7 Steps to Creating An Award Winning Blog

Henry Ford is credited with creating the first automobiles, and yet he said, “I invented nothing new, I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom there was centuries of work”. It is the same way when you are choosing to create a blog. You need not create something new, but you must take the work of those who have gone before you and put it together in a way that will impress your customers. If you follow these seven simple steps, then you will be successful at doing that.

Step 1: Own Your Own Domain Name

While you will find several places that will host your blog, often for free, it is important to own your own domain name, as it leads credibility to your site. Domain names are available from Go Daddy.

Step 2: Use A WordPress Template

The easiest way to build a website is to use a WordPress template. Like Henry Ford building the first car, there is no need to reinvent the parts. Instead, using a WordPress template allows you easy access to the components. In particular, consider vFlex, Appliance, Sensitive and Strap Slider Lite

Step 3: Choose Your Medium

While the majority of articles on the Internet are written, that need not be the case. You can choose to use videos or use graphs to convey your point. While some bloggers choose to stay with one format, others choose to mix it up, using what works best for them.

Step 4: Just Do It

While many people worry about making everything perfect before hitting the publish button, the most important thing to do is get your blog published. The great news is if you find an error later, it is easy to go into the blog and fix that error.

Step 5: Make it Easy to Share

When you are writing a blog, make it very easy for viewers to share the content with others. Therefore, at a minimum, you need to include a Facebook button and a Tweet button.

Step 6: Build Credibility

Your blog needs to be credible. There are many different ways to accomplish this. If you have won awards in your field, then make sure to list them on the page where your blog is found. There is nothing like person-to-person contact to build a following. Include an about me page on your website.

Step 7: Allow Comments

Some of the best ideas come from readers. It is a great way to understand what they are thinking about or where they are having trouble. Therefore, make sure to allow moderated comments on your website.

Following these seven easy steps is the best way to start blogging. Remember that consistency is the most important thing. You will need to upload a new blog every two to three days. Once you get started you will discover that you are filled with ideas.

Get Out Of Your Photo Rut

Many people spend hours trying to find the right graphic to illustrate their ads. If you have encountered this problem, then you may be stuck thinking about graphics always in the same way. If this sounds like you, then try experimenting with some new ideas.

Provider’s Portrait

If your business relies on personal service, then consider using your own photo. When people see you while familiar things surround them, it creates a sense of trust. When people trust the provider, sales naturally increase.

The Product

If you are selling a product, then consider taking a close up photo of the product. In most cases, the closer you are to the product the better. Make sure to play with creative lighting if there are words on the product label that you want to emphasize.

A Benefit

Make a list of the benefits of using the product. Now, choose the top benefit and find a way to show that in a photo. For instance, if you are selling swimming pools, then show a happy child in the pool.

Show an Output

If the product is designed to make something, show the finished product. For example, if you are selling an oven, do not show the oven, but show the beautiful steaming pie that just came out of the oven.

When you start thinking of all the possibilities you will soon find that you are filled with creative ideas. Alternatively, if you cannot come up with a great photo, then consider eliminating it all together. On the other hand, especially when dealing with complex ideas, a graphic, such as a chart, also can make an awesome graphic.

Cost Per Conversion or Return On Investment?

Many people who are trying to analyze their first AdWords accounts become confused about which way they should measure their account level so that they can make adjustments at the keyword level. There are basically two choices; cost per conversion and return on ad spend. Understanding the difference in the two will allow you to understand which the best choice is for you. Remember, however, that they are not inclusive, so you should look at the other indicator at times.

Most experts who are seeking to use their advertising for lead generation choose the cost per conversion method as it is easier to see how it impacts your goals and your company’s performance. In order to arrive at this number, simply divide the total cost of the ads by the number of conversions that the program has achieved.

If you choose this method, then make sure to know where your breakeven point is, as you do not want to spend more than your leads are paying you. Knowing this point allows you to keep your cost per ad below that level by tweaking your accounts. There is no perfect solution, so remember to push your advertising budget just as far as you can.

If you have fixed costs and fixed payouts, then this is probably the model that you need to choose. It is the most important way to go if the purpose of your ad is to generate leads. In addition, do not forget to measure the total number of leads generated by a campaign.

