jargon” and not make any assumptions that all entrepreneurs and business owners know what this term means, plus why they should know about it to begin with, today’s article will shed some light on the content marketing subject.

What is Content Marketing?

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as being a “strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

What this means to you is the need to create articles, images, audios and/or videos that can be shared to your followers through various means, with the intention of attracting your ideal target market so they will eventually convert into being a paying customer.

And once that content is created, then it can be re-purposed and re-distributed again as a new form of media.

For instance, I post a video eTip on YouTube but it doesn’t stop there. l can then make a blog article out of it by embedding the video into the blog post. From there, I’ll send out a newsletter with a snippet to the same blog article.

But there’s still more that can be done. I can take things further and flush out a whole new article based on the premise of the video, providing a more in-depth look at that particular topic.

From there I could create quotables and tip snippets for social media where I use #eTip as my hashtag. Maybe there’s enough information to create an infographic from that article too. Or take the audio portion of that original video and post it as a podcast.

As you can see, there are many different ways one piece of content can be used and re-purposed. But first, let’s address why you should even bother going through that effort.

5 Benefits of Content Marketing

With the age of “relationship marketing”, content marketing is an ideal tool to attract paying clients in a non-evasive, non-selling manner, more authentic manner.

Here’s some benefits of adding content marketing to your business strategy:

1. Generate Brand Awareness and Visibility: Showcasing your expertise through content distribution is a great way to get in front of your ideal target market and begin to build brand awareness every time someone views your pieces.

2. Build a “Know, Like and Trust” Factor With Followers: People buy from people they trust and there’s no better way to gain trust than by sharing your knowledge through your own voice, no matter what industry you’re in.

3. Set The Stage for Converting Followers into Purchasers: Some people need to see or hear about your many times before they start to think about hiring you. By providing them a tonne of value gives them peace of mind you are in business for their best interest, not yours, and are more likely to purchase from you.

4. Create Brand Advocates: Existing clients (and some that aren’t) can be your best advocates if you give them an opportunity to share your content to their followers. The more they share, the more your brand awareness escalates.

5. Build Repeat Business: A great way to stay top of mind for your existing clients is to continually reach out to them in the form of offering further value that they will find useful. This will make it easier for them to remember you the next time they need you again or know of someone who does.

The Challenges to Content Marketing

When I speak about content marketing with clients, one of the biggest areas of resistance to implementation is the amount of time that is required. It’s time consuming to not only create the content in the first place, but to also distribute the content.

I remember watching a video from an incredible content marketer, Gary Vaynerchuk, who had mentioned it may take him an hour to write a piece of content but another 5 hours to distribute it. But that’s exactly how he built his empire – through content marketing.

A challenge that I face is keeping track of all my content marketing efforts. There are several tools that can help with this, and I find using an Excel sheet works well where I track each post and where it has been distributed.

These challenges may seem daunting to begin incorporating content marketing strategies for your business, but the benefits really can have a huge impact on your bottom line, so it’s well worth the effort.

And don’t think you have to do all of this by yourself either. We do a lot of social media and content marketing for clients so outsourcing is a definite viable option to consider.

Where to Start

The first thing you need to do is create content. Seems obvious but the real question is, what kind of content? My advice is to focus on your blog.

Since writing articles for your blog has so many benefits, such as SEO positioning, these efforts will get you the biggest bang for your buck (a.k.a. your time).

Begin by writing an article and posting it to your blog. Then think about ways you can distribute that article to get it in front of your ideal target market.

Here’s a brief list:

– Your Facebook page

– Twitter

– LinkedIn

– Pinterest

– Google+

– Instagram (and other social media accounts you might have)

– Article repository sites

– Medium and LinkedIn Articles (formerly known as LinkedIn Pulse)

There are many others but this is enough to get you going.

Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Jan 13

Importance of a Website for Your Business

Having a business website is extremely important whether you are just starting your business or you are already running a company for some time. In modern time, people expect that any reasonable company must have its own website. Not having a website will not only miss several sales, but it also gives a negative impression about your company.

Always keep in mind that your competitors have an online presence and they are expanding their business by using the power of the internet. Therefore, to compete and to maximize your business share, having a high-quality business website is mandatory.

Online presence is not essential only for large businesses, even small firms should have their website to survive and grow. Millions of users surf the web daily to get their desired products or services. Too many people buy online and if you don’t have a website, you’ll surely miss several valuable clients. There are web surfers who want to get more information about your company, the products and services you are offering, your office timings and so on. You can consider your website as an online sales representative, which is available seven days a week, round the clock. The website never goes on vacation and it always remains available constantly advertising your business.

