Chances are, you’ve already heard about the importance of building a trusted and unique brand.
Words like “brand awareness” and “brand recognition” are often tossed around, and are synonymous with achieving success and gaining a strong foothold in your market, especially when there are thousands of other businesses competing for your customer’s attention.
That’s what this little post is all about.
Defining Your Brand Message
When it comes to maximizing your income, and establishing a strong foothold within your market, you absolutely need to build a unique and recognized brand that aligns with a clear and direct brand message.
Your brand message explains to potential customers what you have to offer, and how committed you are to providing quality and value.
It’s your job to lay the groundwork as to what you want people to know about your business and then work towards supporting that identity through demonstrating knowledge, skills and capabilities to deliver what was promised.
However, your customers will be the ones who decide what your overall brand image is based on their interactions with your business.
A well-defined, strategic brand message can build instant credibility in your niche, while helping you gain authority in your market and shape how customers perceive your business. It’s quite often the key difference between a well-structured online presence, and a faltering business that is struggling to connect with its audience.
So, how can you build a recognized brand that provides a clear message that resonates with your market?
Start by thinking about your target audience and what is most important to them. Once you’ve evaluated your niche, you will be able to position yourself so that you are directly addressing their most burning questions, concerns and needs.
To do this, you need to gather as much intelligence on your market as possible, which you can do easily just by looking at the competition.
Take things to social media and begin by evaluating social signals – which are clear indicators as to what is currently in demand, popular and selling well. The higher level of interaction, the more advertising dollars spent, and the more engagement; the better.
Knowing how to develop a strategic brand message begins by recognizing what is already successful and improving on it within your own business.
You want to become the go-to person in your niche market, the obvious choice when customers are considering who to turn to when making their purchasing decisions.
When you work towards building an unwavering presence in your market, starting with a strong foundation of trust, you’ll immediately eliminate the barriers standing in the way of you connecting with your target audience.
To do that, you need to learn as much about them as possible so that you can build a brand around what is most likely to capture their attention.
And how do you do begin? It starts with what is called a U.S.P.
What U.S.P Really Means
Let me get right down to it. USP stands for unique selling proposition (or unique selling point), and it is critical that you establish what yours will be right from the start.
Sure, those are components of your overall brand that help people identify your products and recognize you, however, a USP is far more important than that when it comes to building your customer base, and breaking through the barriers of resistance that most businesses experience when they first appear in their market.
A USP is what truly tells potential customers how you are different from the competition. It helps to align your goals with your customer’s. Your USP tells them that you can be trusted, that you have their best interests at heart, and that you fulfill all promises. And most importantly, a USP ensures you aren’t a faceless brand.
This would include key factors that differentiate a product or service from its competition, such as the lowest price, an extended, no-risk guarantee, a unique or exclusive product or offer not found anywhere else, or the first-ever product of its kind.
To start, think about what your product or service has that the competition doesn’t.
Consider ways you can highlight those differences and emphasize the benefits. Paint a clear picture as to why a prospect is making a wiser, sound decision to purchase your product instead of someone else’s.
Your USP is the driving force behind clearly illustrating value and giving potential customers a reason to purchase from you rather than the competition. That’s its one and only job.
OK, that’s it for now but if you want an expanded version of this post covering other points such as creating a powerful brand, the 4 essential elements of a killer brand, plus a handy check list, then click here and you can download a handy pdf to read whenever is convenient.
And if you want to learn more about how businesses use branding then check out this great course called B.R.A.N.D. here.
If you are new to online marketing, you may not know what a lead magnet is so let’s start there.
The idea is that once they have opted into your email list, you can then send them regular emails with tips and tricks and the occasional offer. You can read more about using autoresponders to send automated emails here and you can read this post about finding great lead magnet ideas.
So, how do you create a desirable lead magnet that your visitors will be unable to resist?
Well, follow these 5 quick steps and you’ll have a great lead magnet put together in no time at all.
1 – Know Your Audience
This is by far the most critical part of creating anything for your prospective visitors and buyers. You must know the audience you are trying to attract, and you must know them on a deep level.
A lead magnet is a highly targeted gift that solves one problem for your readers. Remember, less is more.
Your niche may have a number of sub-niches and you can create different lead magnets for each different sub-niche.
For example, you may be in the Internet Marketing / Online Business niche and you could develop a separate lead magnet for those interested in using blogging, Amazon Kindle, Ecommerce etc.
These are all types of online business but vary dramatically in what the audience needs.
You can create a generic lead magnet for “Online Business” but it won’t be nearly as successful as more specific, targeted lead magnets.
If you already have a website, listen to your readers. If you allow comments on your posts, what are they saying? Any questions you see are potential lead magnets.
Browse forum boards in your niche to see the kinds of questions people are asking for more insights into the problems your readers are encountering.
OK, so you know your audience and what their problem is. Onto step 2.
2 – Brainstorm Lead Magnet Ideas
Now you have an idea as to what problem your lead magnet is going to solve, it’s time to get creative.
DO a brain dump and get everything out of your head. Nothing is off limits at this point as you will go through everything later and discard what you don’t need.
The important thing here is to always have in mind the research you carried out in step 1.
It can be very easy to go down the wrong route and to start creating a lead magnet that you think your readers want.
If you find yourself doing this; STOP.
You already know what your readers want so just give it to them.
Go through your brain dump, get rid of what you don’t want, and then start to think about what type of lead magnet you want to create which moves onto the next step.
3 – What Type Of Lead Magnet Will You Create?
OK, you’re really moving now!
You’ve done your research and got a seed of an idea for your gift which will be irresistible to your visitors.
Are you creating a “how-to” type gift? If so, this may work well as a quick tutorial type video, unless your niche tends to dislike video (although this is rare nowadays)
Are you creating a checklist, tool list or resource guide? If so, then a simple pdf report may be best.
Are you creating a motivational type of gift? Then perhaps an audio would work best.
Once you have decided on the format, now you can move onto the next step and actually start creating it.
4 – Create Your Lead Magnet
OK, now it’s time to put everything together and create your amazing free gift.
Research the topic fully and make your explanation as to how your readers can overcome the problem as simple as possible.
If you are writing a report, make sure it is easy to read with good use of headings, paragraphs, bullet points, graphics etc.
You can create great reports in MS Word or Pages and convert them to pdf’s, but if you want to take your reports up a notch, then consider looking into either Designrr or Sqribble to create eye-catching pdf reports.
If you want to record and edit audio, you can use a free tool called Audacity.
Once you have created your lead magnet, the final step is to get it live on the internet, so onto the final step.
5 – Upload And Automate
So, you now have your sexy new lead magnet. That’s great, but now you need to get it online so people can find it, opt-in and then download it.
Firstly, you’ll need to sign up to an autoresponder service such as Active Campaign or Aweber. You will use these to generate some code for an opt-in form, and, more importantly, to send automated emails to people who sign up for your free gift.
Once you have signed up to an autoresponder, go and create a form that people can fill in. This will then generate some code that you will need in a minute.
You may also want to create an email sequence to welcome your new subscribers.
Now you have your opt-in form code, you need to create a web page for people to visit to read about your free gift and to opt-in. This is normally called a squeeze page or landing page
Choose a template and create your squeeze page. Keep it simple, perhaps an image of your gift and a few bullet points explaining what they’ll get.
Once you have designed it, you need to add the form code from your autoresponder to the page so there will actually be a form that they fill in with their details to get their gift.
The final part is to upload your free gift so they can download it after signing up.
You can upload it to your own website or use something like Amazon S3 which is incredibly cheap; in fact, you get the first year free.
