12 Best Online Marketing Strategies For 2012

At this time of each year we think about what we accomplished over the last year – and what we want to improve on for the upcoming new year.

From a marketing perspective, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all new ideas and bright shiny objects out there to pull our attention away from the marketing strategies that matter most – those that will actually improve your business and expand your marketing reach.

So, in honor of the new year – I present to you the 12 best online marketing strategies to focus on for 2012. There could be more – but these are in my opinion the best strategies to bring you quicker to your business goals using online marketing strategies that work.

Don’t choose them all! Focus on the 2 or 3 that you feel could impact your marketing effort the most – and carve out the time and plan for implementing them next year!

  1. Improve your irresistible free offer. Perhaps it’s time to replace that outdated “free report” or “eBook” with an even higher value freebie to offer site visitors. As I referred to in my post about the best freebie out there (read it here) – my favorite is still the Audio CD – which has huge intrinsic value because it’s a physical “thing” and you can capture mailing addresses in addition to just email address.
  2. Launch a new product or program. There is always something you can “launch” whether it’s a new product or program. You can also “re-launch” something you did this year that performed really well. My post shares some great methods for launching a new product or program (read it here.) Think about what you can do differently this time around to make it even more engaging and worthwhile for your audience. Add more bonuses and juicier incentives to help increase sales.
  3. Do a new webinar or teleseminar. Each new year is a great time to host a new topic using either a webinar or teleseminar. It can also be a perfect time to switch up the format and see what works best. Been doing a bunch of teleseminars lately? Try a webinar? Doing just webinars? Try a teleseminar. And, choose a topic that is new to your audience and see what kind of response you receive.
  4. Connect with a new joint venture partner. Have this year be the year you establish a great partnership with a new strategic alliance or joint venture partner. I explained how to do this in my post about joint venture as a great list building strategy (read it here.) Someone that you feel can really pull you and help you in a big way – while you can do the same for them. I always like to think outside the box about who to connect with – and expect something great as a result.
  5. Create an affiliate program. Perhaps this is the year you launch an affiliate program. Affiliates are a great way to spread your message and build your list – while also supporting your sales of products or programs. Pretty much most shopping cart programs (1ShoppingCart, Infusion, etc.) support affiliate programs and are easy to establish.
  6. Update your website / blog. Website looking a bit outdated? Perhaps it’s time to hire a graphic designer for that new logo you’ve been craving or hire a website developer to update your entire site. I shared how important design is when it comes to marketing online in an earlier post (read it here) so don’t skimp on the important details when updating your website. First impressions matter most when designing your website.
  7. Be more active on social media. Are you one of the folks who has a Twitter account but hardly ever uses it? Perhaps you’re wondering exactly what to post on that new Facebook fanpage you created? Have this year be the year you be more “social” on social media. Remember, you can’t be active on these social media sites unless you show up and do the work. My post about being active on social media can help you (read it here.)
  8. Start a pay-per-click advertising campaign. I’m a huge fan of pay-per-click advertising. One of my earlier posts about PPC explains that it’s one of the best and most effective ways to quickly and authentically build your list with highly qualified leads. Whether it’s Google AdWords or Facebook ads – they convert brand new prospects onto your list and you can target very specific groups of people searching what you have to offer. Yes, you gotta pay for the traffic – but – it’s definitely worth it on the long run (I show you how here.)
  9. Add video to your marketing. It’s 2012 and you’re still not using video in your online marketing? It’s time to jump onboard with the most powerful and effective way to connect and build trust online with visitors to your site. With the advances of technology and video equipment costs plummeting – you really have no excuse to do more video and start reaping the benefits immediately. Stuck with where to start and how to do it? My blog post about using YouTube can help you get started (read it here.)
  10. Generate more content. Only posting to your blog once every other week or once a month? This is the year you need to generate a ton more content – way more than you’re even doing now (unless you blog every single day.) Putting out high-content and high-value articles and blog posts is how you get new traffic as well as nurture the existing audience you have on your list. As I referred to in my post about how to get to page one of Google – content is king (read it here.)
  11. Be smart about SEO. Still don’t have a clue about search engine optimization or how it relates to your blog or website? SEO is critical for having massive success online – and can’t be ignored or overlooked anymore. Develop a comprehensive SEO strategy about how to improve your search engine rankings for your best keywords and let’s get to work. Need help on where to start? My blog post about the ABC’s of SEO will help (read it here.)
  12. Email your list more often. Only sending the email newsletter out when you have the time for it? This is the year we get you on a consistent and frequent schedule of emailing your list all this great content you’re now generating. If you’re doing monthly now – consider bi-weekly. Sending the newsletter every other week? Let’s make it happen by sending it weekly. As my earlier post about emailing your list more frequently explains – the more you email your list – the higher your open rates and consumption of your content – which is all good (read it here.)