The company website is a customer service representative, which keeps on answering various questions about your business, promoting your new offers and providing the necessary details to your clients. As a result, you receive fewer phone calls in your office because your website is regularly answering various questions related to your business. This allows your staff to focus on other valuable issues.

Make sure your website is properly communicating the image or business message you want to convey. Try to keep it easy to navigate so that the visitors can easily get their required information. Your website is such a useful tool, which increases your sales and decreases cost. The number of online shoppers is regularly increasing, therefore it’s really important to have a website available so that people can buy directly from your website. Make sure that a shopping cart is available to give convenient and smooth online shopping experience.

Your website enables you to get clients from all over the world. The single website promotes your business throughout the world and you can get unlimited customers if you have a well-managed website. You can add the contact form to your website, which generates countless useful leads. Additionally, site visitors can subscribe to your company newsletter. This allows you to send your message to millions of subscribers within minutes.

You can post any news, messages or information related to your business on your website and all this stuff is available to all the valuable clients, vendors and site visitors immediately after posting. Adding the address of your website to your business cards and email signatures will help a lot in constantly promoting your website and your business.

In short, your business website is a tremendous tool, which promotes your business, respond to queries and generate sales. It is extremely helpful and brings fruitful results.

Jan 13

Top Internet Money Making Ideas To Choose From

Does the corporate world bore you already? Are you thinking of quitting but do not have a plan how to earn an income? Does your current 9-5 job punish you every day? The internet has a lot of ways and ideas to give you in order to earn money for a living.

You’ll find many suggestions on online business opportunities. Some are legit and some are suspect. You need to be able to assess them with a logical mind to be able to filter out the ones that don’t deserve your attention. If you want something that has the potential to give you an income big enough to allow you to give up your day job, consider the following ideas for an Internet business.

1. Online selling – You can set up an e-commerce site or even just sell through places like eBay and Etsy. You can source your merchandise from other people or simply make your own items to sell.

2. Affiliate marketing – You’ll be marketing other people’s products or services and earning through commission. You can use your email, blog, and other social media to tap into this opportunity.

3. Online consultation service – Do you consider yourself an authority in an industry or niche with the necessary expertise and experience to dole out coaching or advice and be paid for it? If you do, this could be a great gig for you.

4. Network marketing – Now, don’t jump to conclusions. This opportunity got some bad press when pyramid schemes came to light. Network marketing is a legitimate business opportunity that involves actual goods like health products from Amway or 4Life. A pyramid scheme, on the other hand, is simply a money game. You can basically use the Internet to recruit people for your downline as well as sell products.

5. Online franchise – Whether you’ll be providing a service or selling products, this is a solid investment idea with an established name, system, and support as its primary edge.

6. Stock photos – If you have an eye of a photographer then you can venture in selling your photos to legit stock/photo websites. The earnings are not guaranteed high in the beginning the process is promising in the long run.

Whatever opportunity you end up choosing, be prepared to invest time and effort in it. In some cases, some capital may be necessary, too. At any rate, your commitment and dedication would be paramount to the success of your online venture.

Jan 13

Some Tips To Keep In Mind While Registering Your Domain Name

Here are a few tips and considerations for you to keep in mind when it comes to domain name registration. Remember, once you settle on a domain name, it is going to be very expensive and difficult to change it.

Keyword or business name?

There are advantages and disadvantages of going with both these choices.

A keyword will rank better with search engines since it is relevant to the product or service you are offering. A visitor will most probably click on domain names which describe what they’re looking for as opposed to a brand which they may or may not have heard about. Keyword domains are great for websites which are dedicated to a particular theme or product. The only problem with keyword domains is that they are going to be very hard to register since most of the good ones are already taken. Also, they aren’t ideal if you are selling multiple products or are looking at enhancing your business further in the future which would make the keyword irrelevant.

When you register your domain name as a business, it means that you can choose to offer additional products or services or change what you are already offering. It’s easier to find a memorable name too which will help a lot with your brand’s recognition.

Keeping it simple

No matter what you choose to go with, remember to always keep it as simple as possible. If you decide to make your domain name too confusing, visitors might not be able to relate with it and that is never good for business.

Stay away from numbers

When you use a number in your domain name, people will not be able to figure out whether you’re using the actual number of are spelling it out. This certainly isn’t simple. So try and stay away from numbers in your domain name.