Once you have uploaded your gift, you can add the link to it in your welcome email.
OK, there are the 5 steps you need to create a desirable lead magnet.
I know there are a number of technical moving parts involved in doing this, and if you have any questions feel free to contact me.
And here is a handy infographic that you can use as a reminder of the steps to follow.
If you’ve been around internet marketing for any length of time, I’m sure that you’ve heard the phrase “The money is in the list.” You might get weary of hearing it, but it’s smacking you in the face for a reason – it’s the truth! Actually the phrase should really be “The money is in the buyers list.”
First of all, let’s answer the question, “What is a list?”
So why is building a list so important? Let’s say you start off as an affiliate marketer. You find a niche you truly enjoy and you start working what you’ve learned into some traffic for your affiliate links.
Over a period of 30 days, you funnel 5,000 prospects from the World Wide Web who are interested in your niche straight through your affiliate link to the product owner’s site.
They even buy – yea! You’ve made a 50% commission with a 2% conversion rate. That means 2 out of every 100 people you sent bought the product, and your share was $26.00 (as an example). You earned a cool $2,600 this month – good for you!
But you’re leaving money on the table. Those 100 people who bought from your 5,000 clicks? They’re now on the product owner’s list, not yours. So what they’re going to do is send them more offers over the coming weeks.
After all, they are proven buyers. Over the next 30 days, those buyers fork over some more money for products that complement the original one they bought. That money goes to the product owner, not you – because you passed on building a list the first time around.
Why should the product owner get to cash in on that person again and again when you’re the one who brought them the customer in the first place? Stake claim to each prospect and leverage your relationship with them for future sales and commissions.
You can have unlimited lists for different niches and send automated emails using a simple tool called an autoresponder, examples of which are Active Campaign or Aweber. Every day you can log in and see how many people have signed up, and you can create automated messages to send out to help convert your list into more sales.
If you want to learn more about autoresponders, you can read this article.
If you are serious about growing a successful online business, then you must make list building your main priority.
Even if you are an affiliate marketer like in the example mentioned above, there are ways to capture the prospects email address before sending them to the sales page.
You can do this by creating a free gift that the prospect opts-in (i.e. give up their email address) to receive. The trick here is to make the gift highly relevant to the affiliate offer.
Checklists, workbooks, case studies are such examples of good gifts, or “lead magnets” as they tend to be called.
Once you have your gift, you can create something called a squeeze page (sometimes called a bridge page in affiliate marketing) using your page builder of choice. If you use WordPress, I highly suggest OptimizePress and if you don’t use WordPress I would suggest Convertri.
When you are ready, you send your traffic to the squeeze page, the prospect opts in and is then sent to the affiliate offer.
This is a real win-win because you are building your list and you may also get some affiliate commissions if they decide to buy 👌
When you are a little more confident, you can try your hand at creating your own products and having affiliates send traffic to your offers. How amazing is that?
But whatever you do, you must ensure that you are actively list building all the time.
You also need to manage your lists proactively, and learn how to write compelling emails to get readers to open them and to take action on the contents.
Don’t just bombard your new subscribers with offer after offer. It is important to nurture your list and give huge amounts of value and helpful advice before asking them to buy even more stuff from you.
This is a major mistake that a lot of marketers make, especially in the internet marketing/make money online niches.
So, as you can see, list building is critical for the success and longevity of an online business. But it is also incredibly important that you nurture and manage your list once they have subscribed as it is much easier to convince a customer to buy from you again.
Write emails that help your subscribers and don’t be afraid to get a little personal and reveal things about yourself as this will only make them connect with you more, as you are not just another marketer, but a real person.
And remember that your email list is a source of free traffic, so look after it and it will be a source of income for you for years to come.
Your subscribers will expect you to sell to them so that isn’t a big issue, but don’t go for a hard sell every email. Always have their best interests in mind, rather than making a quick buck and they will reward you with their loyalty and custom.
And don’t email them too often! Some marketers email daily, others a few times per week or once a week. There is no right or wrong but you do need to email them regularly; once a week minimum or they may forget about you.
Some marketers can be very pushy and email multiple times per day, especially if they are promoting a product launch, but I personally think that is too much and too aggressive.
As I said earlier, you need to be managing your list and this includes removing people from your list who aren’t opening your emails as this can affect your delivery rates. And as long as you are continually trying to build your list, this shouldn’t be a big issue for you.
Just remember that your subscribers are real people with real problems that hopefully you can help them solve and you will do well.
So, go out and start building and nurturing your list today. 👍
The best outcome of your first online marketing campaign is a big response. The worst outcome is being overwhelmed by thousands of responses awaiting your response. Online buyers expect instant response to their information requests. Time is money, patience is thin!
So if you aren’t able to respond quickly, not only will you frustrate your potential clients, but you’ll wear yourself out trying to handle this alone.
The Amazing Autoresponder
That’s where you hire the inexhaustible personal email assistant, the autoresponder. Just set up your autoresponder to perform all of the tasks you need, and then you’re free to move on to the next campaign.
The autoresponder also captures the email information of prospects or buyers. That’s absolute gold for building your email list. Smart Internet marketers use this list to stay in touch on a regular basis.
The saying is that the money is in the list and this is true, although it is really in the buyer list.
Now you don’t have to irritate with daily emails. Many marketers email daily (and sometimes multiple times per day but this is inadvisable) and can be very aggressive so you need to strike a balance between offering good advice and going for the sale. A 3:1 ratio is a good balance, so for every email that is just going for the sale, provide 3 valuable emails offering good advice and tips to help the reader.
Of course, email marketing is a great way to give them a “sneak preview” and as a pre-sale buying opportunity for your new product along with many free tips.
Another great use of the autoresponder is to send regular newsletters.
Offering a free niche market newsletter helps you get those valuable email opt-ins. Some prospects want to learn more about your product before buying. The newsletter is a tool for developing trust with potential buyers.
The fact is that buyers would rather choose products from trusted sources than take a chance on the unknown, so keep the relationship solid with regular, meaningful communication. Your autoresponder can handle multiple lists and different messages. That gives you a way to tailor the email to prospects for each product.
One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make is failing to target the message for each product prospect. They get lazy, write one message and one thank you note and then move on.
And this is such a common mistake that 90% of marketers make, including those who know better and even teach segmentation techniques to their buyers and readers!!! This undoubtedly brings their integrity into question in the minds of their subscribers, so always practice what you preach!
The autoresponder is capable of so much more work for you. Give each list a distinct name that relates to the product so that you can easily identify the list.If the autoresponder tool seems daunting, take time to view the tutorials.
Even if you have an active list under management, scan the tutorials to see if there are new tricks you can learn for maximizing the effectiveness of your autoresponder emails. Keep your electronic personal assistant busy and you’ll make more money online with less effort.
There are free autoresponders out there but they are limited with what they can do so it is always best to sign up to a paid service. Prices range from around $9-$19 per month for a list of up to 500 subscribers and the most popular all have free trials so you can try them out to see which one works best for you.
Although the primary purpose of an autoresponder is to automate the email sending process, it is also important to send regular broadcast emails to your subscribers, especially if there are any trending topics in the news relating to your niche, and also to tell them more about you and what you are up to.
This creates a more personal connection with you and builds more trust and likeability.
And this leads me nicely onto my next point…
Autoresponder Email Marketing – Make It Personal
As already discussed, the technical options that you have make it possible to send personalized emails from your autoresponder that can seem like the real thing.
Not every buyer knows about autoresponders, so it gives them the sense that you created an email individually for each reader i.e. just for them.