There you have it! The official 12 best marketing strategies to grow your business with online marketing for 2012.

Please comment below which of these strategies (or others if you have them) you’ll put into place for the near year and let’s make 2012 the best year yet!

Happy New Year!

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

The Most Important Page On Your Website

There is no denying that having a solid website is critical for success in building your online business. Not only does it represent you and your message for so many to see – it allows you to attract new visitors and gives you a tremendous opportunity to convert those visitors into leads.

Having a “client attractive” website that pulls people in with your compelling message is critical in building your list with highly motivated and qualified leads.

But, do you know WHICH page on your website is the most important for converting the most highly qualified leads onto your list?

Homepage? Nope.

Contact page? Nope.

Squeeze page or Landing page? Maybe – but not the most qualified.

In my opinion, the most important page on your website for attracting and converting highly qualified and motivated people onto your list is the About page.

Yep – the “About” page. The page where you “tell your story” and allow visitors to find out who you really are and why you do what you do.

Why? It’s the ONE page on your website where you have the best opportunity to truly engage with your visitor with your story, your why and your message. When you do so effectively and in an authentic and compelling manner – you have the best ability to convert them onto your list – when they are the MOST interested, engaged and motivated by reading about you.

How? Easy… And, this is where most people miss it. I’ve seen countless of “About” pages on a website with no optin box. None. Big mistake. Yes, there is the basic optin box on the upper part of the page – but as the visitor is scrolling down and reading more about you – they’re super interested and engaged.

So, why not include an optin field throughout the page as the visitor is reading? Perhaps as you’re telling your story about how you got started or why you do what you do – including a very transparent optin box for the visitor to optin at that moment to find out more will massively increase your conversion to your list.

And, because these people are actively reading your story and everything about you on the About page – you know they are interested and engaged more so than anywhere else on your site. It’s the most transparent and conversational way you can connect with a visitor on your site.

They are learning about you – and wanting to find out more. Including an optin field sprinkled throughout your About page will increase the likelihood of them joining your list.

It’s not a hard call to action like you may have on a squeeze page or landing page referring to your IFO. It could be more subtle and simply refer to whatever the topic is you’ve written as part of that section from your About page.

For example, mine might look like this:

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I’m also the ONLY expert in a very crowded field of “Internet Marketing Coaches” that teaches purely “authentic” online marketing strategies. I don’t bother with all the fluff out there online that focuses on making a quick buck and places no value on the relationship with a prospect or client.

Best of all – I am very practical and easy to work with. I’m known for over-delivering with my clients and giving them EVERYTHING that I have and much more. I show you step-by-step how to do something so it’s easy to put into place and doesn’t require a technical background or “techy” skill set to implement what we cover and quickly put it into action so you can see immediate results.

Want a taste of how I can help you quickly and easily build your email list in an authentic way? Enter your email address below for my free report: Build Your Authentic List:

Enter email address here:

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Doing this small change will not only increase your conversion and build your list, but build your list with truly engaged and interested subscribers – which will pay off in a very BIG way over time…

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

How To Get On Page One of Google

I get asked all the time – how do I get my site to the top ranking on Google? If there was an easy and quick solution – we’d all be doing it – and we’d all be at the top page of Google.

