Business

Selling The Dream | Bizzebee

Selling The Dream

  • November 20 , 2013

Today I write this post off the back of a long night of thinking. Sometimes you have to just write when there are things on your mind, and it so happens that what’s on my mind is relevant to people who have online businesses, or want to start an online business, OR bring their business online.

Bizzebee is not where my efforts and attentions are focused 100% of the time, I want them to be, but reality right now is that Bizzebee is relatively new and still VERY much in a start up mode – that doesn’t cover the people behind it, we are all VERY experienced across the board- just our coming together as a unit is still relatively new.

I know I usually write about all things related to Social Media, but please just go with me on this post – because I think it’s relevant.

We are working on a complete set up for you:

Free content – the blog, an absolute powerhouse of content that is designed to help and take “some” of the hard work out of running an online business for you – we’ve researched, made the mistakes, learned from them and found solutions, to save you time.

We’ve made ourselves readily available and transparent – we know we need to forge relationships (how do you think we all came together in the first place?) with you all – because without that you won’t believe us, let along buy into what we want to make happen. How are we available – in SO many ways, our Google group (yes you can contact us at ANY time) Facebook, Twitter, G+ community, LinkedIn group – at any ONE time, one of us is available – and we are more than happy to answer your questions without wanting anything from you.

For those of you who want to go that bit farther and take your business to the next level, we are creating a membership / subscription based part to the Bizzebee community that for a small fee you can access the complete package. What does the complete package contain? A more in depth and detailed look at all of the things you need to do to bring your business into the modern day web based world.

We aren’t selling you the dream – None of us are driving rented fast cars taking you to an office that doesn’t exist and walking you around a house that we don’t own (one day, if any of the above are true, then we will happily show you it for real!) There are SO many people out there who do that, and they charge you a small fortune to sell you the secrets of making money online.

REALITY CHECK !!!!

There are no “secrets” to making money online – Here I’m about to dispel the biggest myth out there!!  – YOU HAVE TO WORK AT IT!  People who claim to sell the secrets as to how they made $7000 in 30 days are fake / scammers / not real – yes I’m tarring them all with the same brush, because it fits. By giving up $100 (actually $97, and there’s a reason for that too – it’s the myth your getting it cheaper than the round figure – which you are but who’s going to argue over 3 bucks?)

I could name and shame a SERIOUS amount of people, schemes and business owners who do nothing more than take your money and give you a load of less than valuable “videos” that leave you nothing more than baffled, whilst they are 100 bucks up – ok well $97 up – as an example.

It’s the dream, you are seeing their “lifestyle” and you think well if they are doing this, then I can have the same if I do that too, so you part with the money.

In order to do that, you need to sell the dream ….. Selling The Dream | Bizzebee

You aren’t giving people the tools or the skills to bring their ideas to life or move their existing business forwards.

Off the top of my head there are membership blogging sites that charge you per month to have a blog – around the $25 mark, which you can actually build and host yourself for less than $10 a month – with up sells too that can go up to around $1500 a month – which if you researched well you could access for free or for a fee of around $40 a month at a credible site.

Then there are mentoring courses where you pay out like $67 to gain access and apply to be mentored by someone, again with up sells that can cost you easily a few hundred dollars a month.

Seriously you need to ask yourself this – if you REALLY are offering mentoring courses to people and you are a market leader in your field, surely your time is worth more than that, and how can you mass mentor people? The deal with a mentor is that it’s specialised and detailed, so how on earth can you mass mentor? You can’t – well not if you want to do it well!

Question it, question EVERYTHING – do your homework, make a point of getting to know the people who are selling their ideas and experience to you. What gives me the authority to comment / advise on this – I’ve had my fingers burnt in the past, and I also know the respected people who are doing it right. 

On the flip side of it, I feel I need to give you some more “inside” information – this is the stuff the experts don’t tell you when they are driving their cars they don’t own!

Developing a membership site takes time, putting something together than can potentially change people’s lives is hard work.

We’ve anticipated the HIVE to be ready way before it actually is going to be.

In a team people have different skill sets – its actually a good thing, some people will work tirelessly in the start up part of a project like we are setting up because their skills are the web design or video training, and then there are others in a team who have the site management role – well until the site is built and ready there’s not a great deal to manage, and then there’s the sales team. Lets not pretend Bizzebee is anything other than a business, because it is – but it’s a business with a difference. Our goal is not to take lots of money from you, if that was believe me we would have launched the Hive weeks ago and charged you a small fortune for it too! Nope, we’re being pedantic about it, and we’re going to deliver something that is going to HELP you if you want to put in the hard work for a reasonable monthly / one time fee.

Have we sat there as a team and wondered ‘is this worth it’ of course we have – so many times and motivation levels between the team have their highs and lows – that’s human nature. It’s not always sunshine and lollipops; if it were well we’d all be laughing with our iPads on our Hammocks in Costa Rica sunning ourselves.

I personally believe that in putting together this community for you that has many layers is actually making Sam, Andi, John, Matt, Miz & I better business people – and if you ever get to speak to any of us (which I hope you do) All of us will tell you that lots of late nights, a few frustrations and long debates later we don’t want to sell the dream, we want to help you build the dream, and that is what makes us different.

Clair 🙂

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business FI

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business

  • November 18 , 2013

Today I would like to introduce you all to Bert, Bert is my new friend, he helped me change a pull light switch in my house.Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business Bert

You might be interested to know that I have never met or spoken to Bert but after his help, I would consider using his services if I lived in or around Watford or London.

So if I have never met or spoken to him how can he have helped me and why would I consider using his services? Let me explain…

For those of you who are unaware, I have this week moved back into my old house after renting it out for a couple of years to people who have been less than caring to the property. It was left in a sad and sorry state, the type of state that meant we couldn’t just move back in once the tenants had moved out.

I have spent the last fortnight working hard to get it back to an acceptable and habitable standard so that my better half and I could move back in. There are some big jobs to do over the next year or so but I have done enough for us to now live comfortably without worry. I left a few minor jobs to do once I was in and one of those jobs was to change the pull switch that controlled the bathroom light.

I fitted the original switch a few years ago but now it was broken and hanging loose. I thought this would be a simple five minute job so I popped off to the local B&Q to get a new switch and gathered all of the tools I would need. I spent 20 years in the building trade but I am not electrician and rarely touched electrics but I can manage straight swaps of electrical sockets etc.

So anyway I decided to take a quick look at the instructions and double check that I knew what I was doing and, let’s just say, I confused myself. The diagram made no sense to me so knowing that I had done it before I decided to turn the power off and start the work; I mean, I did it before so how hard can it be?

**(Time to point out that when you create diagrams or instructions of your products or services it is well worth remembering that many of your customers may be novices and beginners so you should make them as clear and understandable as possible to everyone and not just the experts!) I recommend reading Sell Results Not Specifications**

When I opened up the old switch I saw two red cables going into separate terminals. Now I am used to seeing a red and black cable being used with corresponding cables connecting to them via the terminals.

This light switch however wasn’t wired up like that so I was even more confused, I decided to get out my mobile phone and do a Google search using the phrase ‘how to fit a pull switch’ In the results on the first page was a YouTube video by Bert TV.

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business Results This was just what I needed, so I took a look.