Location

If you’re running a business that is in a specific geographical location, try and include the location in the domain name too. But do not include it if it is going to make it too complicated.

Trademarks

When selecting a domain name it is important for you to first check and confirm that the name hasn’t been trademarked by someone else already. This’ll save you from a lot of unnecessary trouble down the line.

Some final tips:

• Do not use hyphens in your domain name as they can be forgotten easily and do not rank very well as far as search engines are concerned.

• Stick to.com domains since people remember these ones quicker than anything else.

• Keep your domain name as concise and short as you can. The longer the name, the harder it is to remember and the more than chances of it being spelt incorrectly.

• Don’t just register the domain name you want. Register a number of variations of the name as well. This will prevent others from registering names that are similar to yours. It doesn’t cost too much. And you can re-direct all of them so that they land on your website.

Jan 13

Building Creative Domain Names

It is now equally important to have creative domain names, as it is to include elements such as keywords and or regions. If you have enough potential where your business becomes big enough to be a brand, this is no longer a concern, but for most SMB, this is far from the case.

With the evolution of the web, and less emphasis being placed on domains with keywords, website owners are now allowed a much wider degree of flexibility and creativity, when designing or composing domain names. Although it was once believed to be an advantage if your domain reflected your business, many of the creative domain names provide no indication of what the business does.

This is an ongoing trend, with the development of what are termed wordoids, or made up words with no meaning. Wordoids are short words with no more than ten letters and there are highly suited for use as a creative domain names because they are short and very easy to remember.

The search engines operators are behind the efforts to level the playing field, and place less emphasis on domains names. However, there are still several tools available to help you choose the best available domain name, as it be an important part of your online business identity. It is not uncommon to find that someone has already registered the name of your offline business, and there is not much that be be done without costs.

There are several sites that can help generate creative domain names, and these can be extremely useful as they will search the web to find the ones that are still available. The process is simple, as you can enter a few responses to queries that are used as seeds.

What is your site about? Where is your business located?
The program then searches all of the accredited registrars, and eliminates the names that are already registered, and produces combinations of the same names with different extensions. Suggestions may include names with prefixes, and or suffixes.

The truth is that there are now so many different variations available for the use of creativity with domains, and there is no longer any advantage associated with having a .com extension, and opportunities are unlimited.

The options include gTLDs or generic Top Level Domains, country top level domains known as ccTLDs, and unlimited domain extensions and even internationalized domains. There are pros and cons associated with the selection of particular domain types, and there may be restrictions associated with the use.

The .org extension was originally designed for use by non-profit organizations, but it is often left to the registrars to enforce guidelines, and as a result of a lack of enforcement or availability, some non-profits organizations have registered sites with extensions other than .org. The potential is available to extract much value from meaningless names.

Jan 13

Affordable Domain Names for Your Ecommerce Website

An on-line presence is very essential for any kind of business: it is probably the most cost efficient type of advertising currently available. Numerous small businesses use the web to sell their services and products while many businesses do not actually see the web as a market. No matter what you’d like to do, inform your customers or sell products on-line, you need to know several Web site basics in order to attain success. Fundamentally there are two main types of web sites! informative and commercial. If you are only starting out, dependent on the nature of one’s company, you will either plan an educational web site meant to attract and encourage customers to ask the services or you will develop a professional web site that will sell your products online.

Some entrepreneurs create web sites which are educational and commercial, especially when they might like to encourage products which are new in the marketplace or that could bring significant advantages to the users. Overall, the Web is a marketplace and an internet site. Your most important on-line promotional tool. As a matter of fact, you must first pick a name for the domain and book that domain name. The cost of domain name varies with domain registrar and you can get cheap or affordable domain names too there, but try to avoid free domain name, which is not good for ecommerce websites. This name must be strongly associated to your business and simple to recall. Avoid long, hard domain names like! Allideasforpartydesignuk dot com or names which say nothing about your company like frght88 dot net. Again free hosting isn’t an option for serious on-line businesses.

There are lots of companies offering reliable website hosting services. If you are serious about on-line business you should select a reliable hosting company, one which offers 24 hour support and has an excellent standing. You will design your web site according to these documents. If you hire a pro, make sure she or he can design your site respecting your visual identification recommendations, the World Wide Web Consortium requirements and create the internet search engine optimised pages. Promoting your web site requires a long term marketing plan. You need to take in consideration all possible on-line marketing possibilities: from basic internet submission to PPC, submission in paid directories, news release and article submissions, web blogging and posting in forums, choose-in e-mail marketing and so forth. You will need to help keep your web site actual, or else you will lose significant points in the SERP and the visitors may be considered irrelevant, uninteresting as well as not worth another visit. Well, these are most key elements influencing your on-line success. Each element has its significance and will play a significant role to establish your site presence and usability.