But, it doesn’t work that way. It takes knowing what works – and the commitment (plus time and effort) to get the results.

We all want top rankings from Google. Why? As people online are increasingly using the Internet (and most of the time Google) to search for information or resources – top ranked websites in the Google search results are getting the most clicks. How much more traffic and visibility do the top ranking websites get in the results?

A ton… The top ranking gets more than 50% of the clicks from a search. #2 gets close to 14%. After that you’re in the single digits (and not even to mention if you’re not on page one of Google.) More clicks = more traffic = more leads.

So, it’s important to know how Google determines page rank. Page rank represents how important a site is on the Internet. Google figures that when one site links to another site, it is like a vote for the other site. The more votes – the more important the site must be.

But, the importance of the site that is casting the vote also determines how important the vote itself is. Google calculates a site’s importance from the votes cast for it. So, the importance of each vote is also taken into account when determining page rank.

It’s basically Google’s way of deciding a site’s importance. The more important the site, the higher it will appear in the page rankings.

I will break down the 3 most important concepts to increase your page ranking and get on page one of Google.

1. Content. Content is king – more important than anything else. No matter how slick or compelling your website looks – or how many other sites link to it – the content has to got to rock. It must be relevant and keyword rich for the search terms that people are looking for on Google. If you can create killer content and match that to exactly what people are searching for – you’ve reached Google page rank nirvana.

2. Consistency. Now that you’re churning out fresh and relevant content – you must do it consistently. Once a week just doesn’t work anymore. Writing an article for your newsletter once a week is not going to bring you a ton of traffic. Why? Because that content once a week won’t get you on page one of Google (top page rank.) What does? Blogging. You need to be blogging 2-3 times a week (if not more) to consistently put out new content that gets noticed and gets traffic. That will get you on page one of Google. And the blog posts don’t need to be long, drawn out articles (see content point above to ensure you’re putting out the best content.)

3. Compelling. If it’s not interesting to read or worth the time and effort for someone to consume it – don’t bother. Your content (blog posts and articles) literally has to rock the reader’s world. Keep it interesting and the reader will want to share it with others and comment on the relevance. This helps build visibility and back links (which helps your Google page rank.)

Want proof? At ClientAttraction.com we have generated twice weekly blog posts and video content around compelling marketing and mindset information – for very relevant and highly searched keywords (i.e. “how to implement more”, “avoid price resistance”, “how to delegate”) and we’re all #1 top ranking.

If you search for “how to implement more” on google.com – see what shows as top rank on page one. Of 279 million web pages – we’re #1. We didn’t even exist for that search phrase 4 weeks ago before we generated that content.

How did we do it? See #1, #2 and #3 above.

There you have it. An SEO lesson on Google page rank and 3 important strategies to ensure your site is up at the top. I look forward to seeing you there with me. 😎

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

The Skinny on Google+

The Skinny on Google+In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a new kid on the social media block. And our friendly online giant, Google, brings it to us.

I’ve had a lot of questions about Google+ ranging from how to use it and is it worth paying attention to. Many people out there are calling it the “Facebook Killer” but I don’t see it like that. The social media landscape is vast and varied enough that there is (currently) enough room for another player in the game. I say – bring it on! Google is obviously a HUGE player in the online world so anything they do – you pretty much HAVE TO pay attention to it.

Google+ is offered on practically all Google products (Gmail, Google.com, Google Docs, etc.), and its adoption is spreading quickly. I heard recently it attracted more than 10 million user registrations in the first two weeks (more than Facebook or Twitter during their initial launch phase.)

But, as a marketer – what do you need to know? What’s the lowdown on Google+ to help you with marketing and your online presence?

Well, here’s what you need to know as this new player starts to emerge.