The second method used to analyze your AdWords cost is to figure your return on investment. Usually this is achieved by dividing the revenue brought in by a campaign by its cost. This is especially valuable if you work in e-commerce, because it allows you more flexibility when you are selling numerous products. When analyzing your return on investment, it is usually helpful to shoot for a certain percentage rather than an actual amount of money.

When using return on investment for an e-commerce business, try grouping your products into categories to determine which categories are most profitable for you. When you do this, you will be able to see where you are generating the most revenue and know how to tweak your AdWords campaigns for maximum success.

Both of these metrics should be watched carefully, but depending on the type of business you are operating one may be more valuable than the other one. Do not forget, however, to watch the other one as it can help keep you avoid unnecessary surprises.

5 Social Media Sites You Should Be Using

It is vital that you know where your target audience heads to when they are using the Internet. There are literally hundreds of social media sites, but it is impossible for most business people to create custom content for each of them. When arming yourself with this information, you are able to create your brand quicker, recover former clients who may have forgotten about your product and segment your audience based on their preferences. When looking at social media sites, make sure to consider these five choices.

1. Facebook

Facebook is the second most popular site on the Internet, being surpassed only by Google. Over 900,000,000 people visit this site each month. Many do it multiple times a day. Therefore, it is important for most businesses to be advertising on Facebook on a regular basis.

2. Twitter

Twitter is the second most popular social media site on the Internet with over 310,000,000 unique monthly visitors. When creating content for Twitter, remember to keep it short and memorable so that people will want to pass it on to their friends at greater rates. This allows your company to experience even greater exposure to new audience members who often view it as a recommendation from a friend.

3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn sees about 250,000,000 unique hits each month. When using LinkedIn as a marketing tool, it is vital to remember that the more people that you follow and the more people that follow you, the more successful your marketing will be.

4. Pinterest

About 150,000,000 people visit Pinterest each month, and like Facebook, many people visit several times each month. When marketing on Pinterest, remember that you need to create unique content that displays well in a photo.

5. Google Plus

About 120,000,000 people visit Google Plus each month. In order to target this segment of your customer base, encourage people to add you to their Google Plus circles every time you send a marketing email.

When you capitalise on the power of these sites, you are greatly expanding your customer base allowing you to introduce your brand to even more customers. You are also reminding people of the products that you have available. Perhaps, most importantly, however, it is an easy way to target audience members with the content they will find most useful.

3 Important Factors to Developing Successful Web Pages

85 per cent of the people in the United Kingdom use Google. If you are creating a web page, it is vital that your page appears in the top position when people search for a term, but getting there is not always easy. The reward, however, is very big as the top position gets over 34 per cent of the clicks, followed by 12 per cent for the number two position and 9 per cent for the number three position. While Google will never announce exactly how to get your site to be number one, there are some factors that will definitely help.

Use Real Terms

The first thing that you should ensure that you are doing is using terms that your target audience is entering into the search box. For example, in the United States a small truck is known as a pickup, while in South Africa that same vehicle is known as a bakkie. If you are a South African bakkie dealer, it may be relatively easy to place high for the search term pickup in South Africa, if you are a bakkie salesman that term will not do you much good because your customers will probably not know that fact. Instead, they will enter bakkie into the search box, so dealers need to target that word instead.

Provide Content

In the past, ranking high in Google required that you use your search term a certain number of times. Those days are gone! Today, you must provide content that Google feels will be an asset to your customers. Therefore, consider creating pages that teach the reader how to do something, provide deeper information on a topic or a list of links to authoritative sites that your reader may find extremely useful.

Writing Style

When writing a web page, make sure to use as few words as necessary to convey the meaning. Many people find that they write lots of words. If you are one of those people, write your content and go back and get rid of extra words. Write the content so that the reader sees the benefits of using your product. Be as specific as possible with the details. When writing content, it should be as valuable to a reader five years from now as it is today.

When you keep these three factors in mind you will soon find that your page ranking is quickly rising. It may be a slow process at first, but keep going. Google likes to see pages that have been on the web for a while, along with sites that receive regular updates. Doing all these things will have you ranking high before you know it.