The video is 4 minutes long and is in my opinion very professionally made. It is extremely useful and also quite funny. Bert has a great comical and lovable persona and it is helped with the well planned video with accompanying graphics. You can see for yourself below.

Bert, if that is his real name, has his own electrics company and he also has his own website which I think is brilliant because it does everything I believe a small business website should do. It has a lot of information about Bert and you get to know the man, his history, his skills, qualifications and how far he will travel to work. Bert worked at Buckingham Palace as well as on a Cruise ship and Honk Kong’s international airport. He certainly knows his stuff.

What is great about the videos that Bert has recorded for YouTube is that he has made them fun, useful and has also included an annotation box that appears during the film showing his phone number that you can call if you need any help.

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business 1

Also what is important is that his video finishes with the details of his website so that people can go straight there for more details.

Now I am miles away from London so I doubt I will ever use his services but he is really doing something that all offline businesses should be doing and that is using free tools like YouTube to get new customers. Now we here at bizzebee know that 100 electricians cannot all rank their ‘how to fit pull switches’ videos on the front page of Google however you can use local SEO techniques to help you.

Google not only give different results to different people they are also monitoring where many people are and what they search for. Is it coincidence that after I looked at Bert’s London and Watford based electrician website that when I did a search for ‘local electricians’ I was shown results for London and Watford area?

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business Local Results I am currently writing this in Lincolnshire, miles away from Watford and yet I have a Watford/London result. Interesting, it could be that Google think I am in London but I have never worked in London for a long period of time. Before moving back to Lincolnshire I was below London living in Surrey on the Hampshire border so even then my local results should not have been for London.

As far as I am aware, Google should know from my IP address that I am at least 180 miles further up north!

To take advantage of this you can create a series of videos for your business whatever it may be and included local keywords like ‘Lincoln electrical’ ‘Boston Cup Cakes’ or ‘Gainsborough Carpenter and Joiner’ in your video titles or descriptions. Using local based keywords on your website will certainly benefit you when people search for businesses in your area.

Search engines like Google will pick up on them and if you have a YouTube channel that also uses the same localised keywords that links to your main website you have a greater chance of being chosen for their search results over people who simple have a website. If you were still unaware, Google own YouTube, using their video service can help you in their search results.

Remember, YouTube is free to use as are many of the other popular social media networks. In fact, YouTube is no longer considered as a social media network but a search engine in its own right. People use it to search for videos of anything and everything and I, like countless million other users, will use it to search for videos showing you how to do things.

My better half has used it many times when looking for information and tutorials when she wants to cook or bake something different. She is very creative and loves to bake and YouTube is an incredible source of information. You as a business are missing out if you do not use these free tools.

Have you ever seen a celebrity so many times that you think and feel that you know them? When that happens you generally trust them and all that they promote. You are likely to use the services and products they recommend. The same can happen when you use YouTube and create a lot of videos on a certain topic.

We have seen Bert and his electrics videos; I have seen plumbers doing the same with plumbing projects and other building trade based videos, after you have seen one or two great informative tutorials where would you go when you need new and different information on a new project? You would go to the people you already know. Wouldn’t you? I know I certainly do.

Having people coming to your videos week in and week out to see you bake cupcakes and muffins for example could easily have people coming to your shop and placing orders that you probably wouldn’t have got had you not made the tutorials.

On a final note, if you think making videos is a lot of work for one or two new clients let’s just stop and think about using YouTube alongside Facebook and Twitter which can have a lot of GEO specific followers. When you make a new video you simply share it so that your friends and followers can watch them, share them and comment. It makes sense to also share old videos now and then for new followers or to simply say ‘we are here still folks’

These tools are free and very powerful so if you are not using them for your offline business I need to ask… Why not?

Please share with us your thoughts, opinions and experiences about using YouTube and videos to get more custom to your offline business by commenting below.

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business

You Only Have Today | Bizzebee

You Only Have TODAY!

  • November 15 , 2013

This post is one of those posts designed to help out when you most need it. It’s slightly different to my usual Social Media topics I cover, but every now and then I like to throw a curveball to see how the readers react to things.

Business owners, especially new business owners, or those who are making changes to move their business forwards in a new direction can often find the struggle and challenges of making things happen a worry. It can affect your motivation and can often be the difference between making it and failing.

So I wanted to take a look at a few different scenarios, in which we look at 2 different ways of interpreting them – dependant on whether you approach them as a pessimist or an optimist. What I hope you will gain out of this post is the ability to look at daily {sometimes mundane} tasks in a different light – it’s this thought process that I hope you will then be able to use when you need it in business.

We all need a little direction, and often motivation – that motivation comes often as a result of someone challenging your own thought processes, and that’s exactly what we are about to do {I hope}

So the average person will wake up in the morning, get in the shower, clean your teeth, make breakfast, get dressed, drive to work, have their lunch – a sandwich,  come home, eat dinner, have a cup of tea, watch a movie, go to the local supermarket and do their weekly shop, collect their children from school – these are all EVERYDAY tasks that most people can relate too.

These are also daily tasks that we take for granted, some might even say BORING – and for sure “Mundane” That’s a direct result of society shaping thought patterns and beliefs.

When your iPhone or Android is dead, what do you do? You recharge it, and bring it back to life again; giving it power to do all the things you need it too (which is sooooo much more than it being a phone these days!)

Imagine if you could you recharge yourself each day, and plug yourself into the power that you need to make everyday count. Would you be happier? Achieve more? And be successful? ABSOLUTELY  – because you’ve trained your mind to approach “everyday” differently.

You have a choice each and every day.

You can stay as you are, which is where you think making breakfast is “one of those things you have to do” Or you can realize that you only have today, so you make everything in your daily life count toward you giving yourself more power each day to make things happen.

Simply speaking you need to have a look at the difference of being “out of battery” and unplugged and being “fully charged” from being plugged in when it comes to your beliefs and attitudes towards your daily life.

fall-down-seven-times-get-up-eight

Lets look at some examples:

Today is boring, everyday is boring, nothing I do is important, it’s just another day and it doesn’t matter if I don’t do anything today

You only have today – Yesterday is gone and tomorrow doesn’t exist yet–today the here and now. Everything you today counts towards tomorrow, and every day you live and appreciate is what creates your LIFE (you know the thing you look back on and remember) At any given time, one thought can change your life.

My life WILL always be this way, I just can’t see it getting any better, I can’t see it getting worse, but I sure as heck don’t see it changing. Period.

Life does change, you never know what is happening in the future, nobody can predict it, but if you realize that you ONLY HAVE TODAY and you act on that, then you can affect and shape it with your vision and how you approach your everyday life. Don’t live without intention – regretting not trying is worse than trying and failing.

I live for the weekend, I love Fridays, but I really dread Monday’s – work is a chore.

Work gives you purpose, it gives you structure. If you have the right attitude to work you feel pride and creativity – enjoying work is fulfilling – and that is what we need in life – fulfillment. We all need downtime, but too much of it and only ever focusing on Saturday and Sunday is a massive waste of your potential and also your life. At the end of the day most of us have to work to earn a living – we can either feel grateful we have that option or feel sorry for ourselves because of it.

Sometimes I’m late, today is nothing special so it doesn’t matter if I don’t dress appropriately, and honestly today I’m tired so I can’t give my all to today, and EVERYBODY procrastinates. Like I said, today is nothing special, so it doesn’t matter.