In a nutshell, Google+ enables real-time updates (like Twitter) and lets you stay in touch with “circles” of friends (similar to Facebook, but with easier options for creating and viewing groups). You can also check into places with it (like FourSquare).

So, what’s in it for us marketers? Although Google+ is still relatively new, we can already see what it has as potential from a marketing perspective.

+1 Feature. Similar to Facebook Like – it allows you to promote and share webpages and content online by ‘+1’ the page. So, many marketers have already started to add Google’s “+1” feature to content pages and websites. That means more user engagement for you from your website visitors and another method for people to spread the content and get the word out.

SEO. Just like with any other method of social promotion, the more +1’s your content gets, the more likely Google will consider the topic relevant to those search terms. It’s a recent SEO trend, which relies more on recommendations and people suggesting relevant content as opposed to “black and white” marketing strategies to get your content on the top pages of Google. So, over time Google will factor +1 scores into its search algorithm. When you write about a subject on Google+ and your circle (friends) Google that subject, your comments and links are displayed on page on of Google.

User Intelligence. The more you use Google+, the smarter the platform gets as recognizing your usage and recommending items in your News Feed. You’ll start seeing increasingly relevant updates and content coming from within your network – meaning users most interested in what you have to say will find your content more easily, and will be more likely to refer to it and share it.

Influence. Google+ is another way for users to share what they’re reading and watching. Right now, the people on Google+ are people – it’s not available to companies or brands yet. So, the early adopters and users of this platform are able to establish the trend and how interactive the platform is with their network. So, the biggest influencers on Google+ will become the most active and influential sharers of content.

Even though Google+ is just starting out, its reach and ease of use make its implications for online marketers worth consideration. Join today and stay tuned to see where it goes!

Here’s an amazing secret to use Google as a marketer:

+1 notices are posted in everyone’s Gmail inbox – meaning if you +1 something it has the potential to show up right in someone’s Gmail inbox – which is where they are spending most of their time anyway – in EMAIL. This point alone makes Google+ a must for any marketer.

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live it!

p.s. Check me out on Google+ here. http://gplus.to/derekf and check out http://gplus.to to get your own customized Google+ URL.

Do You Know The Chain of Online Marketing?

As marketers we are sometimes perplexed why a particular program or product is not selling. We created a great offer, wrote the sales page, sent the emails and people are just not buying. What went wrong? Was it the offer or the sales copy or the emails? We scratch our heads and wonder why.

Well, it has to do with all the individual steps as part of the online sales process. One breakdown in the chain can cause the whole campaign to fall apart and it won’t be successful. When you look at each of the links in the chain – they all have to perform and convert in order for the overall campaign to be successful.

Here’s what I mean:

A product doesn’t sell online unless it has a compelling offer. It can’t just be positioned on it’s own without some juicy incentives and a strong call to action to motivate prospects to buy. This will include flexible pricing plans, bonuses, scarcity and a guarantee.

But alone a strong offer won’t work. You need compelling sales copy…

A sales page won’t convert unless it has compelling sales copy. A strong headline and compelling sales copy that speaks to the emotions and thoughts of the prospects that convince them that what you’re offering will solve their problem or be the answer to the question they’ve been asking. This will include video, testimonials and motivating sales language to engage them to buy.

But alone a strong offer and compelling sales copy won’t work. You need a high click-through-rate in your email…

Prospects won’t click on the links in your email unless you have compelling and motivating clickable links in your emails. The click-through-rate is what indicates what % of people read your emails and feel interested enough to click the link in the email to see what you have to offer. This will include using bold and CAPS and highlighting keywords in the clickable links to get them to click.

But alone a strong offer and compelling sales copy and motivating clickable links in your email won’t work. You need compelling email copy…

Readers have to feel engaged and motivated when reading your emails. Writing compelling and engaging email copy will motivate them to take the next step. And you need to keep your email copy interesting – so the reader wants more. This includes mixing up the format and including both small and long paragraphs; perhaps also using images in the email (or even video images).