When you write an email, start with the name of a trusted friend in mind and write as if the message was just for that friend. Then edit out the friend’s name and set up the message so that your autoresponder takes over and inserts the prospect’s name.
Add the name naturally as it would occur in conversation. Internet marketers can make the mistake of over-using the name just because it’s easy to insert electronically. Read the message aloud.
Would you use the name that many times or does it sound phony? Yes, people love the sound of their own names, but when it’s over used, the reaction is that you’re being a fake and that send the buyer fleeing.
Don’t let spell check defeat you. First, be extremely careful when you type a name into the autoresponder list. If the name was automatically added to a list, don’t change it. Some names are spelled differently on purpose.
There is an ongoing dispute between Teresa and Theresa as to which is the accurate spelling of the name. Answer: the way she wants it! Also, be careful that the name isn’t changed in the final spell check.
Avoid the marital status question. Don’t add Ms, Miss or Mrs to any correspondence. For one thing, email isn’t that formal. You don’t need to guess on this one or you’ll surely be wrong more often than right.
While the generic “Dear Friend” or “Dear Internet Marketing Colleague” seems impersonal, at least it doesn’t make obvious mistakes that are humorous to some people and blatantly offensive to others.
Use the name when you ask for the order. Remember to be personal when you make the final pitch.
What’s more appealing to you: “Everyone needs this marketing package to increase sales” or “ I want to see you enjoy the kind of success I’ve had with this product – so, Stan, are you ready to make serious money online? If you are then click here. . . .but wait, Stan, I’ve got one more bonus that’s just what you need!”
That’s a personal close using the name and showing interest in the prospect’s success. So keep it real, keep it personal and keep making contact with your list so that the first sale isn’t the last one.
OK, so there are a few things to bear in mind when using an autoresponder and writing emails for your email marketing campaigns.
Email is a very powerful tool if used correctly and can be very profitable, but always put your prospects needs before your own and you will surely be successful.
If you are a new online entrepreneur, picking the right niche can be the most intimidating part of the entire business model building process.
If you get this wrong you could be setting yourself up for a disaster where you don’t earn money, you don’t enjoy the work, and you waste an incredible amount of time putting effort into something that won’t pay off.
So it’s vital that you understand the correct elements of picking a niche that pairs passion and profits. There are very few marketers who come into this business without the goal of pursuing their passion.
But you hear so much stuff online about money that sometimes, it seems like passion takes a backseat so that you can focus on money and take the financial pressure off.
“Someday,” you think, “I’ll make enough money at this that I can then do something I love.”
You can start off on the right foot from the very beginning and not have to start all over again one day with a new niche and a new dream.
Just to be honest; It does require some research, but have fun with this! Don’t do it all in one sitting – let your mind take time to savor the possibilities and engulf you in daydreaming about where all you might take these options.
Step 1 – Brainstorm Ideas
The best way to get started is to just do a quick and easy brainstorming session. Now is not the time to sort through and analyze your niches – just get them out of your head and jot them down randomly – we’ll weed out the ones that aren’t a good fit later.
Start by looking at niches you already know you like. For instance, you might like:
- Playing video games
- Playing golf
- Making your own jewelry
- Playing guitar…etc.
All of those are potential niches based on what you know you already enjoy doing. Forget about whether or not you’re an expert – just jot down current passions.
Next, consider what you’ve always wanted to learn but don’t know. For example:
- You’ve always wanted to learn better photography
- You’ve always wished you knew how to crochet
- You find yourself drawn to the idea of living a sustainable lifestyle
All of those “I wish I knew” topics are potential niche markets for you.
Sometimes, you can build a profitable niche based on experiences that you’ve had in life, such as:
- Surviving a troubled relationship
- Enduring a major health crisis
- Flipping a real estate property for a profit
Or, maybe you know someone else who is going through something – it doesn’t have to be directly related to you. For example,
- Maybe your neighbor is dealing with infertility
- You have a good friend who can’t figure out how to meet the right woman
- A sibling of yours suffers from panic and anxiety attacks
As you can see, there are niche markets all around you. Once you start training yourself to look for them, you start to see a world full of possibilities.
It feels safer and more relaxed learning from someone who knows what you’re going through and who can empathize with you easily. Even if you’re not going through the exact same thing, understand why there’s no such thing as saturation…
People like learning from multiple sources! You have a unique style and personality from other leaders in that niche. When people learn and search for solutions, they typically look in several places, not just one.
Step 2 – Research Already Thriving Niches
Another way you can come up with profitable niche markets is to see what’s being talked about by the media and bought in the marketplaces. This is easy because the research has basically been done, it’s just waiting for you to discover it.
Magazine covers at the grocery store can show you a wealth of information. So for example – if you picked up the latest copy of Woman’s World (or even just glanced at the cover on the newsstand), you may see the following topics being covered:
- Juicing for pain
- Food for Alzheimer’s prevention
- Inflammation and weight gain
- High blood pressure
- End cravings while dieting
- Anti aging tea
- Stress relief
- Body makeovers
- Success tips
Those are a lot of niches that yes, are very narrow in some ways – such as food for Alzheimer’s – but it’s a sign that people are into the memory niche, and you can be, too. Instead of getting so specific as “juicing for pain” you could jot down “pain relief” as your niche.
News sites also provide a wonderful account of what’s being followed in the real world. Let’s take four of the top news and information sites and look at what we can find on there.
On FoxNews.com, in the health section, you may discover topics like marriage quality influencing heart disease, obesity and exercise. Under the lifestyle section, you learn about hidden costs when buying a home, the key to online successful dating, and favorite vegetarian meals for celebrities.
On CNN.com, you could learn about bitcoin as a currency, comfort food weight loss, and diabetes and dental health. You can separate these combined topics or keep them combined if you want.
On DrudgeReport.com, you might see a news story about riots or bioterror and start thinking about the prepper niche. There’s a story about electronics like tablets selling more than toys for kids. You also see a story about the price of electricity rising, so a niche about saving money or becoming self sufficient might be an idea.
On HuffingtonPost.com, you may see stories about retiring abroad, the key to creativity, in-office workouts, remembering dreams, habits of mentally healthy people, etc.
Online marketplaces can give you some insight into what sells well with consumers. You can look at top sellers at ClickBank.com, JVZoo.com, and Amazon.com to pinpoint some possible niches.
Let’s look at them one by one.
ClickBank’s marketplace shows some of the top niches as:
- Fat loss
- Men’s dating
- Make money online
- Potty training
JVZoo.com’s marketplace shows some of the following topics selling well:
- Social media mastery
- Kindle publishing
Amazon.com is a great place to research both tangible and digital niche markets. You can go to amazon.com/bestsellers and look through each category to see what’s selling.
You can also look at hot new releases, top rated, movers and shakers and most wished for. These lists are updated hourly, so they’re as current as you can get, which will serve you well.
Click on a category and you can drill down further. Click on Books, for example and you can look in self-help. You can see that people want to know about:
- Being an introvert
- Marriage help
- Success tips
After you do a quick brainstorm and some fundamental research, you might have a very healthy, long list or a short one of about 5 niche markets you could possibly get into.
Next, it’s time to cut down your list even more. Don’t be hesitant about removing niches. They’re always there if you ever want to branch out and add another income stream, but you have to start somewhere with one niche, so avoid combining them just because you don’t want to give one up – keep in mind that it’s only temporary.
Step 3 – Discard Niches That Don’t Interest You
As you can see, picking a good niche isn’t something you do in 10 minutes in a flash. It’s a process that you give time to if you’re serious about building a highly profitable business because it’s going to require dedication by you.