Ever heard the saying “dress the part” well there is so much truth in that. By dressing well you instantly feel important, like what you are doing matters – whether its for the office, the school run or the gym – by looking the part in those environments you feel better. If you don’t value your time enough, you don’t get enough done. Being late is a waste of your time – its precious remember, when you value your time, you are adding to your own level of belonging which affects how you feel about yourself. People get excited about putting in the extra effort – think about it – you get dressed up for weddings, nights out and you feel good because of that extra effort you make.

One day I will get my big break  – it has to happen I deserve it.

Behind EVERY big break, chance and opportunity is a long line of days that are ordinary – through consistency and persistence comes what you “deserve” nothing will ever fall in your lap – what steps have you taken today to get your big break?

If you look at life with the attitude of “you only have today” there is a massive power you can tap into –

You want social media growth – then spend a few minutes each day engaging with your audience. Doing this everyday will see steady growth happen over time.

Social media activity – A daily post that is consistent beats a barrage of posts all in one go, that is a FACT.

Blogging / Writing – By committing to writing something each day you are bettering your skills as a writer and over time you are creating a catalogue of information – which in turn could be a number of products you can adapt and repurpose

Product Creation – Do a little each day and you will see the progress, rather than do nothing for weeks on end and then hit it all in one go. Little and often and you don’t need to look for results, they will just appear in front of you.

Finally,

Don’t over think it, and don’t try to change everything all at once.

If you can only do a little bit of a task, then do it, but do it each day – those little bits add up over time

Pick something you’ve avoided and start working on it – give yourself 20 minutes a day to work on it – you will see the results over time

You can either live in the mundane everyday life or you can wake up and realize that you only have today – and today is all you need to change your future.

Clair

Five Free Giveaways to Build An Email List

  • November 13 , 2013

If you intend to make money online one of the first things you should do is start to build an email list. If you have not yet heard the saying ‘the money is in the list’ then you have had your eyes and ears shut, it is probably the first thing all internet marketers will tell you.

When you have an email list of people who are seriously interested in your websites niche then you can promote to them similar products and generate money. The bigger the list the more earning potential you have. If your list is made up from highly targeted people who are interested in the same niche as your website then you again increase the chances of selling them relevant products. So it is important that you try and build an email list of people who are only interested in your niche. So how do you do that?

Creating an email list is a simple process really; you give away something of value in exchange for a person’s email address. The idea is simple; convincing the stranger to hand over the email address is the hardest part. To get your site visitor to hand over the details you need to give them something of real value. Here are five of the best freebies you can use to generate leads for your email list.

1 Free Reports/eBooks – For years people were giving away free reports & eBooks, at one point it seemed everyone was giving away a free report, they became pretty thin and useless. Many were re hashed material found in hundreds of other reports or simple off the shelf reports made from PLR content. PLR means Private Label Rights; you buy the content and can then re use it as your own or as you please.

Reports and eBooks can be written by outsourcing the work to writers on sites like Elance or Odesk.com for reasonable prices. Ideally you want to create the best eBook you can crammed full of useful information that makes it worth the lead handing over their email details. The bigger and the better is the way forward.

2

Free Video/ Video Series – This is an excellent give away, if you know something that people will find helpful like SEO then you can create a video or a series of videos that are very easy to make and then offer them as a freebie in exchange for email details.

Screencast video tutorials are made by using software like Camtasia, this is pretty expensive but there are free online software like ScreenCast-O-Matic.com that allows you to create 15 minutes of free video.

Normally 15 minutes is long enough for video tutorials, you could record a long one in two parts and use free software like Windows Movie Maker to stitch the two halves together to make a longer video if required or for the incredible price of $15 you can use the full version of ScreenCast-O-Matic that allows you to record longer videos and edit them in the editing suite.

3Sales Page Templates/Themes -This is another popular freebie, if you have created a sales page that converts well like Zac Johnson did with his CPA sales pages you can give away the HTML template with images and headlines that can be easily edited with free HTML editing software like NVU.

If you haven’t been using any sales pages yourself you can always pay someone to create some based  on other popular pages and give them away or even have a WordPress child Theme modified to your own specification and give that away for free in exchange for name and email details.

Sales pages, templates and Themes help the newbie to get started; do you think people would not give you their email details to take you up on that helpful offer?

5-7 Day eCourse/Online Course – This is similar to the video course and can in fact use video tutorials as part of the course. For this you offer a short trading course over a set period of 5 or 7 days and you send the new sign up an email with a new part of the course.

The email can contain the course material or you can set the course material on pages on your website and then each email will contain the link to the next part online 4allowing the new subscriber to study the next section.

There are for’s and against’s with both methods, I personally prefer to have the course online and send the new subscriber to the online pages, you can do so much more on a website page than you can within an email. It is more acceptable to put more content on your website than cramming it all into an email and you can add affiliate offers to the online page easier.

Competition – This one is a really good one but also a very tricky one to pull off, you create a competition like ‘Win a Free Website’ where people who want to try and win have to hand over their email details to enter.

5The prize has to be chosen carefully, if you offer an iPad as a prize but your website is about healthy eating, it is very possible that your email list will have people on it who are not interested in your website content and only entered to try and win an iPad. These people will cost you money by being on your list and you will not make any money from them. So it is advised that you carefully pick a prize that is congruent with your website niche and content.

I know I don’t have to tell you but people like quality and value so the better the free product is the greater chance you have of getting people’s emails. Most websites hire a Custom Newsletters Service which is a free weekly series of tips, ideas and advice.

People have been known to sign up to newsletters with ease because they do not feel like they were bribed, it could be worth offering your free eBook or video series as a ‘Thank You’ for people signing up to your newsletter, this way it feels like a bonus and not a bribe, people like that.

Internet marketing has developed many ingenious techniques to manipulate people into handing over their names and email addresses and this has in turn created a lot of cynical people. With marketers promising the world then giving away poor quality freebies after they received the email, it can leave a sour taste in the sign ups mouth, but getting an email address by a non bribed sign up and giving them a quality thank you gift can have a very powerful effect on them. That is something I think you should consider while you are developing your free gift.

Please feel free to share, pin and tweet out the infographic below!

5 Free Giveaways Infographic

 

Business Cards Are Not Dead | Bizzebee

Business Cards Are NOT Dead!

  • November 6 , 2013

With the rise of the Internet and smart phones and tablets storing data, the more traditional “physical” ways of capturing data are often deemed void in today’s world.

However, I would like to politely and firmly disagree with such claims.

Granted, the need for the traditional printed marketing materials may have lessened with more people using online methods to advertise and connect with people, but one thing that has not lost it’s place or importance, in opinion and experience is the Business Card.

For those of you who don’t know my background, it comes from Printing and Graphic Design. My family have a printing business and I have a lot of involvement in the day to day running of this business, and only this morning we had a problem with some cards that were due to be printed, and it inspired me to write this post.

Ok, Business Cards – the FIRST and LASTING impression that ANYONE can leave with potential clients and future business contacts, but do they still have a valid place in the world now with the introduction of things like QR Codes which can take the same data and automatically save to your device?

On an average week for our medium sized printing company we print on about 4 runs per week, with 11 cards on each run, and we are one of many printing company’s in the UK that does the same.