But alone a strong offer and compelling sales copy and motivating clickable links in your email and compelling email copy won’t work. You need a thought provoking email subject line…

This is where it all begins. Your email subject line is the first introduction to what you present before anything else. It has to be thought provoking and interesting and motivates people to open the email and wanting to read more.

So, see how it all ties together. Prospects will never see your offer or get to your sales page or click your links or read your emails unless you get them to open your emails. All the steps matter – and a few words in the email subject line is often times what matters most…

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Pay Attention To Every Detail When You Market Online

In online marketing, every detail matters. I mean EVERY detail. It matters in order to get a response. If you don’t want a response with your online marketing – it’s like not wanting to build your list; or not wanting to build a relationship with your list; or not wanting to convert prospects into paying clients; or not wanting to earn money. Get the point? Bottom line – design and detail is needed to ensure your online marketing generates a response. It’s critical if you want to authentically and effectively market your business online and make money with your website.

And I’m not just talking about websites – but we’ll focus on that area for now. We could talk about online design for social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) but, 90% of the time your website is the primary “landing spot” where traffic comes to see the following:

  • Who you are
  • What you to do or have to offer
  • Why you do it for them
  • ·How you would do that for them

Your online design needs to capitalize on all aspects of generating a response from your visitor to either compel them to opt-in or buy a program or product you’re offering. Here are the key areas to consider:

Page layout. It has to make sense. Think about “common sense” for a minute about what is the most important thing you want website visitors to see – and do – and cater to that. For example, at www.ClientAttraction.com we have NO wasted space – really anywhere. Every little area of the screen (particularly above the fold where 90% of people view at first glance) is strategically filled with some item or call-to-action that compels the visitor to get a response and take some action.

Colors are huge. What colors and branding fits with you and your image? If you have logos or color specific references elsewhere (business cards, letterhead, etc.) – than leverage your colors and incorporate it throughout your site. Don’t just choose other random colors just because you saw it elsewhere – it has to fit with you.

Images and buttons. What looks good on a website? What do you respond to in terms of images and graphic design? For example, there is a reason why a clearly labeled button that says “Add to Cart” is more engaging and compelling to a potential buyer than simple plain text “Buy my product here.”

Here’s a trick – don’t reinvent the wheel. See what else is out there and what’s working and just “model” that. If you see some design elements online and you’re responding to it – chances are it’s a good design strategy and they’ve thought about the detail – so see how you can incorporate that into your website design.

Now, here’s the good thing. You don’t have to have a good eye for design or detail – particularly in the area of websites – but be sure to find someone who is. You can easily focus on the big picture of what you want accomplished with your website and have someone with the skills and expertise to make it happen. But, you have to give them direction! You can’t expect someone to build exactly what it is you want – if you’ve not clearly defined for them exactly what you want!

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Your Assignment:
What can you improve in terms of the design and detail for your website? What is something that needs a bit of work to either uplevel what is there or streamline the design to get more of a response. Do a thorough review or have some of your team members and / or clients review and give you constructive feedback on what is still needed. Focus on the three areas I mention above (website layout, colors, images/buttons) first and see what can be improved to get a better response. Interested in finding out more about online design and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.

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Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include: Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Generate More Profits (and serve your clients) with an Authentic Upsell

According to the online site dictionary.com, the word “upsell” is defined as the following:

“To try to persuade a customer to buy a more expensive item or to buy a related additional product at a discount.”

But, I have a new term to consider: authentic upsell.

Sounds ironic, doesn’t it? Is there even such a thing? Yes!

When done from integrity and a place of authenticity when you value your prospect and even more so – value the products or services you provide.

We’re exposed to upsells all the time – and the idea used to gross me out. I made a decision to buy – and I’ve not even RECEIVED what I purchased – and yet you’re asking me to buy even more?! But, then I realized two things.

1. We live in a world of upsells. You go through an upsell process all the time the second you step into a grocery store or department store or sit down at your favorite restaurant. And think about how online shopping works – it’s upsell all over the place. And we respond to it! You just never noticed it… which leads me to the second realization I had about upsells.