Let’s look at some reasons who you would want to weed out a niche. Go through each niche idea you have and see if any of these reasons exist.
You can’t commit to writing, talking and leading the niche day after day. Many newbies hear instructions about keyword volume and price points of available products to promote, so they pick a random niche they personally have zero interest in.
Imagine you’re a man who loves golfing, but you pick the crochet niche because some guru pointed out something about keyword volume and product availability. It happens – and the poor golf lover not only doesn’t know about crocheting, but he can’t imagine writing about it every day. This is a recipe for failure.
Another reason is that there’s not enough monetization opportunity.
Ideally, you’ll pick a niche that provides both tangible and digital items you can promote (or create).
Examples of this are:
- Weight loss – not only can you promote diet and exercise digital plans, but also food and weight scales, workout equipment, supplements and more.
- Stress relief – not only can you promote digital eBooks on how to combat stress, but you can sell products like aromatherapy machines and home spa products.
One more reason why you may want to cut a niche is if it’s overly trendy. Sometimes something is such a fad that it’s a waste of time trying to build an entire business around it.
It’s much better to have an evergreen topic, like stress, than it is to build a whole site around a trend, like rubber band bracelets. That doesn’t mean you can’t create a page somewhere online to profit from trendy topics , but reserve your major efforts for topics that are going to last.
If it’s too broad, you can either eliminate it or narrow it down and see what all you can come up with for it. For example, just tackling the “diet niche” can be overwhelming.
But you might want to build a site about:
- Dieting over 40
- Dieting post pregnancy
- Dieting for diabetics…etc.
Once you whittle down the niches and feel confident that you could write about or lead in this topic for the long-term and that it can easily be monetized with products, you’ll need to make a firm commitment to one (if you’re left with more than one).
Step 4 – Compare What’s Left Over
This is where some of the traditional guru advice comes in handy. There will be times when your passion for two topics is equal and both provide great opportunities for profits.
That’s when you turn to things like keyword search volume so that you can see how prevalent the topic is online. You want to use keyword tools to see what words and phrases people are using to find information in that niche, and how high the volume is.
You might be asking yourself, “What number am I looking for?” There is no set number. You can make a good income from volumes of 1,000 or 10,000. Should you go with a niche where there’s only 10 searches per month?
Probably not. You want to look at typical conversion rates – anywhere from 3-30% – and compare that to the price of what you’ll be selling.
So if you were promoting an average of $100 items on your site, where you earned 50% of the sale (or $50), and you saw a search volume of about 1,000 for a good keyword phrase, then even at a low 3% rate, you could expect 30 sales per month @ $50 commission, which totals $1,500.
Is that a sure thing? Of course not! You have to have everything in place for proper conversion. Online businesses aren’t a “build it and they will buy” scenario.
Reviews on Amazon can provide some insight into whether or not it’s a hot niche. It’s not just the bestseller’s list. You can look at products and tell to some degree. For example, if you start clicking on categories in Amazon, you might see something typical like coffeemakers with hundreds or thousands of reviews.
But keep clicking around and you might stumble on a niche that you didn’t realize was that popular. Click through on “chef tools” and you’ll see a comfort mat that has almost 1,000 reviews and sells for almost $60.
So that might be a niche for you, if you like cooking – not the mat, but maybe “comfort in the kitchen – for people who love the art of cooking” and everything you promote could be digital products about cooking (including ones you create) and tangible items that make things easier.
Available domains will be a factor in your decision, but please take time to play around with synonyms and phrases before you simply cross a niche off because your first domain idea is already taken.
For example, let’s say your niche will be diet for diabetics. Look for other words for diet, such as food, nutrition, diet plans, eating, meals, etc. Diabetics can be used as diabetes, too.
So you begin mixing and matching. You might try:
- DietForDiabetics.com – available at auction for over $1k
- FoodForDiabetics.com – taken
- NutritionForDiabetics.com – available at auction for over $3k
- EatingForDiabetics.com – available at the regular price
- DietPlansForDiabetics.com – taken
- MealsForDiabetics.com – taken
Then go through and switch diabetics to diabetes and see what you get there. Or switch words around:
- DiabeticMeals.com …etc.
Do as much as you can to see what’s available and then if necessary, wait a day or two to see if any other possibilities pop into your head, such as:
- DiabeticMealPlanner.com … and so on
If more than one of your niches meets all of the above criteria, then what do you do?
You ask yourself, “Which audience do I want to serve?”
This simple requirement – where you feel empathy for your target audience and truly want to solve their problems – is where you develop a loyal fan base who will convert at the upper limit of typical conversion rates for you, instead of the bare minimum.
Remember that if you’re in a rush, you can easily choose the wrong niche, spend weeks or months trying to grow it, and still fail because it wasn’t right for you. It might be right for someone else – and this is why some people hit it big in a niche and others try it and see zero success.
Another thing you might want to do, if you’re still undecided, is spend some time looking at your competition. But only do this if you are the type who won’t succumb to intimidation, thinking, “Oh there’s already someone much better than me out there.”
Always keep in mind that people want choices. That person you’re admiring might be a great joint venture partner for you one day. But your style and voice will be unique to you, and his or her non-audience will be thrilled to find your voice out on the Internet waiting to guide them.
Plus, think about how you yourself learn. When you want to learn online marketing, do you only listen to just one person? Or do you visit a few blogs, read a few people’s responses on forums, and follow different people on social networks who inspire and educate you?
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t pick the right niche the very first time. Even with the best research and intentions, sometimes we get into a niche and just don’t feel it’s right for us.
If this starts happening, make a decision to cut your losses and try again. Remember what it was that you didn’t like about that niche and look for the opposite in your next one.
You have to maintain a fine balance between abandoning niches at the drop of a hat just because you’re not making instant riches overnight, and wasting too much time chained to a niche that just isn’t going to work for you.
Your next step is to build a blog. As a newbie, this is one of the easiest platforms to create and rank in search engines, and it’s the perfect place to let your target audience get to know you as their new niche leader.
If you want to start building a blog the right way, take a look at this amazing training that shows you how to build a blog the right way and how to build a list and monetize it. It is called Rapid Blogging Blueprint and consists of a training manual and over 3 hours of over-the-shoulder training and you can find out more here: warr.ws/RBB
Transitioning To Working At Home
Have you been forced to work from home due to the global coronavirus crisis? Obviously you are not alone during these strange times!
The initial joy of being able to work from home can be quickly replaced by worry, a lack of motivation and never-ending distractions.
How on earth do you get things done when there are so many distractions in your home? While home working can deliver a lot of benefits, there are a lot of challenges it presents too and many people seriously underestimate these!
In this post, you’ll discover some useful tips you can follow when it comes to transitioning to working from home.
Set Up A Quiet Work Area
With all of the distractions at home, it can be really hard to concentrate on work. This is especially true if you have kids at home.
So, if you want to ensure you can get things done in peace, it’s worth setting up a quiet working space.
Try and use a room that isn’t frequently used during the day. Place a sign on the door when you’re trying to work to let others know not to disturb you.
Make sure the workspace is comfortable too as you won’t get a lot done if you aren’t comfortable.
Start Work At Your Normal Time
One of the main challenges that can come from working from home is delaying the time you usually start.
It’s tempting to have a lie in and take longer to relax in the morning before starting. However, this only zaps your productivity.
If you want to ensure you stay productive, you’ll want to start as early as possible. The positive side to this is that the earlier you start, the earlier you’ll get to finish.
Limit Social Media Screen Time!
You’ll have a lot more time to check in on social media when you haven’t got the boss breathing down your neck. However, it’s easy to waste hours using social media accounts if you aren’t careful.