That alone leaves me thinking that no matter how far forward we move with technology – QR codes, the linkedin card munch – people STILL value business cards as the most important marketing tool in their arsenal.

That said, there are good and bad ways of putting business cards together – and I am going to share 50 amazing Business Card design tips a little further down with you, but I also want to touch on some other things to consider with Business Card Printing before hand.

Business Cards Are Not Dead | Bizzebee
Vistaprint Budget Business Card Advert On Their Website

The fastest and most simple way to answer this question is to first answer this question

“Will you come into contact with ANYONE that you could potentially do business with?”

If you answer yes, then you need business cards.

Secondly – How important is the impression you leave with the person taking your card?

If you know that your business card is THE single most important physical reminder you can leave with someone (knowing they might come back to it / find your card later on down the line) then you will want to ensure what you are leaving with them is a true representation of what you stand for – so the design needs to be good, and so does the print quality of the card.

If costing is your biggest restraint, and you know you will work hard at relationship building with said person over different mediums  (email, skype, telephone, social media) then maybe you just need to leave a basic card that “does the job” so you don’t need to spend lots of money. Perhaps you are a business start up – money might not be readily available – there are printers online who can provide a fair service in this area.

Vistaprint is the most obvious and well known budget online printer, they offer an excellent range of low cost, in some cases FREE business cards – perfect for those out there who want some business cards to get by with.

Business Cards Are Not Dead | Bizzebee

Then you have the next level on online printers – MOO.com – slightly targeted at the client who really wants to leave a lasting impression of luxury and quality – and maybe stand out a little bit with their business, they are famously known for their MINI business cards (again a great way of standing out and leaving an impression – you card is different from every one else who leaves theirs)

Business Cards Are Not Dead | Bizzebee

Lastly the option you have is to support local business, and use a local printer to your town – something I personally prefer (even though my business is internet based) maybe I am biased because my family is your “local printer” what do you get with buying local and supporting local – a first class service, and people you know you can call directly and have a conversation with, the same people that you would want to tell all your friends about on Twitter for providing you a good service.

The local business is not the cheapest, but again not the most expensive in printing business cards, but the local business will deliver the service you expect for what you are paying. Business Cards Are Not Dead | Bizzebee

So like today when we went to print a full run of 11 cards our print operator noticed with his clever eye glass that the quality wasn’t the high level we would press pass for the client. We went back up to pre press department to check the original files, we noticed on one card that there was a problem when we converted the file, and the other card’s design just didn’t work when it went from screen to print. We’ve had to re run the printing plates, doctor the files slightly so the customer got the best possible end result for their card – all at our own cost. That is not something you would get with either types of online print company’s – they are trusting the client to send their files over print ready – which is fair of course.

Those are the options, but how do you know WHAT to include in your business card design?

Here are my TOP 50 Business Card Design Ideas

1. Decide on the shape of your business card when visualizing your design — consider perfect squares, rounded edges, or the traditional rectangle.

2. The only phone number you should hand write on a business card is your personal phone number.

3. Make sure to keep all information, like address, city, and state, up to date on your business card.

4. Lower your costs by ordering large quantities of business cards.

5. Never print your business cards at home. Even if you have a small business, always have them professionally printed.

6. Avoid using any art that may resemble clip art. It will immediately undermine the impression you’re looking to create.

7.  Select the highest quality card stock; since so much business is done online, you want your business card to leave an impression

8. Consider adding a QR code that links back to your website or blog.

9. Don’t be intimidated with traditional layout. Think about including short text on how you can help the client or give them a fun fact on the back.

10. Consider glossy UV coated cards if you’re looking to stand out.

11. Get distinctive by utilizing raised ink business cards that literally give a feel to the cards.

12. Try fold over business cards if you need to give your audience more information.

13. Printing your business cards on linen card stock adds texture and depth.

14. The logo is one of the important parts of a business card; make sure your brand’s colors are utilized on any full color designs.

15. Don’t use a personal email on your business card, that’s why they call it a business card. Invest in a professional or vanity URL for your business.

16. Put the URL of your website on your business card.

17. Make sure your card matches your personality and profession. If you’re a graphic designer, it’s ok to be trendier. If you’re a banker, go for a more sober look and feel.

18. Make sure you use the same font and typeface on your business card. Multiple typefaces make it difficult to read.

19. Check the spelling on your business card. Spelling errors are completely unacceptable.

20. Avoid digital printed business cards. While they cost less, it’s reflected in the ultimate quality of the card; instead use offset printing.

21. Print on plastic if you want your card to stand out from the rest.

22. Include a business card with all packages and correspondence.

23. Put important social media links on your business card, such as LinkedIn or Twitter.

24. If you hand your card to someone and they don’t immediately offer a compliment, chances are your card is not memorable.

25. Stash you business cards in your jackets, luggage, car, office, and wallet. They only work when they’re given away.

26. Avoid card stock that clashes with your brand identity and logo.

27. Use the backside of your business card to engage the people reading it with checklists, tips, or interesting information about your company.

28. Don’t be too quick to offer your business card; you don’t want to be viewed as being pushy.

29. If you conduct business internationally, use the back of the business card as a translated version of the card.

30. Want a logo raised up from the card? You’ll have to create a cast die that will emboss your card with your logo or graphic. It’s more expensive, but leaves a lasting impression.

31. Produce multiple versions of your card and encourage people to collect them.

32. Brand yourself with a slogan and include it on your business cards. Readers will have a short idea to remember your business.

33. Bright colors like black, red are given a rich look and are visualized much attractive when given a UV coat.

34. UV coating gives business cards a feel that it is been printed on a thin marble sheet.

35. Print business cards on 12pt or 14pt thickness. If you want to minimize unnecessary bending or tearing opt for 16pt business cards.

36. The 16pt business card comes with a thick card stalk to make the content much more visible to the viewers.

37. For financial business cards, matte uncoated business cards on a 16pt linen stock offer a sober and professional approach.

38. Consider a logo update if your business’ name doesn’t stand out.

39. When laying out a business card, make sure to leave at least .25 inches of room from the edge so your text isn’t hugging the border.

40. Round cornered edges give business cards a fresh look, in addition you don’t have to worry about the corners being damaged by frequent handling.

41. If you are a small business, pick a title that will give the person reading your card the impression that you work for a larger company without having to say you’re a CEO.

42. Add logos of organizations your company belongs to or works with, such as the Better Business Bureau, GSA, or member associations. Third party organizations act as rubber stamps of approval and an endorsement for your company.

43. If you participate in an affiliate program, make sure your affiliate URL links are on your card.

44. Always protect your business cards in a sleeve or case. There’s nothing worse than pulling out a damaged or slightly used looking card.

45. Scan all the business cards you receive with Google Reader (available for the iPhone or Android). It will automatically parse the data and add your contacts to your contact list.

46. Add LinkedIn information to your card in the form of a QR code. It’s an easy way for someone to scan your card and connect with you directly.

47.  Collect examples of great looking business cards, then use them as inspiration for future designs.

48. If you’re having trouble selecting what you want on your card, remember less is more; leaving a lot of white space usually translates to a more sophisticated approach.

49. Make sure your cards outline exactly what your company does. Your cards should articulate your core value proposition.

