Marketing a business at all is a difficult feat, let alone in times like these. In my own business, I’ve had to get creative, work much harder, and learn to rely on my strengths rather than my marketing budget.
In times past, I might have focused more on actually having a marketing budget. Today, that’s a secondary concern. What I mean is, in the past, I would have focused more on whether or not I was allocating enough of my revenue toward a marketing budget and then if I was effectively using that budget to market my business.
What’s more important now, though, is using what I do have in my possession to keep my name in front of people – and as many people as possible. In times like these, I’m cutting every financial corner I can, including where my marketing budget is concerned, so I’m using other assets to support my lead generation efforts.
For me, writing has always been my “bread and butter” lead source, and fortunately, it’s free!
My clients have always found me through articles and posts I’ve made online, so my focus is writing and posting as much as possible on a daily basis. Here’s my plan in a nutshell.
Write two guest articles. (Monday is light on lead generation for me, since that’s my day to catch up from weekend emails from clients, as well as to have my twice-monthly call with my accountability partner.)
Write articles for newsletter, post to Twitter, and post entries to three of my blogs.
Note: I publish two email newsletters per month.
Write guest articles, post incoming guest articles to my blog, post entries to at least two out of my three blogs, post to Twitter, request incoming/outgoing guest posts at BloggerLinkup, and mail to my “local business farm.”
Note: My local business farm is a group of 240 local businesses. I send a card, once per week, to 20 of the businesses. By the end of the year, each business will have received 4 cards from me. I include coupons and discounts in each card that expire at the end of the month sent.
Post entries to three of my blogs, post to Twitter, and handle any to-dos related to my monthly “Solopreneur Camp & Connect.”
Note: My “Solopreneur Camp & Connect” is a monthly tele-seminar and networking event that focuses on issues related to solopreneurs and small business owners.
Handle any to-dos related to my quarterly “Give Back Project.” (Friday is another day that’s light on lead generation for me, since I usually wrap up client projects for the weekend and then usually try to take off somewhere between 12-3PM. What’s the point of being a small business owner, if you’re not going to enjoy the extra flexibility and freedom?)
Note: The “Give Back Project” is my “websites for success” program where I build websites for aspiring business owners with little or no income.
My plan is heavy (very heavy) on writing. It’s not easy, for sure, but it’s free, and it works. The key is to be consistent. If you post often enough and make sure to stay in front of your ideal clients or customers, they will find you.
Author Bio: Amber Riviere is a web designer with BrownBugProject.com. You can follow her work through her blog and through her newsletter, Inside Brown’s Brain.
As a writer, you need to acquire a readership, whether you write articles, advertising, fiction, and/or nonfiction. You’ve probably heard that you need a website to help promote your writing and start building that readership.
It’s true. The Web is a fabulous means to build a writing biz. You can connect with like minded individuals, you can present opinions, you can experiment with your writing (beyond what our predecessors could ever imagine), you can interact with your readers… you can have fun.
The thing nobody tells you about this process is that once you’ve got the website up, you have to generate traffic to start this incredible web adventure.
That can be an interesting task.
In fact, lately this “web traffic” situation seems to be on more minds than mine. I get e-mails (nearly) daily promising me that (for a hefty price) some company or another will get one of my sites “to the top of the major search engines.”
There are effective ways to get your website listed in the major search engines. There are also some not effective ways as well.
This article outlines one ineffective way to get web traffic.
I’ve coached a few writers, so-called professional communicators, this past month who were discouraged because although their websites were rising through the Google ranks and were receiving a good amount of organic traffic, they weren’t making any book sales.
I had a hunch I knew what was going on.
When a well-written book doesn’t sell, it’s usually for a number of reasons, the most probable being that there isn’t a large enough market for the topic, the price point is too high (or too low), or the web page doesn’t properly sell the title.
One look at the site confirmed my suspicions. In all the instances brought to my attention, the problem was with the website. Every single writer was more concerned about web site optimization rather than properly describing and selling their book.
It’s one thing to make your website favorable to search engines, in fact Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of building a website, but it’s quite another to engage in clumsy tactics to make your site climb up the ranks.
Disclaimer: I’m not, nor do I pretend to be an SEO expert. The following is pure opinion based on my web adventures.
What each of these people did was, as they built their website text, they inserted copious numbers of “keywords” to the point that they were literally “keyword packing.”
Keyword Packing occurs when you take a particular keyword and pack that keyword into a keyword sentence as many times as possible so that when the search engines spider your site they’ll see your keyword and assume that keyword accurately represents your “keyword” website and will appear when someone inserts that keyword into the engine. (Note: this sentence is packed with a keyword.
Betcha you’ll never guess which one it is.) 🙂
As you can see, keyword packing makes for some very awkward writing. Combine keyword packing with keyword placement on menus, subheads, and titles and you’ve got one, big keyword, mess.
Here’s the problem. When you receive good search engine rankings, you will receive traffic. Problem is when you do receive that traffic, you’ll quickly discover it evaporates once your visitors experience your awkward writing style.
It takes a writer with the skill of a master to elegantly weave keywords into a website while maintaining flow and sales effectiveness.
So, suppose you’re not an SEO expert (like me). What can you do to get website traffic without sacrificing content?
There are multiple ways to generate some website traffic including writing articles, article distribution sites, creating videos, visiting forums, blogs, zines, Google Adwords, and much more. I’ll discuss these more in upcoming issues of Writing Etc.
You’ve got options, many of them not costing one red cent, to generate web traffic. Approach SEO carefully, never sacrificing content for keywords.