Many home workers find it useful to set limits on their social media use during working hours. It could be simply committing to using it during a specific time for example. Having limits in place makes you more aware of how much you’re using it.
Maintain Your Usual Work Routine
It’s really important to try and maintain your usual routine. This is linked to starting work at your normal time as mentioned above.
This means, getting ready for work in the same way you usually do.
So, wake up at the same time, have your usual cup of coffee and get dressed into your work clothes. It’s amazing how much of a difference this can make to your productivity.
These are just a few tips you can follow when transitioning to working from home. It can be a big adjustment, but there are lots of tools and tips out there to help.
Trying to maintain your usual routine is one of the best things you can do during these changing times and will allow you to be just as productive as you were in your work place.
Here are a few more tips to help you with productivity when working from home.
How To Be Productive Working At Home
As convenient and beneficial as working from home can be, it can also prove to be damaging to productivity.
The trouble is, up until now, you’ve associated your home as a space for relaxing. So, it can be difficult switching to a more productive mindset when you’re in the comfort of your home.
The good news is, there are ways to boost your productivity when remote working. Here, you’ll discover some of the best ways to stay productive when working at home.
Keep Your Workspace Tidy And Just For Work
You’re going to find it hard to stay productive if your workspace is cluttered.
So, before you start, take time to clean up the area you’re planning on working in.
Get rid of any clutter and organize the space.
The cleaner and tidier the space is, the easier you’ll find it to focus on your work.
Take Regular Breaks And Get Outside For Air
Suddenly being cooped up in the house all day can be detrimental to productivity.
It can cause issues with low mood and leave you feeling less motivated to get through your workload.
By taking regular breaks and making time to get out into the yard, it can really boost those productivity levels.
Spend just 10-15 minutes gardening or reading a book outdoors to help refresh productivity levels.
Always Prepare For The Day Ahead
When you go out to work, you know there’s things you need to do to get ready for the day.
You have a routine which prepares you for work. However, when you start working from home you don’t really have that.
Rather than thinking you can now work in your pajamas all day, make the effort to get dressed.
Create a morning routine which sets you up for work. That way, you’ll find it much easier to stay productive if your mindset is geared towards work.
Harness The Power Of Nature
Did you know that plants and flowers can help you to feel more motivated? Adding them into your workspace can help to brighten up the working environment.
Numerous studies have shown how effective greenery can be within an office environment. So, if you want an easy way to stay productive, add a few houseplants and flowers to your home office.
You can also utilize the power of scent too. In some countries, workplaces spray citrus scents to boost employee productivity. Try experimenting with different scents to see which ones make you work more efficiently.
Staying productive when working at home isn’t easy but it is doable.
The above are some of the best methods you can try to increase those productivity levels. Taking regular breaks away from your computer are important, not just for productivity but for your health too.
OK, I hope these pointers will help you to stay productive in your working from home during these unprecedented times, and stay safe.
Affiliate Marketing With Clickbank Basics
Anyone who has been trying to make money online for more than 2 minutes would have heard of ClickBank and what a potential goldmine it is.
Clickbank is an extremely popular and profitable affiliate network on the worldwide web and many Clickbank affiliate marketers make a lot of money with it. This post will give you the basics on how to go about using this powerful website.
By the way, if you want to learn more about affiliate marketing in general such as some of the myths surrounding it, you can read a great post here.
OK, back to Clickbank. Signing up with Clickbank is fast and easy and there are several tutorials, tips and training that show you exactly how to get started.
Next, you’ll want to look for your first product or service–keep in mind that Clickbank is generally geared for digital products.
If you already have an established site on a certain topic, it’s very easy to incorporate some Clickbank products to sell there. The more specifically targeted the product to your site, the better.
Look for products and services that have good gravity and popularity stats. If you find something that you really like but the stats don’t add up, then it’s probably not worth the effort you’ll have to spend on it.
You can decide to promote your product directly with the salespage given to you by the merchant, or you can do it by setting up a blog or website and positioning the product there on what is called a bridge page.
Most experienced marketers will agree that you can send traffic/visitors directly to merchant website as a newcomer to affiliate marketing, and it is a way to learn the ropes, so to speak.
But it is well worth the effort to eventually set up your own blog or website. This way you can use your bridge page to offer visitors a free report or checklist that is highly relevant to the Clickbank product you are promoting; this way you can get people’s email address and start building your own list.
Some pros and cons of Clickbank affiliate marketing
- One big pro, especially if you are a newcomer to affiliate marketing, is that Clickbank is extremely easy.
- The second big pro is that the commissions are on the high end when compared to other affiliate networks.
- One con is that many of the products offered on Clickbank are not of the best quality, although they can be expensive. There are really a great deal of rags-to-riches types of products and e-books. You can also find many good products but you do need to do a bit of digging, depending on the niche you are working in.
- Another con is that the Clickbank stats are really nothing special, especially if you compare them to sites such as Adsense and Amazon, just to name a few. Also, you can only create text links automatically with Clickbank. Other types of links are not available.
As you can see, Clickbank affiliate marketing is a good place to get started in affiliate marketing and many experienced marketers are successful with them as well.
However, the problem that many beginners and even intermediate marketers face is that they just can’t crack the ‘ClickBank code’.
It’s as though those who know what to do are insiders who are raking in the cash while everyone else is an outsider struggling to make a single sale. It used to be that way for a long time until CB University appeared on the scene.
This is one of the most popular online marketing courses online and many customers have reported benefitting from it. The 2.0 version is an improvement on the first release and it’s bigger and better now.
Several CB University members have left glowing testimonials about the efficacy of the training and how it bridges the knowledge gap that has always prevented beginners from succeeding with ClickBank.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of CB University 2.0 and see if it lives up to the hype.
The Good Points:
1) One of the strongest points about CB University is that it covers both affiliate marketing and product creation. This is definitely an improvement on the earlier version which only covered product creation.
With the 2.0 version you have more flexibility. Generally, beginners will find it easier to start off as an affiliate… and as their knowledge and experience gets better, they’ll be able to take on the more daunting challenge of becoming a product vendor.
2) The training itself is detailed with notes, videos and over-the-shoulder instructions. The methods are clearly explained in a step-by-step manner and even the greenest beginner will be able to follow along without difficulty.
3) The people behind CB University 2.0 (Matt Hulett, Adam Horwitz, Justin Atlan) are all accomplished marketers in their own right. They are NOT fly-by-night scammers who will take your money and run. This is crucial when choosing to spend money on any ‘make money online’ course.
4) The training is simple to follow, but is extremely in depth. The training for becoming a vendor on ClickBank is broken down into 12 weeks.
- Week 1 – How It Works
- Week 2 – Finding Your Perfect Product
- Week 3 – Creating Your Avatar
- Week 4 – Creating Your Product
- Week 5 – Creating your Perfect Upsell
- Week 6 – Sales Copy & Conversion Maximizing
- Week 7 – The Easy Video Sales Letter
- Week 8 – Finalizing your Product
- Week 9 – Getting onto ClickBank
- Week 10 – Attracting & Managing JV Relationships
- Week 11 – Split Testing
- Week 12 – Scaling your Success
- Bonus: Selling High Ticket Products on Webinars
And the training for ClickBank affiliates is spread out over 8 weeks:
- Week 1 – Affiliate Marketing on ClickBank
- Week 2 – Understanding Affiliate Marketing
- Week 3 – Finding Your Passion
- Week 4 – The Ultimate Affiliate Funnel
- Week 5 – Free, Free, Free: Always Over Deliver
- Week 6 – Writing the Perfect Swipe
- Week 7 – The Email Blueprint
- Week 8 – Scaling and Expanding
- Bonus: Running Affiliate Promotions
So, you’re going to be busy with this training for quite a while. Ideally, it’s best to choose one method and go all out with it. Most beginners would do well to start off with affiliate marketing.