2. When an upsell is done from a place of integrity and authenticity (authentic upsell) – it doesn’t “feel” like an upsell at all. It’s natural. It makes sense. You welcome the idea and are generally receptive to it because the offer doesn’t seem to be “inauthentic” or “incongruent.”

The idea is this. You know better then your buyer or client what they need (and want) most. It might be perhaps offering additional services or products on top of what they have already purchased. And, consider this. Once they’ve made the decision to buy – they are in a completely different mindset from BEFORE they bought. They are more receptive to additional or complimentary offers – but only if they are done out of integrity and authentically.

The catch is this – the upsell has to make sense. You don’t want to bundle in a product or service that is completely NOT related to what they just purchased. Be sensitive to their feelings and make sure they are starting off on the right foot. But, be open and real with them about offering something in addition to what they just purchased that will add even MORE value to what they’re about to receive.

So, how can you apply this to your business? Don’t worry – you don’t need a high-technical system or process in place to make it happen. And, even if you don’t sell your products or services online – you can implement a semi-manual system for now to further enhance the buying process (and your revenue!)

It can be as simple as displaying the upsell offer on the thank you page online AFTER they buy; or including it in the email auto-responder after they have made their purchase. Even if it’s not online – it could be as simple as emailing them afterwards inviting them to supplement what they’re about to receive.

The key is this – it’s gotta be real and not salesly. We all can pick up on that (including your new client or buyer.) So, be respectful and transparent about what you’re offering –and if it’s from a perspective of authenticity – you’ll not only do great things for the revenues of your business – but also for your clients.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

The Importance Of Where You Host Videos

Video rocks. There is no denying it. And furthermore, there is no disputing that video helps conversion across the board. From landing pages to squeeze pages to sales pages – chances are if you use video – you’ll attract more leads and convert more sales. Period.

But, have you ever given any thought to where you ‘host’ your videos? I mean does it matter if you use YouTube or Viddler? Or what about private hosting like ezs3.com or flowplayer.org? Does it even matter?

Yes, it does. Here’s why:

Videos are all about getting a response. Now, the response you want your viewers to take depends on the action you want them to take. And, where you host your videos will help dictate what action is intended for them to take. Meaning – different hosting options for videos will support and dictate what type of response your viewer can (or cannot) take.

For example, if you’re hosting a video on a squeeze page or a sales page – what is the desired response from the viewer? Opt-in (in case of a squeeze page) or buy (in case of a sales page.) Correct? So, in that scenario, it makes complete sense to host your videos on a professional service where there is no other option for the viewer to take. You don’t want them to click on the video and get pop up ads or invitations to watch other videos or anything like that. The model is this: watch and opt-in or watch and buy. Nothing else. I prefer to NOT have a player bar (that shows the timer at the bottom of the video) to restrict the ability for the user to fast-forward the video. The professional video hosting services can be enhanced to add your logo or branding to your videos as well as offer clickable-links directly in the videos to your shopping cart or buying process.

However, if you’re posting a video in a blog post or article – where the desired response from the viewer is to comment on your blog or share it with others through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter – I would definitely recommend using a social video hosting service like YouTube or Viddler. I actually welcome the idea that the viewer is inspired by the video so they click on it and see my video channel with ALL my other videos where they can watch them, comment about them, share them, etc. That’s the intent. Branding your ‘social’ videos on a social site like YouTube makes sense.

So… it DOES matter how and where you host the video. Think about it the next time you’re producing videos and automatically choose the same service over-and-over again for hosting. You need to mix it up to get the desired result from your viewers.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

The Lights Are On, But Nobody’s Home

When it comes to Internet marketing, we tend to get overwhelmed and distracted with all the “bright shiny objects” to help market our business. And what happens is most people jump into all of them – but never actually COMMIT to the work and follow-through that is needed. When it comes to your website, blog, email, video, social media, etc. often times people will do THEM ALL, but unfortunately NOT DO THEM ALL WELL.