Jan 13

Business Blogging and Its Benefits

Business Blogging is basically a marketing technique where blogging is used as a means to get the business more online visibility. In business blogging, the blog posts are about a particular subject matter which is related to the business. For example, if a company has launched some new products then they might write about it in blogs using all the social media like Facebook or Twitter, Emails. The business blog will talk about everything related to the business which will benefit them.

Business blogs helps in making your website a valuable marketing asset. Business blogging is a great way to create opportunities to get your website being found by the people that you want to find it in order to attract new customers.

Business Blogging is even beneficial for small business owners. Blogging on a regular basis will drive more traffic to your website and will also attract more perspective customers. All the small businesses that have a blog claim that they sure get customers from there. There are a lot of benefits of having a business blog. Let’s take a look at some of them.

• Helps develop relationship with existing and potential customers. Blogging allows a way to connect with your customers virtually. You can do so by asking certain questions at the end of the blog post or by simply asking for their comments or feedback. By responding to customers feedback you create a rapport with your audience and make them trust you. This way the customer knows that their feedback is valuable. They are comfortable in presenting their needs to you.

• Boosts Search Engine Optimisation. When you blog consistently, you give Search Engines new content to index and by using SEO friendly keywords you increase your visibility on search engine results pages. When your content appears on the first page of the searched results, you can be sure that your content will be viewed by a larger number of people.

• Creates more opportunities of sharing. By blogging, more opportunities are created where your blogs will be shared by your audience to others. They might share the blog by tweeting it or mailing it to others. This way your business creates a goodwill and you emerge as a good business.

Blogging requires minimal expense and just a bit of effort. By this you can increase traffic for your website and create a friendly relationship with your customers. If you don’t have the time to do so, you can easily hire skilled people to write for you which will boost your search engine rankings.

Jan 13

Importance of a Website for Your Business

Having a business website is extremely important whether you are just starting your business or you are already running a company for some time. In modern time, people expect that any reasonable company must have its own website. Not having a website will not only miss several sales, but it also gives a negative impression about your company.

Always keep in mind that your competitors have an online presence and they are expanding their business by using the power of the internet. Therefore, to compete and to maximize your business share, having a high-quality business website is mandatory.

Online presence is not essential only for large businesses, even small firms should have their website to survive and grow. Millions of users surf the web daily to get their desired products or services. Too many people buy online and if you don’t have a website, you’ll surely miss several valuable clients. There are web surfers who want to get more information about your company, the products and services you are offering, your office timings and so on. You can consider your website as an online sales representative, which is available seven days a week, round the clock. The website never goes on vacation and it always remains available constantly advertising your business.

The company website is a customer service representative, which keeps on answering various questions about your business, promoting your new offers and providing the necessary details to your clients. As a result, you receive fewer phone calls in your office because your website is regularly answering various questions related to your business. This allows your staff to focus on other valuable issues.

Make sure your website is properly communicating the image or business message you want to convey. Try to keep it easy to navigate so that the visitors can easily get their required information. Your website is such a useful tool, which increases your sales and decreases cost. The number of online shoppers is regularly increasing, therefore it’s really important to have a website available so that people can buy directly from your website. Make sure that a shopping cart is available to give convenient and smooth online shopping experience.

Your website enables you to get clients from all over the world. The single website promotes your business throughout the world and you can get unlimited customers if you have a well-managed website. You can add the contact form to your website, which generates countless useful leads. Additionally, site visitors can subscribe to your company newsletter. This allows you to send your message to millions of subscribers within minutes.

You can post any news, messages or information related to your business on your website and all this stuff is available to all the valuable clients, vendors and site visitors immediately after posting. Adding the address of your website to your business cards and email signatures will help a lot in constantly promoting your website and your business.

Jan 13

How to Find Business Partners to Increase Your Online Business Success

If you are a solopreneur – there’s just you in your business – you will need help from other businesses of some kind. You’ll need advertising materials, a website, a delivery system (depending on your niche) and so on.

Few people have the knowledge to perform all those services for themselves. The solution is to find providers for each specific niche that you need within the online B2B Marketplace.