5) The product comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. So, you have 2 months to give CB University 2.0 a test run. We’re guessing that once you join, you’ll probably stick around for a long time because it has that much value.
6) CB University has a forum for you to hang out with your peers and ask questions and mingle with other fellow marketers. It’s an active community that’s supportive and you’ll learn a lot from there.
This beats buying some eBook from some unknown marketer and being left to your own devices to figure it out, while the marketer has taken your money and run off.
7) The program is also equipped with a very useful toolkit that you’ll use over and over in your business. Basically, it’s a set of tools and online video training that covers some of the tech stuff that most beginners struggle with.
Here’s a list of some of the ‘tools’ inside:
- Camtasia Alternative: APowersoft for Screen Recording
- Creating a Sales Presentation with PowerPoint
- Demographic Research with Google & Twitter
- Design Banners, Posts, & Giveaways with Canva
- Enhance Your Social Media Activity with Hootsuite
- Increasing Conversions with Optimonk
- Introduction to Tools
- Outsourcing with UpWork
- Recording Your Sales Video with Camtasia
- Sending Broadcasts and Automating with AWeber
- Setting Up Your Funnel with CB Builder
- Setting Up a Custom Domain with GoDaddy
- Split Testing with Visual Website Optimizer
- Video Editing with Camtasia
8) There are also live Q & A sessions for members where more training is provided. For those who are unable to attend, you can always catch up on these sessions which are recorded and uploaded in the members area. The value in these sessions more than make up for the monthly fee.
The Bad Points:
1) Just like any online course, you’ll need to study and apply what is taught. Information is useful, but action is the foundational key to all success.
The problem is that most newbies hesitate to act on the information. You must overcome this mental obstacle to see success. CB University is not a winning lottery ticket. You MUST do the work.
2) The amount of information in CB University can be overwhelming to a beginner and may make them him/her that the process is too difficult.
The best way to get around this problem will be to focus on just being an affiliate, instead of a vendor. Once you’ve learned the ropes and are generating affiliate commissions, you’ll be more confident to take the leap and become a product vendor.
3) The membership is a recurring fee. A beginner who is strapped for cash may find that the monthly fee is a burden. The fee gets much higher if you choose the upgrade (Builder 2.0).
Should You Get It?
A resounding YES! This is one of the best online marketing courses on the planet and it’s the benchmark when it comes to ClickBank training.
The fact that it covers both affiliate marketing and how to be a vendor in the ClickBank marketplace makes this a truly well-rounded training program.
With thousands of students and many success stories, the product delivers what it says beyond a shadow of a doubt. If you wish to make a decent side income, this course is for you.
If you wish to make income that will allow you to quit your day job and have location independence and freedom, CB University will help you get there.
If you want to be a millionaire, guess what? Yup! This course is for you too. ClickBank has made millionaires out of several vendors and affiliates. If you do the work and follow the training closely, success can be yours too.
Do Blogs Still Work?
The question “Do blogs still work?” is one which gets asked a lot and the answer is quite simple.
Of course, they do!!
Put it this way; providing good high-quality information is exactly how to earn the favor of the search engines, which have the potential to make or break your business.
And since it dominates 75% of the global market share it’s best to focus all your efforts to rank on Google above all else.
So, how do blogs play into this?
Well did you know that 47% of buyers view 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales representative, and companies with blogs tend to get 67% more leads than those who don’t have an updated and optimized blog.
And being found easily in the search engines is obviously going to play a key part in people finding your blog posts.
You could have the most amazing content on the internet but if people can’t find it you are wasting your time.
SEO, or Search Engine optimization, is a very important strategy when building your blog, especially off page SEO strategies, and these are continually evolving along with any updates to the Google algorithm.
Sometimes businesses just aren’t clear on how content production can lead to lead generation.
The simple answer is, as stated earlier, people will need several exposures to you and your content before they feel comfortable parting with their contact details or their cash.
Building up trust and authority status is crucial to your success, and a blog is an extremely powerful tool at your disposal, to build credibility and showcase your expertise.
So, are you still wondering “Do blogs still work?” Hopefully not, and here are some simple tips that you can use to optimize the way your blog will work for you.
These are easy to do, and you can get started right away; many are common sense, but you will be surprised that many blog owners are not doing them correctly, and that means you can get a competitive edge over them by following them.
OK, on with the tips…
Focus on quality rather than quantity
Going back a few years ago, short sub-500 word articles were the best type of article to write to gain a high ranking on Google, but those days are long gone.
Longer posts are much more favoured today and when I mean long, these articles can be over 3000 words, which is like a small ebook!
The focus is on high-quality information going deep into a topic that can really help your readers with their problems.
Don’t think you can just waffle and stuff keywords into your articles as you will be penalized.
Write with your reader in mind and you can’t really go wrong.
Having a content calendar/schedule is a great tactic to use to try to instill the habit of creating content regularly.
Some will say to write daily, some weekly, some monthly!!
The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer, but you must be consistent.
If you can only manage to write one article a month, that’s fine. Never sacrifice quality for quantity.
Once you have started writing your post you can move onto the next tip…
Encourage Engagement With Your Readers
When you are writing anything on your blog, try to write conversationally; use you and I in your writing i.e. talk to your reader one-to-one.
This really helps to create a connection with your readers. Don’t try to be aloof as the subject “expert” but rather try to position yourself as a fellow traveler.
This is much more engaging for both you and your readers.
Also, try to use stories if at all possible as these are incredibly engaging and powerful.
Another engaging post is a case study, and this also shows the readers proof that what you are writing about works.
If you allow comments on your posts, respond to all your comments as soon as is practicable for you. Having a dialogue is incredibly engaging for the reader involved but is also another indirect form of social proof.
So, now you have readers looking at your content. Let’s move on to the next tip…
Add A Call-To-Action
You should always write a blog post with the end goal in mind, whether it is for the reader to opt-in to your email list or to get them to click through to your offer.
Also use widgets to add opt-in forms or calls-to-action on your sidebar or use pop-ups and/or exit pops.
I can’t stress this enough; don’t just write a post for the sake of writing as it is a waste of time; after all, you are in business to make money and if you have people consuming your content, it is an ideal opportunity to get them to sign up or monetise them.
You may be uncomfortable using more intrusive forms such as the pop-up, but they do work, as long as any offer you are showing them is highly congruent to the post they are reading.
Working in tandem with the call-to-action is our next tip…
Use Content Upgrades
What is a content upgrade?
Well, basically it is another chance to further encourage your readers to sign up.
And, because the focus is on longer posts, a very quick and simple content upgrade to offer is a copy of the blog post in downloadable pdf format so they can read offline or at their convenience.
Other types of content upgrades that work well include checklists, video, audio etc.
Video/audio doesn’t necessarily mean just having a video or audio version of the blog post; it could also be some complementary training that enhances the information in the blog post.
Get creative and you can have many opportunities to capture your readers email address.
If you are going to offer a pdf of the post, then a really quick way to do this is to use either Post Gopher (a WordPress plugin) or, my personal favourite, Designrr. Both of these tools can produce a pdf version of the blog post, but Designrr allows you much more flexibility to customize the end result.
Using calls-to-action or content upgrades aren’t the only way to engage and entice your reader to sign up. Now you can have your very own personal assistant on your blog, leading on to our next tip…
Start Using Chatbots On Your Blog
Messenger chatbots are hot right now and have super high engagement and you can quickly use a service like ManyChat or MobileMonkey (you can use the free versions to begin with although the Pro versions aren’t that expensive).