Here’s an example. I love to check out someone’s online presence when they express interest in coaching with me. It’s one of the first things I do. I will check out their website, social media, videos, etc. It gives me a great sense about them and their business (and their online marketing challenges) when I spend JUST 2-3 minutes reviewing their website and online presence. I recently went to a website (they indicated their website was still in the “beginning” stages) and saw it was “Under Construction.” It remained like that for months… I mean, come on!

Don’t flaunt it if you don’t have it!

If you “say” you’re active on a social media site but have nothing there, what does that say about your online presence and even more importantly, your business? How do you expect to get clients if you’re saying one thing about your marketing, yet not actually doing it? You’ve got to walk your talk, not just talk your walk. You hand out business cards with a website you’re ashamed of that doesn’t get you any traffic or leads? You’ve got to be serious about your marketing to be serious about making money with your online business. If not, you’re basically saying “lights are on, but nobody’s home!”

Here are other examples that you want to think about:

Website: Just get it done, really. There is no excuse you have to delay buying a $9.95 URL via GoDaddy.com and have a fully-functioning website setup on WordPress within minutes. Hire a web designer on elance.com or odesk.com and get a decent web banner/logo and just some simple welcome pages for your site. The words “Under Construction” on your website are worse than having no website at all.

Social Media: I see so many people that are jumping on the Facebook and Twitter bandwagon when they haven’t even stopped to think for a second if it actually ‘makes sense’ for their niche. They create a profile, setup an automated feed of tweets and then walk away thinking, “Great, I’ve now used social media to help build my online business.” I’ve visited countless websites to see the prominently displayed and ever-popular “Follow me on Twitter” or “Visit me on Facebook” links. So, I visit and see there is practically nothing there – it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It’s like false advertising. Worse is when you visit a Twitter profile and they have no picture, no bio, no tweets – nothing but just the account. It’s like – who is this person?

YouTube: I’ve visited people’s channel on YouTube only to discover they only have ONE video posted to their account. Not good. The video had nothing to do with their business – but a family vacation trip two years ago where the kids were water-skiing. Yet, the website I was looking at had a button and a link saying, “Check me out on YouTube for my videos!” Why bother

Blog: Don’t say you have a “blog” when you don’t have anything to share like high-content articles or content-rich posts. Blogs are designed to share fresh, current and relevant information. It’s hard to say you have a “blog” when you haven’t posted anything in months.

Email: This is the worst of all. If you’ve added someone to your list and you don’t have a consistent strategy in place to email them and deliver content to them on a regular basis, then why did you build an email list to begin with? It’s like inviting someone over for dinner and the guest commits with an emphatic “Yes!” – But you never stay in touch with them and actually invite them over. You need to stay in touch with your list!

The moral of my rant here is to stick to what works for you and JUST DO IT. Don’t get distracted or influenced by what everyone else does; focus on what works for your niche. When you do commit to something for online marketing, then COMMIT. It’s all about ACTION, not PERFECTION. If you do it half-assed, honestly, and this is my personal opinion, it’s almost worse than not doing it at all.

So, it’s totally cool to hang out in different places online to market your business and help other people, but make sure you’re actually there.

I look forward to “seeing” you there…

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

The Online Debate: Blog vs. Website

I get this question all the time from clients. Whether they are just starting out and have no online presence or are considering upgrading their online presence – they ask me this question.

“Derek, should I use a website or my blog or both? What’s the difference?”

It may sound like a basic question – but it is actually one of the most important questions to consider regardless of whether you have a website or a blog already – or are considering changing what online presence you have.

There are some fundamental differences and reasons why you should choose one over the other – that essentially combines a “best of both worlds” approach with a blog and website.

In this article I will share why having a blog is actually the best solution and I’ll reveal the best resource for setting up your blog. The best part is that it’s free and easy.