You may need additional money for your business. There again, locating business partners through business networks is the solution.

Let us say you want to create an E-commerce store selling your hand-painted pottery. You could hire someone to build a custom-coded website for you (using a provider from such B2B Marketplace sites as Fiverr or Upwork (which has absorbed ODesk and Elance) and Guru.com.

Or you could partner with companies that offer “associate” programs in your niche. For example, you can create an e-commerce store on eBay, to sell anything you like from your own books to used books, tools, jewelry, sporting equipment and so on. You could also partner with Amazon.com, or BarnesandNoble.com.

Other global companies offer affiliate opportunities. Basically, they will pay you to create a business presence online in order to help them market their goods and services. How can you find these affiliate opportunities? Join a business networking site, and learn from those who already participate in such programs.

Using freelance marketplace portals to find talented individuals is one form of business partnering, but it is in an on-demand basis. You use these individuals only as you need them, and the portal that provides their services. Since freelancers work for a variety of people, they may not be available the next time you need them, so you have to find a new provider.

Finding business partners outside of these marketplace portals, that you can partner with officially, solves this difficulty.

For example, shipping costs from one country to another country can be prohibitive unless you “drop-ship”, meaning you send your product to a partner in another country, and that company stores the product and sends it out as needed to people in-country who order the product.

People, or companies, who offer such services can be found on B2B Marketplace sites.

To find these B2B Marketplace sites, simply do a web search on that term. Then, simply search through the results to find a site that offers business services in your particular niche. A B2B Marketplace site is in essence a business network, and networking is the key to expanding your business into the global market.

Business partners located in different areas around the world can also help you advertise your business, in particular your e-commerce business and make it known throughout the world.

Jan 13

The More You Think About Money The More You Make

He who thinks consistently about a thing will usually tend to grow towards that thing, whether it be riches, poverty, love, hate or anything else under the sun. Have you ever noticed how when sometimes you are just thinking about somebody, they will call or send you a message. Or at times just when you are thinking about something that you need, that thing will show up? In the Jamaican culture, when one more people are talking about another person in a good or bad way and that person suddenly appears in front of you, it is now a common superstition that this person will live long. It is a common superstition which is a sign that this occurrence is far from rare.

This same idea holds true for the appearing of money. The more you begin to think about money, the more money will come your way. First you begin to think about gaining money, then you might consider how you don’t have any money. Then you might begin to think about how you can gain more money. Then concrete plans begin to form in your mind about how you can gain money or somehow money may just come your way out of no where. This has happened to me countless times, and I mean thousands of dollars, or even a job. All when I have held a keen focus on money.

It is all logical, just think about it, if you sat down one evening and decided that you were going to make pancakes for breakfast, then the whole night, you envisioned the pancakes; you saw the pancakes in your imagination, you smelt the smell of the syrup and the butter on top of the pancakes and then you tasted the combination of the pancakes, melted butter and syrup in your mouth. The next morning when you go to the store there is a 99% chance that you will be picking up pancake mix at the store or before you even get to the store, you might just end up going for breakfast because you want pancakes as soon as possible. It is the same thing with money, if you decide to have it rest on your mind for a long period of time,rest assure you will soon amass more money.However, there is something more.

It was the great Henry Ford who once said ” If one thinks they can’t or thinks they can’t, they’re both probably right”. What he meant is that the contents of your thoughts is what determines your reality, your thoughts are the tool that shapes your reality. So, just know it is not enough to just think about money you also need to think positively about money.

When you spend, don’t think that it is your last, but instead think that there is much more to come in the near future. When you look at your account and don’t see much there, close your eyes and envision that there will be much there soon. The idea is that you must have a good and upbeat relationship with this thing called money. Your connection to money must be positive no matter what the circumstance. You could be poor now, or from a broken home, it doesn’t matter, when it comes to money and success period, let your thoughts of money be positive.

There is a story about two brothers whose father was a drunk. One of these boys grew up to be a drunk just like his father and the other grew up to be rich and successful with mansions, cars and land. When asked individually as to how they both reached their stations. In life, they both had the same answer but different perspectives. The drunkard said “my father was a drunk so I had no choice (to be a drunk)”. The rich one said, “my father was a drunk so I had no choice (to be rich)”.

This story just goes to show you that it is the contents of your mind; your thoughts which will determine your destiny, especially when it comes to money. The people who are the most positive about money, are the ones who gain the most of it. And if you will start to think positively about money today and be one of these people, you will find much more in your pockets in the near to distant future.

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