When you have signed up you can use the service to install a small snippet of code on your website that will allow a custom chatbot to show on your blog; cool. eh?
Both Manychat and MobileMonkey work specifically with Facebook Messenger and have incredibly high engagement, and there aren’t that many blogs doing this at the moment, so it is definitely something worth looking into.
So, there are 5 ways to ensure that your blog is still relevant today and in the future.
Implement them and you will be able to answer anybody asking you “Do blogs still work?” with a resounding “Yes!”
As a bonus, here are 4 reasons why blogs don’t work.
When you look at blogs that are failing, there are normally some common reasons that keep popping up and these are summarized below.
Again, there is a lot of common sense here, but these things can be easily overlooked, so refer to this list often so you don’t fall into any of the traps that could be hampering your success.
A lack of basic SEO resulting in poor ranking
This blog post is NOT about SEO, but you really need to be doing the basics to give your blog an SEO boost.
On-page SEO, such as having a keyword rich post, having your main keyword in your post title, using internal links (if appropriate), optimising tags in any images used, using Yoast SEO plugin (if using WordPress) etc.
Off-page SEO is more important for ranking, and involves building backlinks to your blog, using broken link strategies, reaching out to influencers and guest blogging etc.
If these things aren’t in place, the chances are that your blog won’t rank, which means that few, if any, people will see it and no additional lead opportunity will be created, which, of course, will result in zero new sales.
Blog topics not researched or strategically created.
How can you know what topics are getting searched the most and are most relevant to your company if you’re not doing keyword research?
Writing blog posts with no target in mind is completely pointless.
You must do your research and find out what people are typing into Google to find the information that you are trying to give them.
Targeting these keywords will result in less competition, thus making it easier to rank for, BUT it must be a keyword that people are actually using!
Lack of understanding of the customer avatar and journey.
Some entrepreneurs don’t realise that people are reading their blog posts long before they ever converted. As stated earlier, it takes at least 3-5 exposures to your content before a reader will trust you; in all honesty it’s probably more like 7 exposures.
Along with keyword research, you should’ve already done your niche research and know who your ideal reader (and thus customer) is, and ALL your content should be written with this person in mind.
You also need to be able to analyse and track visitors to your website so you can see which post are working and which aren’t.
Without this kind proper analysis, it’s unlikely to know which blog posts actually led people to fill out a form or were part of leading people to fill out a form, so all the blogs were marked as a waste of time.
Lack of a coherent content promotion strategy
Even if you have done all of the above and you do have a wonderful blog that is based on keyword research and properly optimized you still need to promote the blog to your audience.
In all honesty, writing and publishing a blog post is only half the battle.
Without thinking about the different avenues to connect users to your content, your blog is only going to reach a fraction of your audience.
You should also share every blog post on your social media channels; share to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at a bare minimum.
OK, there you have it. You now have 5 ways to ensure that your blog is staying relevant, and 4 things to keep an eye on to ensure that you aren’t sabotaging your success and not ranking as well as you could.
All there is to do now is to start cranking out that content…
How Can I Start Blogging?
So, you have decided to use a blog to help you with building your business, expert status and brand awareness. Good for you; this is a wise decision.
Here’s the truth about 6-figure blogging:
While blogging can be automated (eventually), you shouldn’t expect income to be passive from the beginning; this is simply unrealistic and a mistake that many aspiring entrepreneurs/bloggers make. You’ll have to work at it, especially when you are just starting out and trying to launch your blog and build a platform that you want to be recognized for in your market.
While I eventually outsourced a lot of my content to skilled writers, I still spend time evaluating advertising options, reviewing products that I can promote, building my mailing list and creating ad campaigns to boost traffic and keep my blogs in the forefront of my audiences’ mind.
The point I am trying to make is, while you can delegate many tasks to a team, such as content creation and even marketing, you will want to be directly involved in the initial building phase.
This is your brand, after all.
You need to make sure every piece of content has your voice, carries your message and represents your business in the best possible way.
No one will ever be as careful and professional with building your blog as you will be, right? So, dig your heels in and commit to spending the first few months building your blog from the ground floor up.
Then, and only then, should you begin to think about creating a team that will help you manage your blog and eventually, expand into other avenues with other niche-based blogs (if you choose to do that).
Again, you really need to understand that blogging is not a hands-free method of making money during the INITIAL stages. You must be prepared to put in some time and effort if you truly want to succeed.
But the good news? Your hard work will pay off.
So, how can you start blogging? Well, it is very simple to start and there are 5 distinct phases to getting your new blog up and running.
The 5-Step Formula
Like I said, setting up a blog isn’t difficult and can be done by pretty much anybody. Yes, there is a bit of “tech” involved but it isn’t too hard to work out yourself (Google can be your friend if you do get stuck).
While there are countless reports and articles that over-complicated the process of making money with blogging, here’s a basic overview of how it’s done:
1: Create a blog and register a memorable domain.
Avoid remotely hosted options. You need to be in full control of your website so you can take advantage of all the different revenue options with no limitations (or other people’s advertisements). You need to buy hosting and you have a number of options (such as A2 or Siteground) so shop around for the best deals. You will also need to pick and buy a domain name and I suggest Namecheap for these. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform by far as it is free and incredibly customizable by the use of plugins and themes. My favourite theme is Socrates (it is a paid theme, but it is so versatile and quick and you will always get much better support with a paid theme as opposed to a free one, but the choice is yours).
2: Write (or outsource) killer content that will generate traffic.
This content needs to be extremely high-quality, targeted and informative. All meat, no veggies.
A good place to find writers is Iwriter and the thing I like about it is that you can see the article first before paying, so if you don’t like it you can reject it.
3: Convert your visitors into email subscribers so you can build your list.
A newsletter is key in building a successful blog online.
Scratch that; a newsletter is essential to be successful in nearly ANY market online. You will never make as much money without one.
4: Communicate with your subscribers regularly.
Build rapport and trust. Nurture relationships with your market. This is where you can build a recognized brand as an authority in your market and set yourself apart from the competition (especially those bloggers who aren’t doing this!). To do this you will need an email autoresponder. Popular ones include Aweber, Get Response, and my personal favorite, Active Campaign.
5: Sell products and services to your audience
This is a key strategy for monetizing your blog and also your newly cultivated newsletter. If you want to start with affiliate marketing, you can look for products and services in your niche and see if they have affiliate programs and sign up for them.
If you are in the Internet Marketing or Make Money Online niche, you can sign up for an account at places such as Clickbank, Warrior Plus and JV Zoo and promote a number of products from a host of vendors.
Just be sure that if you are going to promote something, that you either use it yourself, or you have tried and/or reviewed it and you believe it to be worthy of your audiences hard-earned cash.
NEVER promote something just for the money because if you promote something that is poor quality, you can quickly lose the trust of the people you are serving.
So, those are the 5 steps in a nutshell.
Sounds easy enough, right? It is. But it will take time.
The key is to be patient in the initial stages, and once you are up and running, you need to be consistent.
Just keep on going and eventually you will start to see some traction and this will give you a little bit of motivation to keep going.
When blogging, you are in it for the long term; it is not a quick win strategy. But you will build authority in your niche and could become the go-to person when somebody has a problem, and that is a great place to be.
Good luck… now go buy that domain name…
Before we begin, we need to understand what Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) actually is. CRO is basically when you are trying to increase the number of your website visitors to take a specific action, such as opting into your list, buying your products or services, or anything else.