50. Work with a local printer or design firm to get the best possible printing results for your business cards. Local printers and design firms can give you the best options and ultimately be responsible for delivering a top notch product

Clair 🙂

Quality Content Breeds Long tail Keywords

  • November 1 , 2013

As we know Google have recently done another update and several people are reporting changes in their rankings.  I cannot say for definite whether they had been doing any unnatural link building or not, sometimes when Google do an update, good sites are affected and then they are returned to the original place if not better when the dust has settled.

When you consider that good sites are being affected even if it is just temporary you realise that you cannot risk being punished by Google by doing anything slightly fishy. Google want to give people quality content and it is their search results that we want to be ranked in so what is the best way to keep them happy? Create good quality useful content and plenty of it.

There are many benefits to creating quality content, if it is useful then people will share it and promote it for you. They will share it on social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. They will link to it from their own blogs and reference your work creating a natural link network. Google loves natural link networks and they love quality relevant content, none of that spun article rubbish many people use.

keywords

So, if you write a proper post of 1000 words or more what happens? You naturally create long tail keyword phrases that are relevant to the post subject. You cannot help but write sentences that will develop into and include long tail keywords that you can be ranked for.

Imagine you wanted to rank for the keyword phrase ‘Ice Cream Parlour’, while writing the post you can easily have sentences that have ‘the best ice cream parlour’ ‘the best ice cream parlour in Lincolnshire’ ‘the best tasting ice cream’ etc. All of these phrases could be searched for and you can become ranked for these if the article you write is of a serious and informative nature unlike the spun articles people use.

If you have other articles on your site that match the content and other people share your posts and reference them with connecting links you could easily find yourself ranked in Google for keyword phrases you didn’t expect. Sometimes keyword research can throw up keyword combinations that when added together in an article can be hard to understand. Writing a proper post will generate proper good relevant keywords that Google will love.

I remember writing an article about people having a certain type of mindset and I used a man I called ‘Ibiza Bob’ as my example. The article was about people wanting to do something but instead of doing anything about it they sit around and moan. Ibiza Bob always wanted to go to Ibiza but couldn’t afford it, he blamed the Government and the economy as the reason as why he could never afford to go yet he spent most nights down the local bar, drinking smoking and having a kebab on the way home.

For 20 years or more he wanted to go to Ibiza and for those 20 years he spent his money on beer, cigarettes and food, if he really wanted he could have stayed in 1 or 2 nights a week over a year or two and have enough money to go to Ibiza for a long enjoyable holiday… but he didn’t.

After I wrote the post I notice that I was getting traffic for keywords like ‘the story of Ibiza’, I was on the first page of Google for that keyword phrase for quite some time. The people searching were not really my targeted audience but they were coming and I was ranked. The actual post had very little to do with ‘the story of Ibiza’ but Google rewarded me without my intention.

What happened was that I spent time to write a long quality post which generated a series of natural links which were being picked up and ranked by Google. I was not in any way trying to manipulate Google by engaging in keyword stuffing or article spinning. I was just writing about a topic that I was interested in and knew about.

Obviously I wrote a follow up post that talked about my findings and reinforced the keywords, this time the post included the keyword phrases that Google had ranked me for which were not originally planned keywords in the first post.  Again this was a long written piece from the heart and mind and not designed to have keywords stuffed into it.

Keywords and Google have a natural tendency to attract each other and if they are generated naturally in a long well written piece then they will have more power. With Google’s recent updates they are looking for the relevance and quality and that is what your articles will give them.

Now we are not saying do not do any keyword research or include relevant keywords that your research gives you, far from it, I want to get across that you will generate good quality keywords when you write a proper full article, keywords that Google will pick up on.

Sometimes you should not fear or worry about your articles having or not having keywords in them, the main thing you should concentrate on is to create good quality useful articles and plenty of them. Patrick Meninga did keyword research, when he had his chosen keywords he went to work creating loads of articles that he placed on his site and shared with other sites as guest posts.

These articles were connected passing relevance to each other and when he had finished he was ranking for more keywords than he had planned. He wrote the posts himself, they were not spun nor were they outsourced on the cheap, they were written from the heart as he knew the subject matter well. As he wrote the articles the long tail keyword phrases wrote themselves.

It is natural and cannot be avoided, that is the beautiful thing about the English language, well any language really, whatever it is you are writing about, the subject matter cannot be described without creating other good natural keyword phrases. Go and give it a try, write something big and useful about any topic and then look at the keywords that are formed. You might be surprised at how keyword rich your articles can become naturally.

There Is More Than One Way To Make Money Online

  • October 30 , 2013

The internet really excites me and it should you, the reason it excites me is because it is full of so many great opportunities to make money from your own home.1

There are so many different business models from drop shipping, affiliate marketing ecommerce sites right up to making money selling your own designed T-Shirts on CafePress, promoting your own music and even renting out websites.

Yes that is right, I did say renting out websites, a website is in many ways a virtual property. Like a bricks and mortar building in a street in a town, a website has a location. If you own a website that is similar to the best shop on the busiest street which in the cyber world means being at the top half of the first page of Google for a certain keyword, your website could be worth a lot to the right person.

Imagine that you owned a website that was at the top of the first page of Google for the keyword ‘professional plastic surgeons in Scotland’ (A random keyword I know, I couldn’t think of anything better) Someone somewhere in Scotland who was a professional plastic surgeon may not realise how much traffic that keyword was getting but when shown that they are missing out on potentially thousands of pounds worth of business, they then would see a value in paying you to add their details to your site and ‘rent’ the site and its location from you.

We have all heard of internet marketing and how people like Pat Flynn and John Chow regularly make thousands of dollars each month from blogging and recommending relevant products, with so many niches online now there are so many markets to choose from.

A keen gardener could set up a website and start selling his own eBooks from his site or even make his site a subscription based site similar to an off line magazine. Membership sites are incredible things and have made a lot of people very wealthy. People will pay to be a member of anything as long as you offer a service they need and believe is worth the value.

People will pay to access training videos for things like yoga or football, whatever ideas you come up with, the chances are there are people around the world who will happily pay for it. The world is changing; the internet has opened the world up for people who have never met to work with each other.

Twenty years ago the idea of someone like me having graphics, videos and articles created by people in countries like India and the Philippines  was simply not thought of but now I can have a pick of thousands of great people around the world who are willing to do some work for me. I can also do work for others, I can write for clients around the world as long as I have an internet connection.

Teenagers today who are creative and motivated have every opportunity to travel the world funded by an online business and a small laptop or maybe even just a tablet. Cafepress.com is a website that has grown and now has several localised versions of itself like Cafepress.co.uk, Cafepress.au and many more. The great thing with the Cafepress is that they are an online printing company which allows people to upload their own designs and create a shop selling T-Shirts, Hoodies, baby clothing, notepads, mugs and the list goes on.

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They have created several very successful home based businesses where young designers have been able to introduce their artwork to the world. There is no need for the designers to search out printers or buy the printing equipment themselves which would cost several thousands of pounds, they can create designs and add them to their CafePress shops, using marketing techniques they drive traffic to the shops and when a sale is made CafePress do the rest.

CafePress will print the items and they will send them to the customer on your behalf. They take out their costs for the manufacturing etc and then at the end of each month they pay you your share. You set the price of your merchandise so what you make on top of each item you design is down to you.