And just to be clear: a blog IS a website. A blog (web-log = blog) is a dynamic website. It supports the idea of having fresh new content that is updated consistently. As opposed to a website which is more traditionally seen as static and not frequently updated with new and relevant information.

Here is why you should not have both a website and a blog. Imagine your prospect is searching online for your niche or subject matter. They type in some keywords and look at the results to see two different search results. One is your website, say www.mywebsiterocks.com and they then also glance at the other search result and see something similar – but a little different. It may have your name or company presence on there – so the prospect is a little confused what the difference is. That website is www.blogpost.mywebsiterocks.com. Well, guess what – you’ve essentially just confused your prospect before they even come to your site. They will ask themselves? What is the difference with these two sites? Are they the same person or company or something different? Which do I click on? These are questions you NEVER want your prospect to be asking when they are reviewing search engine results and deciding which site to visit.

Having both a blog and a website is essentially putting you in competition with yourself. This will confuse your prospect and ultimately decrease the number of visitors to your site and compounded from that will decrease leads to your list and clients or buyers of your programs and products.

Even worse in this example is the fact that you’re essentially giving blogspot.com search engine credibility for your keywords by having your blog hosted on that site as opposed to your actual website name – say www.mywebsiterocks.com.

Let’s take another unfortunate scenario. You’ve decided to host your blog on your own website or domain – so you now how have a menu item on your website that says “Blog”. So, when people come to your www.mywebsiterocks.com website and see the menu item “Blog” – they will click on it and go to your blog. Not good. Not only will you be competing again in the results of the search engines – but you’re adding an additional step for your visitor to take to get what they actually came for – CONTENT. Typically a blog will have new and fresh and updated content (articles, posts, tips, etc.) – why not showcase that on your homepage of the website as opposed to having it hidden in another area of your site?

The moral of the lesson is this: don’t create a dual presence online with your website and a blog.

So you might be asking yourself, “Great Derek, what’s the solution?” Well, the answer is to setup your website as a blog. Combine the website and the blog together to have the best of both. Here’s how:

If you don’t have a website or a blog yet – set one up using WordPress (www.wordpress.com). There are hundreds of reasons why you should use WordPress to setup your blog. But, the best one is this – you can setup your blog like a website. It’s totally customizable in everything from the layout to the design to the look and feel – so you can actually have it look like a website – but with all the benefits of having a blog.

What are the benefits of having the blog?

  • Search Engine Optimization. Google loves new content. So, Google loves blogs because those have the most new and updated content. And, Google loves WordPress blogs because they are the best at setting up the content and including all the SEO “stuff” so your site will rank higher in the search engine results
  • True plug-n-play. Wordpress provides all the social connectivity with Facebook and Twitter and other state-of-the-art “widgets” that allow you to literally have a site setup in minutes – and connected to the other online outlets to help showcase and broadcast your content
  • Easy. It’s so easy to customize and design a WordPress blog. WordPress has hundreds of “themes” out there where you can choose a pre-defined blog template that you like and then very easily customize. Adding images and videos is a snap.
  • Scalability. As your business grows or evolves – you can very easily change or re-design your blog without having to hire an expensive web designer. Using a customized “website” that is built on a non standard platform could make it very difficult, time consuming, and expensive to change in the future
  • Show off your content! Blogs are designed to showcase your content. So, it helps you showcase new and updated content. This will most definitely help you attract more visitors to your site.

An example of a WordPress blog that is setup as a regular website is www.clientattraction.com. Our site “looks” like a regular website but it’s designed using a custom WordPress theme. So, we get all the benefits of using a blog (and a WordPress blog at that) and the ability to customize and design it like it was a customized design website.

And don’t worry. Other website functionality is available for WordPress sites like membership site functionality using applications like WP Wishlist (member.wishlistproducts.com).

So, if you fall into the scenarios described above where you have a separate website and a blog – or no blog at all – consider moving it over to a WordPress blog format. It’s not difficult to do and will position your website in a way to attract more leads so you can build your list and get more clients.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!