Remember, a site receiving a few relevant, smart, interesting, and engaged visitors is far more powerful than a bunch of people who visit and leave thinking you’ve got an awkward, repetitive, unnatural writing style.
My two (very opinionated and probably antiquated) cents.
Got a comment? Head on over to my blog. 🙂
Beth Ann Erickson is the “Queen Bee” of Filbert Publishing. She’s also the author of numerous titles including “101 No Cost and Low Cost Secrets To Turbo Charge Your Freelance Income.” Pick up your copy today at http://filbertpublishing.com/101.html She’s also a busy copywriter, speaker, and publisher of Writing Etc., the free e-mag for writers.
How many books, articles, newsletters and informational pieces does it take to create a successful business? to create a successful affiliate marketer? To create a successful ????
None, not really. You can read everything that comes your way, overload on information and get no where fast. Spending money on the latest, hottest book means nothing if you just read it and let it collect dust.
How many dust collectors do you need?
My library is relatively small right now. So is the list of people I will pay for their information, or link to their blogs. Becoming a discerning, educated consumer takes some work, you do need to read a few books to get the feel for what it is you need to help create the path that fits.
Today I want to share one of those resources with you. Recently I decided to go through and do some spring cleaning of my book marks. One of those tasks that have kept getting put off because it was not important, but it really is since I decided to get more involved in my online life. The first step is reviewing some of the programs that I signed up with to be an affiliate.
One of the programs is the tall banner on the side of this page, just scroll down. It is Link Share, some of the larger names use their services to market their products. I decided rather than signing up for some of the pages that give you an opportunity to become a member and save shopping from their merchants, that I could do my own and earn as well as save. You can too, plus earn from those who join you. So I am inviting you to join me in pursuing a better income to create a greater life. You can start with Link Share, it is free to join. Pick the programs you want to represent, add links to your blog, web page or where ever you choose to put them. Link Share offers programs like ShopNBC, Tiger Direct for your computer needs, or try stores like David’s Cookies. Choose banners, text links for email signatures, banners to include in your web page, or use RSS subscription links available with some merchants.
Get started today and build your affiliate income now.
Spend the day at the beach if you want, go on a vacation, or take an extra long lunch break with your kids at the park! It’s no secret that working from home gives entrepreneurs the freedom to choose their own hours, avoid commuting each day, and have the potential to make more income than a “9 to 5” job. But one of the greatest risks with operating an online business is that your income can greatly fluctuate, especially if you are unfamiliar with search engine optimization. When there’s not enough time or expertise to market your business online, outsourcing is the very best option! Contracting out SEO experts brings you the best of both worlds:
- No training to worry about which keeps you doing what you do best
- High-quality services that are guaranteed to promote your business
First, let’s look at one major expense of running an online business: search engine optimization. You may all of the motivation in the world to learn what you can about good SEO and how to get your site to the top of the search engine rankings. But managing this takes you away from running your business. However, with outsourcing you eliminate the learning curve involved in getting up to speed with link building, social networking, and keyword optimization. Your team of qualified SEO people can handle it efficiently, effectively, and with the best results because that’s what they’re good at! Look for providers that have had years of experience (and the positive feedback to prove it) so you’re sure they provide superior services to their clients.
The next advantage to outsourcing is that you can choose exactly the services you need to build your traffic. Take, for example, an online store with 3 employees: the owner, his wife, and a stock person. The owner of this company may be an expert at establishing vendor relations and controlling the financial aspects of the business, while his wife handles customer service and their stock person packs and ships the products out. But how about marketing their business online? With an online-based outsourcing service, SEO professionals are standing by to provide these valuable services. People like SEO marketing experts, social media professionals, and webmasters can be hired “by-the-project” or on an on-going basis.
When an SEO professional is needed to get more exposure for your Web site, why not outsource? You’ll gain the best reward for running an online business… more traffic to your site and more sales! With outsourcing, no matter what type of SEO improvements you need, you can hire the same quality services without having to hire your employees in-house. Now, your business can be even more profitable from home while outsourced SEO specialists are working hard for you from the comfort of their homes!
About the author: Nicole Munoz is the owner of Start Ranking Now. She is an SEO Outsourcing, Link Building, and Social Media Expert. She also conducts SEO training in San Diego to other entrepreneurs and Internet marketing professionals.
I am grateful for Akismet because the comments that I do not find beneficial get caught before they can be posted. Then I can peruse them and decide if they are beneficial to you my readers. Hence this note.
There are more spam comments than beneficial comments. What I mean by spam are blatant advertising, pushing a website that has nothing to do with my blog or gibberish a mix of alpha, numerical and symbols. The latter I do not understand because the links are nonsense and go nowhere. The advertisements do not get published because they have nothing to do with the blog content I publish either.
Comment etiquette states that you should make comments that are relevant to the post, your signature and links get published with your comment so there is no reason to force an advertisement. Not only that but you breed contempt among the bloggers where you force your ads. I know I am not alone when I state this and tell you that if it is a blatant advertisement it will not get published.
I prefer that your comment ads to what I write, informs my readers and inspires them to make further comments. I write to inspire discussions, gain outside information and reviews. Even when I am writing about my latest discovery.
When I visit your site or blog you will find that I am more than willing to make my comments substantive rather than “Great blog!” We know our blogs are great, I am speaking for bloggers everywhere, that is why we have them. Well, that and to keep you the reader informed, entertained and inspired.
Please, know I appreciate your advertising efforts and look in the side links under training and you will find several resources that can help you learn to market your sites. Also, my contact page is filling up with other sites where I have great success in marketing and gaining input from others.
Great success today, many blessings. And Thank you very much for taking the time to visit.