TuneCore.com is a similar set up to CafePress except they deal with digital music. You create the music, you pay an annual fee and they then distribute your music as digital MP3s to big sites like iTunes, Spotify & Amazon. You keep the rights to your music and you keep all 100% of the profits made.

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With most people now having access to some great recording software or music software like Audacity, Sound Forge, Cake Walk and Reason, people can create and record quality music from the comfort of their home and share it with the world via sites like TuneCore.com. Again, music can be created via laptops and tablets anywhere in the world allowing the music lover to travel the globe and earn a living.

OK so it will not be as sophisticated as the equipment in big studios but laptops are far more sophisticated than the machines bands like altern8 and the Prodigy used to create legendary rave tunes back in the early 90s. There is no reason why someone cannot create a stunning album using just a laptop or a tablet these days. Electronic music pioneers like Kraftwerk would have dreamt of machines like those we have today.

I mentioned earlier the system known as drop shipping; this is another system that requires very little physical work. It is a form of affiliate marketing but you promote physical products usually based around the same niche. For example, a young skateboarder could create a website around skateboarding, filling it with videos and pictures of his friends skateboarding he could then have several pages selling skateboards, parts, DVDs and clothing which are from other people’s companies.

He himself would not need to touch the products himself, the order is processed either by the company or he forwards on the order once it has been taken and they send out the product. The companies will send out any money earned at the end of each month or whatever the agreed time frame is that they use. (Please note I say ‘he’ just for ease, I am not saying that there are not any female skaters out there who would be entrepreneurial and open up their own drop shipping site. I am sure there are plenty.)

Using free networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube it is very easy to find a potential worldwide following of people who love the niche you’re in. Music, skateboarding and graffiti for example have followers and lovers in virtually every country you can think of.

It is the same for gardening, opera and even knitting, there are people who love their hobbies and have access to the internet, if you can get your website address in front of these people and give them excellent content and service then you increase your chances of growing a successful business.

Stop and think what you can do online, if you are good at art you could design T-Shirts like the CafePress example or you could do website graphics for people around the world. If you are good at writing you could write website content for people, do product reviews, write eBooks & reports and even become a self-published author selling your books on Amazon Kindle store.

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We might be facing hard times with a global economic recession and crisis but the Hilton hotel empire was built during the great depression when Grandpa Hilton went around buying up hotels cheap that were forced to close due to lack of business.

A recession is not bad for everyone and times are changing, many of the companies that are closing these days are closing because of the change in how we shop and buy. The internet has killed of some localised businesses and created a breeding ground for thousands of newer home based global trading businesses, businesses that you and I can quite easily create and profit from.

 

10 Common Website Mistakes To Avoid

  • October 28 , 2013

Website Mistakes To Avoid

Running a website is no easy task, so it’s inevitable that we will make mistakes from time-to-time.  Mistakes can even be a good thing if we learn from them, but to save you the hassle, I’ve put together a list of some common website mistakes to avoid to help you.

1. Unresponsive Website (Not Mobile Friendly)

You are making a BIG website mistake if your site is not “mobile friendly”.  More and more people are connecting to the internet via their smart phones and tablets, which is why it is vital that your site is responsive across multiple devices.  If it is not, you are simply limiting the number of people that can visit your site.

There are plenty of WordPress themes that you can install that are ‘mobile responsive’.  Sites like StudioPress have a wide variety of responsive themes for all types of site that you can use.  There really isn’t any excuse for people not being able to access your site on their mobile devices, so make sure that yours is good to go.

2. Bad Website Navigation

You can spend all the time in the world creating fantastic content for your site, but if no one can find it once they get there, then what is the point!

Bad website navigation stops people from finding all the great content on your site.  Whether you have only a few pages or hundreds of posts, you want people (and search engines) to be able to find them easily.   Only then will you get visitors staying on your site for longer, which helps to increase your pageviews.

Think about the menus and links that you display on your site.  Are people able to find the different sections/categories of your site?  Do you display a search box?  Can people easily find your search box?  Which are your most important pages/posts?  These are the types of questions that you need to be asking yourself in order to improve your site navigation.

3. Not Building An Email List

An email list is a very powerful thing for a site to have, which is why you should be building one.  You see, the people that signup to your site (whether it’s to an eCourse, newsletter, to receive offers, etc.) are your best customers.  They are the ones who are interested in what you have to say on your site, allowing you to send them offers, promote products or just encourage them back to your site.

AWeber is the market leader for email marketing software where you can create and schedule a set of emails to be broadcast automatically once people subscribe.  You can create signup boxes, newsletters, broadcasts and much more by using them, helping you to grow and manage your email list.

4. Not Posting Enough

Every website needs regular content published as that helps to drive traffic.  People (and more importantly search engines) will see that the site is active, which will encourage them to come back again and read more.

If you don’t post enough, then your site can become stagnant.  A lot depends on what your site is about, but you wouldn’t keep coming back to a site if nothing changed.

Make a list of all the things that you can write about and keep adding to it when you get inspiration.  If you end up struggling for ideas, it may mean that your niche is too small, in which case you may need to broaden out a bit.  I think a lot though comes down to getting into a regular routine.  Try to update your site regularly (perhaps once or twice a week) and stick to it.

5. Posting Too Often

Some people go to the other extreme and post far too often.  Like we said, regular content is good, but too much can be overwhelming for your readers.  If you are publishing 4, 5 or even more posts a day, then you can’t expect visitors to keep up.  Sites that post this frequently tend to be massive news sites with lots of writers and millions of visitors.  That is certainly something to aim for, but you certainly can’t do that on your own.

You also have to consider the quality of what you are posting.  Publishing 1 high quality post is MUCH better than lots of little mediocre posts.  As the saying goes, “It’s quality not quantity!

6. Doing Zero Social Media

Social media is a fantastic way to market your site, so it makes sense that you should be using it.  Make sure that you have an active presence on all the major social networks (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.), particularly the ones that relate to your site.

Just having a page setup on each of these networks will help people to find you, but by engaging with your audience, it is such a great way to build a following for your site that you shouldn’t overlook.

7. Doing Zero SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an often understood practice that seems to confuse and petrify people at the same time.  It may sound complicated and unfathomable, but it’s really not too difficult when you get to know it.

SEO is simply a way of getting your website/content seen by search engines so that they can index it and present it to as many people as possible.  Search engines, like Google, are by far your best bet to get traffic to your site, so it’s best to work with them.

By using On-Page & Off-Page SEO techniques, your content can rank highly on search engine result pages (SERPs).  The higher you appear on the SERPs, the more traffic you will get.

Essentially, all it involves is making it clear what your posts are about.  This is done by including keywords in your post/page titles, meta descriptions, sub-headings, alt-tags, etc.  That way, when the search engines find your content, they have a better understanding of what it is about, allowing them to show it to people who are looking for that information.

If you are doing zero SEO for your site, you are essentially sticking your head in the sand.  Spend some time learning about SEO and actively doing some for your site.  It’s not as scary as you may think.

8. Not Interacting With Your Readers

If people spend the time leaving comments on your site, sending you emails or asking questions via your social media channels, you should make sure to respond to them.  Not only is it good manners but it is also good for business.  If people see that you are happy to interact with them and help, they will be much more likely to keep coming back for more.  It also shows that your site is an active one, which again can encourage people to keep visiting your site.