To be effective at CRO you really need to understand who your visitors are, how they move through your site, what actions they take, and what it is that is stopping them from completing your goals.
What is a conversion?
A conversion is the general term for a visitor completing a site goal and these goals come in many shapes and sizes.
If you use your website to sell products, the primary goal (known as the macro-conversion) will be for the visitor to buy your products(s).
There are smaller conversions that can happen before a visitor completes a macro-conversion; an example of this is to opt-in to your list to receive emails. These are called micro-conversions.
Examples of conversions:
- Buying a product from the site
- Requesting a quote
- Subscribing to a service
- Opting in to your email list(s)
What is a conversion rate?
Your site’s conversion rate is the number of times a visitor completes a goal divided by your site traffic.
If a visitor can convert in each visit (such as by buying a product), divide the number of conversions by the number of unique visits to your site.
If you sell a subscription, divide the number of conversions by the number of visitors.
Conversion Rate Optimization is part of the sales funnel strategy that’s increasingly being embraced by modern marketers.
It is incredibly important if you are buying traffic via paid ads to minimize initial ad spend and possibly make your offer a self-liquidating offer.
One of the issues are all the distractions that are present in the life of a potential customer. An average shopper might start browsing on their desktop, stop to make a cup of tea, continue searching on their mobile, lose their signal while on the go and revisit the page later in the day. This is where retargeting can play a huge role in bringing these visitors back to your offers, but you will still need to persuade them to take the action you desire.
Important Conversion Rate Optimization Metrics
Conversion rate optimization only works if you’re tracking specific key metrics.
As you are continually testing and making changes to your website and funnel, you need to know what specific impact those changes are having on your visitor behaviour, number of sales, opt-in rate, and more.
And there are a number of things you should be keeping an eye on.
The key metrics you need to be monitoring and analysing are:
- Bounce rate
- Average time on page
- Unique visitors
- User experience (UX)
- Number of Customers
- Page load time
The key to successful CRO is to be constantly be testing BUT only change one element at a time. Split-testing is the key to successful CRO
The good thing about many of the newer page builders such as Click Funnels, Convertri and OptimizePress 2 is that they do have some built-in split-testing functionality so you can quickly change an element and clone a page and run traffic to both versions to see which is converting better. Once you have a clear winner, you can change another element to see if the conversion rate goes up or down.
It’s this methodical and systematic approach to split-testing that will enable you to really optimize your conversions.
If you want to dive a bit deeper into split-testing you can use tools such as Split-Test Monkey which is really easy to use but very powerful, and then you can do all your split-testing from a single dashboard, rather than possibly jumping from one page builder to another.
Ok, so now you understand what CRO is and how important it is, let’s look at 4 ways to increase the conversion rate on your website.
1 — Eliminate Unnecessary Choices And Distractions
An important part of high converting landing pages is being crystal clear on your objective for that page.
Your page shouldn’t try to get people to do more than 3 different functions…
The page can quickly become overwhelming and confusing, and a confused visitor will quickly leave your page, it really is as simple as that!
3 conversion points are the absolute maximum, but if you can, try to have just one conversion point on the page.
For example, if you are creating a sales page for a product/service, you need to minimize leakage and there should be only one call-to-action and that is the buy button.
Everything else is a distraction form the objective which is to get the sale.
The honest truth is you’ll only likely to get 1 click at best on your page so you want to eliminate any unnecessary choices.
If you want people to download an eBook.
Or start a free trial.
Or schedule a sales call.
Make sure that every element of your page works towards that goal.
The only exception is your home page and possibly blog posts (when you’re not targeting specific content to attract opt-ins to collect emails).
2 — Eliminate Unnecessary Distractions
After you have decided on the 1–3 (hopefully 1) conversions you’re looking for on this page, you have to understand what’s going on while the visitor is on that page.
What’s currently acting as a distraction and taking away attention from your ideal conversions?
How do you figure out what’s going on with your page?
Well, there is a great free tool which can really help you. And that tool is…
There are a couple of things to keep an eye on in Google Analytics:
Firstly, there is On Page Time
A very general rule of thumb for “on page time” is between 1–3 minutes per page. If you have a look and see that the average on page time is under 1 minute you definitely need to try to improve that page!
This information can tell you a lot about what your visitors are experiencing and why they are behaving in such a way i.e. leaving!
People may be leaving your page because you’re revealing the price before they’re truly convinced and sold on your offer.
Secondly, there is the 1st page traffic sources send prospects to
What is your biggest traffic referrer? Google, social media, email?
Whatever your top referral channels are, you can analyse the data and create reports which will show you which pages people visit from specific sources.
This is really valuable data and allows you to compare relative volumes of traffic from different sources within the same dimension; e.g. the traffic from different search engines, or social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.
Overall comparisons like this allows you to make some initial opinions about which channels are most effective or offering the best ROI (Return On Investment) if applicable.
You can also use it to work out other things such as:
- Are they warm or cold traffic?
- Where are they in their search process?
(Most search engine visitors are probably in the awareness phase of the buying process, but if most of the traffic to that page is coming directly from an email, those visitors are probably much closer to the decision phase.)
- Are they in the top or middle of the funnel?
- What’s their level of problem awareness?
(Think about it: someone who reads 1 page and goes straight to an offer is much closer to making a purchasing decision than people who go on to read 1–3+ informational pages after reading an initial informational page.)
As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts to the buying process but looking at this data should help you narrow down what the specific sticking points of the step you’re optimizing are and ensure that you are making the necessary tweaks to increase performance.
3 — Simplify Design
Part of the reason why people might miss important information on your website is that the design of your website is too busy.
It should be said, that it is much better to have an understated, fresh, modern and minimalist design especially on sales pages.
Understanding how people read on the web can help you make conversion rate optimization decisions.
Just think about how you act when you are on different styles of sales pages; which ones are you more likely to stick on and read the sales copy
Here are a couple of design guidelines to use as a starting point:
Less Style Is More
We’ve all seen really sexy looking sales pages, with animated image flying in left, right and centre, but even though you can appreciate the design, do they make you want to buy? Are they sometimes style over substance?
Many times, a sales page may use white transparent text backgrounds over images or white text on a black background. This might look nice and communicate your personal style, but it’s difficult to read.
If the image is important and serves a purpose, it should be featured outright. If it doesn’t, get rid of it!
Choice of Colours
Most of us aren’t professional graphic designers and it shows in our sales pages. One of the biggest issues is choosing the wrong combination of colours, leading to a clashing palette.
If you don’t know much about colour theory and colour wheels, then use a tool such as Coolors to generate colour combinations that work together?
How many colours should you pick? At most, it is best to stick to less than 6 colours. (Plus, Black and White.)
4 — Streamline Your Message
Once again, less is more. One of the mistakes that novice business owners make is to create pages and marketing assets that are not well organized
The sections don’t usually have clear functions and this leads to confusion and a lost (potential) purchase.
This goes all the way back to point one where you need to ensure that every element on the page directly supports your specific conversion(s) goal and if it doesn’t, you should remove it.
Okay, we have covered a lot of stuff in this post! Don’t worry; conversion rate optimization might still feel overwhelming to you even after reading a great post like this. 😊
The thing is, you are now more well informed than many of your competitors and you can start to put this into action on your pages and funnels.
Use the built-in split-testing functionality of page builders such as Click Funnels, Convertri and OptimizePress 2 or use a dedicated split-testing platform such as Split-Test Monkey to test and tweak your landing/sales pages.
Now the only way you’re going to get more clarity is to start! So, go to it and start optimizing your content and pages today. Good luck!