Admittedly, this can become a problem if your site is very popular (can’t reply to everyone), but you should at least try to reply to as many as you can.

9. Not Testing Your Site On Multiple Browsers

Any changes that you make to your site, you should always check to see if everything is working OK on different web browsers.  Most people tend to use only one, but that doesn’t mean everything will display fine for all of them.

I have in the past made changes to my sites, only to find that they were not displaying correctly on another browser that I didn’t use regularly.  Once you know about the problem, it’s usually very easy to fix, but you need to test it to find out.

Get into the habit of testing your website on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari (the 5 most popular web browsers) whenever you make any changes to your site.  That way, you can see whether there are any issues that need fixing.

10. Thinking That Your Website Is Finished (Biggest Website Mistake!)

This is probably one of the BIGGEST website mistakes on the list that many people fall victim too.  The minute you think that your site is “finished”, you may as well pack up and do something else.

The internet is constantly evolving and there is always competition looking to overtake you.  You should always be looking to update, reinvent, add new features/products/content, etc. to your site to keep it fresh.  This is one of the things that I absolutely love about what I do, there is always something new to learn about and improve on your site that you should never find yourself standing still.  Keep pushing yourself and striving to create a better site for your visitors.  That is the best way to run your site.

What website mistakes have you made on your site and how did you go about fixing them?  What other common website mistakes would you add to this list?  Please let us know below by leaving a comment.

The Best Of The Web. 26/10/2013

  • October 26 , 2013

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“Saturday, it’s a Saturday, It’s a Saturday, it’s a Saturday, Saturday, it’s a Saturday, Saturday, it’s a Saturdayeayeayeayaaay, Five days you work, One whole day to play, Come on everybody, Wear your roller skates today”

Sorry folks, I cannot say the word Saturday without singing the lyrics to De La Soul’s – A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays.

That is one great tune and here is the video to it so you can listen to it while you work your way through this week’s great articles.

I hope you have all had a great week, have you been doing much?

Anyway, let’s get into this week’s roundup, as always we have 10 great articles for you to read this week including the fun bonus post at the end which is always light hearted and non-online business related.

7 Lessons From 50 Blog Posts That Send Me The Most Traffic

http://www.incomediary.com/10-lessons-50-blog-posts-recieved-traffic

The first article is one that Matt read this week and it was written by Michael Dunlop and can be found at the excellent IncomeDiary website. Here he lists seven lessons he has learned from the top 50 articles he has that send him large amounts of free traffic.

This is a great post if you really want to learn how to write articles that can bring you great free traffic. For example out of the 50 articles 35 of them started with a number, isn’t that a powerful little trick to know? Also, many of his most read posts name people, if you can write an article about a case study that names well known people it could get you a lot more free traffic than your standard posts.

You can learn a lot from this article.

How To Use Reddit For Business – Step-By-Step Guide

http://socialmediarevolver.com/step-step-guide-how-to-use-reddit-business/

This post was suggested by our resident social media star Clair. Written by Ken Myers it gives us 9 steps on how to use Reddit successfully as business owners.

Some people class the front page of Reddit as the front page of the internet, I have even seen someone on TV talk about reading something on Reddit and they called it the ‘Front Page of The Internet’ When something gets that kind of notoriety it makes sense to use it even if it looks like a teenagers playground.

Seriously, Reddit doesn’t look like the kind of place you expect to see businesses but many do use it. In fact the US President Barack Obama has used Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) free-for-all question and answer sessions. This really is an interesting and informative article that is well worth reading.

How To Make Sure Google Doesn’t See Your Guest Post As A Paid Link

http://just-ask-kim.com/google-guest-post-not-paid-link/

We like Kim Castleberry here at bizzebee HQ, she is a font of all WordPress knowledge and information and in this post she shares with us another video by Google’s head of spam Matt ‘The Spaminator’ Cutts.

Matt answers the question, ‘How can I guest blog without it looking like I pay for links?’ I could have just shared Matt’s video but as we say we like Kim so we are happy to send new readers her way.

Guest posting is a great way to get traffic and it does go against Google’s terms and conditions as it is in fact exchanging content for links. Google do not like paid links manipulating their search results and guest posting can be seen in that same way. The payment is giving a website content for a link to your site, but the good news is Google generally over looks this and accept that it happens and that it is a great way for sites to keep adding quality content.

In the video Matt explains what are the best practices for guest posters so they are not seen as doing nothing more than ‘buying links with poor content’.

Pinterest Boards That Increase Blogging Productivity

http://www.socialable.co.uk/pinterest-boards-increase-blogging-productivity/

This is an excellent post written by Anna Fox over at Socialable. If you were not yet aware, Pinterest is an excellent social media network that can drive traffic to your site. It is also a great place to go and find top blogging tips from many of the top bloggers in the industry.

Here Anna lists 8 great bloggers Pinterest accounts to follow for learning blogging tips while including their own as a bonus number 9. So if you are a blogger this article is for you and if you are not a blogger you should also take a look and learn a little why Pinterest is a great free network to use.

Why 90% Of Published Content Is Complete Rubbish

http://www.contentchampion.com/rubbish-content/

This time we go to Loz James’ blog ContentChampion where Loz who is an established content marketer and copywriter discusses why 90% of content that is published on the internet is rubbish.

Something we agree with here at bizzebee HQ. We try our hardest to publish content that is useful, thought provoking, inspiring and educational. If not we feel we have let you the reader down.

Businesses that sell products using written content online but do not use quality writers can be doing more harm than good. To make sure you are not doing the same damage to your business pop over and take a read of this great article.

Why Removing Dates From Blog Posts Is ‘Bad Business’

http://www.magnet4marketing.net/2013/10/19/removing-dates-from-blog-posts/

Our blogging friend Fabrizio Van Marciano owns a great site called Magnet4Marketing.Net and here is a post I read this week explaining why it is harmful to your business and blog by removing the dates from your posts.

Many bloggers and writers remove them to make it appear that the content is new whenever someone new sees it or that it is evergreen content that isn’t time restricted. Writing about SEO methods today doesn’t mean it will work next year or even next month so that content is time specific.

Some people will remove the dates in an attempt to stop people leaving their sites when they see the content is ‘old’. This method isn’t as good as it sounds and Fabrizio gives us reasons why we should keep the dates on our posts when we publish them.

How To Get A Wikipedia Page And Make It Stick

http://socialtimes.com/how-to-get-a-wikipedia-page-and-make-it-stick_b137060

Linking out to other websites with a lot of authority and high Page Rank is a powerful method to get Google to take your site more seriously and push you up the rankings. Wikipedia is often the first choice as it is a huge site with a Page Rank of 8. If you could link to your own Wikipedia page that would be excellent but you cannot or at least should not create your own Wikipedia page.

It is for information only and not promotion but surely a business and successful person has an informal history that could be shared? Well if you want to create your own Wikipedia page and why shouldn’t you? Here is a great article on SocialTimes.com telling you exactly what you need to do and how to prevent it being removed by an administrator.

Mike Allton Interviewed on The Art of Giving with respect to Blogging and Social Media

http://www.thesocialmediahat.com/news/mike-allton-interviewed-art-giving-respect-blogging-and-social-media-10222013

This is a post suggested by Sam the bizzebee architect. It is a short post by Mike Allton about an interview he gave to Troy McLaughlin’s interview show ‘The Art Of Giving’ Mike discusses blogging and social media for which he is well known for.

It is an interesting interview, but I have to say that the post was written and published by Mike himself and is written in the 3rd person which I always find odd. Why would you do that? Maybe so much of the text was copied from the post the interview originally came from. That makes sense now, anyway, that aside it is a really great interview.

Niche Site Duel 2.0 (research interview) – What’s Working in SEO Right Now with Alex Becker

http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/niche-site-duel-2-pre-seo-alex-becker/

This comes from two of my favourite people of the moment, Pat Flynn and Alex Becker. It is an interview Pat did with Alex regarding SEO. For those who don’t know SEO is something Alex is really good at, and he can land websites on the first pages of Google’s search results much to their dislike. Alex is an SEO Jedi and Google Slayer.

Pat Flynn is a well-known blogger, writer and speaker who every so often does the Niche Site Dual where he and a friend build separate websites and try their best to land the site as high in Google and make money from them as part of a fun competition.

Here Pat asks Alex what he can do to help him rank his site fast. This is powerful stuff and I recommend you to watch the interview and download the PDFs Alex has done for Pat’s site.

How To Use Buffer To Promote Your Blog Posts/ Website?

http://www.mymagicmix.com/how-to-use-buffer-to-promote-blog-posts-website/

For our final must read article this week we have a great post from our friend Ambika Choudhary over at her great website MyMagicMix. In this post Ambika explains not only why you should use Buffer to share your posts on social media networks but also how to use it.

Unfortunately Buffer only shares with the 5 main social media networks but it is great as it allows you to share your content when you are either poorly, too tired or cannot simply get to your laptop as long as you set them up and schedule them to go out early.

There is an extension for Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari similar to the Hootsuit Hootlet which allows you to schedule your posts to be shared at set times so if you set them at the start of the week they will be shared over the week even if you never turn your laptop on again.

Ambika is a great writer and her website covers many different topics but I especially lover her posts on blogging and social media.

Ok so now for our fun wildcard article.

Halloween Crafts For Kids Party

http://smartpartyplanning.com/halloween-crafts-for-kids-party/

Today’s fun post is from our good friend over in Australia Catherine Holt who has a great website that focuses on creating wonderful themed parties and gifts. The website is called Smart Party Planning and today’s post is about creating a wonderful Halloween Crafts For Kids Party.

It is coming to that time of the year so if you need some Halloween inspiration for keeping your children entertained then we recommend you pop over, take a read and say hello.

Catherine has many great party ideas, printables that you can print off and use and also has many wonderful images to look at. We love Catherine’s site and we are sure you will too.

using affiliates to drive traffic

Using Affiliates As Your Traffic Source

  • October 25 , 2013

aff traffic

Today I am going to talk about the tremendously powerful traffic method that is AFFILIATES. I wrote this as a follow up post to Matt’s great one The Beginners Guide To Affiliate Marketing. If you are a product creator or are thinking about creating a product for the online marketplace then you need to know this amazingly free traffic source. I have released a few products into the marketplace and am planning more – but the products would not have been half the success they were if it wasn’t for the affiliates that promoted the product.

Affiliate marketing has been around for years and many people make a living off of doing this without ever producing a single product of their own. The two largest affiliate networks I am aware of are Commission Junction and Amazon. Yes, Amazon – you can promote anything on Amazon and they will pay you around 4% for your conversions. Does not sound like a lot but if you are successful at it and you make a large volume of sales this can soon add up.

So, What is An Affiliate?

So, to summarise then as Matt covered it as I said with his post.

An affiliate is somebody or a company that will promote or offer to sell your product in the return for a commission. This is a fair and great way to do business. So, essentially you make the product and the affiliates will do all the marketing and selling for you. This is great because you can get amazing hits to your product page all for free, so you would not mind paying them a commission of say 50% for this would you? I know I would not, in fact I offer up to 70% in some cases as a “thank you” for driving the traffic, the sales and potential further leads onto my email list.

Some affiliates may have huge lists that you are unaware of, in fact just recently one of my products started to fade off with sales and then a certain Andi Leeman put in an affiliate request which I naturally accepted and then he promoted it through the leverage he has with another marketer and the sales took off again!

Andi Leeman 2

Andi Leeman 1

So here you see a classic example of the benefits of having affiliates drive traffic to your product. It can be and should be win-win for both parties. Your affiliate makes some nice commissions through the front end by promoting your product and you also get a slice of the profits, but you also get buyers onto your email list which you can promote to on the back end. You set the affiliate commission, bear in mind that you have to make it worth their while or else people will not be interested.

Also, make sure your product is top quality and serves some great purpose. Once you are ready to recruit some affiliates you should always offer them a free copy of your product. Straight away this shows that you trust them and often has a positive effect when trying to get them to promote your product. Sometimes people will buy your product and then decide to promote it, other times people will just ask to become an affiliate. I have had all three – it’s usually the affiliates with a proven track record that have the most success.

What kind of results can you expect?

Obviously you cannot expect all affiliates to have the same success as one another. In fact, every time I have released a product to the marketplace I have had affiliates come on board and do nothing, not make any sales. Some new, inexperienced affiliate marketers may just think that sending a tweet out to their 300 twitter followers is enough – usually this method has weak results.  If you are lucky or if you have created such a buzz about your product that you have got some big affiliate marketers on board you could make a lot of money very quickly. Imagine an established marketer has a list of over 10,000 subscribers and he sends out a weekly newsletter with a recommendation to check out your product. Even with a low click through rate of just 5% that would be 500 visitors to your product, now even if your product coverts at a low 2% this would be 10 sales from one email.

Let’s go through those numbers again, which by the way are very modest. You need to understand the power of this. Let’s say your product sells for $37.

Your product is recommended on an email list of 10,000 subscribers

Only 5% click on your product link (the affiliate’s link) = 500

Your product converts at 2% = 10 Sales

10 x $37 = $370

You pay the affiliate 50%, you both make $185

From ONE email. All the traffic to your product was not driven by you at all. In fact you did not do anything.

Where can I get affiliates?

Well, first of all you probably have people in your direct marketing circles who will be keen to promote it for you, ask these people first. They are your closest allies and will most probably support your product.

You can also list your digital products through JVZoo, Clickbank, PayDotCom just to name a few. These networks are also very good at getting affiliates to promote for you, I often find if I use these networks the affiliates come to you rather than you having to pitch to them.

But the real “gold” comes if you can get on a well known marketers list. No doubt you are already on a few marketing lists, well if you are start engaging with them. Buy some of their products, give them some good testimonials. Then when your product is due for launch ask them if they would not mind promoting it. What is the worst that is going to happen? They will say, sorry – not right now.

Remember though – your product has to be top quality and relevant to what they do. They are recommending you and your product to their hard earned list of subscribers so they do not want to promote any old rubbish.

So there we have it, I hope this post has given you a good insight into using affiliates to drive traffic to your offer.

If you want any more advice on the topics mentioned above contact me here on the blog. Do you have any other networks you like to use? We would love to hear from you in the comments section.

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