3 Ways to Write an Award Winning Headline

The most important part of your PPC ad is the headline because it must capture the viewer’s attention. If it does not immediately capture their curiosity, they will quickly move on to the next thing on the page. Therefore, you must use these 25 characters to your full advantage. There are three easy ways to capture the audience’s attention.

Promise a Reward

Viewers of your PPC ads are ultimately self-centered. Therefore, consider using the headline to show the viewer what is in the deal for them.  If you are having trouble finding a customer reward, then list all the features of using the product or service. Then, select the top one. Now, reword that so that you are telling the customer why they should care.

Make a Provocative Statement

Thousands of ads bombard customers each day. Therefore, it is necessary that yours stands out from the crowd. A great way to do this is to use a provocative statement that elicits an emotional response.

Choose Emotional Words

Everyone loves to get something for free. Even if the best you can offer is free information, the word is extremely powerful. Whenever possible, use the word free in your headline. Almost as powerful as free is the word new. Whenever possible, combine the two for a PPC ad that is guaranteed to work.

3 Tips to Creating Powerful Landing Pages

If you are going to run a successful PPC campaign, then you already know that you need a successful landing page. The page must be user friendly and convince the buyer to convert their interest into buying the product. Each PPC campaign should have its own page. With more customers than ever before using mobile to access the Internet it is vital that the landing page be mobile friendly or you need to create a separate landing page for mobile users.

Make the Page Scannable

The page should be easy to scan. Internet users will look at a page for less than six seconds before they make a decision to look at the page further or move on to another page. Therefore, make the material easy to scan. Never present a long set page without breaks.

Colors

Choose the colors of your landing page very carefully. Certain colors connect better with different audiences. Remember that different colors connect best with different audiences. In addition, remember that different colors have different meanings in different cultures. If you are running a PPC campaign with specific location based keywords remembering this can be particularly important. Researchers have found that even within a country, different ethnic groups relate differently to different colors. Major brands have found sale increases from 7 per cent to 41 per cent simply by changing their colors and the same can be true of your landing pages.

Use the Logo

A company’s logo is one of their most valuable assets. Therefore, when designing a landing page, make sure to feature the company logo prominently. This ensures the viewer that they have reached the right place. If you want the customer to move from the landing page to another page, the logo should be on every page.

Following these three tips will ensure that you have created a great landing page. After you have created a page, create another page. Then, test the two against each other. If you need instructions on how to conduct these tests make sure to see PPC Ads That Sell for those instructions.

2 Free Reports to Help You Determine PPC Ad Times

When you run PPC ads, there are many factors that you must keep in mind. One of the most crucial is the best time of day to run your ad. Run it too early or too late and you will miss your target audience completely. At the same time, running it at what initially appears to be the right time of day can cost you too much money. It is a delicate balancing act, but one that you must learn to master to be successful with PPC advertising. Thankfully, there are two free reports that help you determine exactly the right time to run your PPC ads.

The first of these reports is the Adwords report. To generate this report, simply open your Adwords account and click on the dimensions tab. You should now see an option to view days of the week. Make sure to select the days with your best sales under this tab. Make sure to include the conversion rates in your columns. Now, click OK and the report will generate. Once you have created the report, convert the data into Excel and create a pivot table with the hour of the day on the upright bar and the days of the week across the bottom. Plot your data and you will see the times of the day that are most valuable to you.

The second report that you should generate is the analytics report. Again, open your Adwords account. This time, click on the customization header at the top of the analytics section and indicate that you want to create a new custom report. Name the report day of the week and hour. Now, tell the program to create a flat table and download it to Excel. Now, you can create a second pivot table very similar to the first.

Compare the two reports and you should have a great idea of when the best time to run your ads are and the best days of the week based on real results. You just have one step last. Never trust a report. Instead, follow the advice in the book PPC Ads that Sell. Choose the two times that you think are most valuable for you to run your ads. Run an identical ad during both time slots. Compare the results and you should know exactly when you need to run your ad. If there is any doubt in your mind, then run the reports again using different times or days of the week until you are satisfied that you know the best results.

3 Steps to Writing a Powerful Headline

Before you write your next PPC ad, your next blog post, or your next newsletter story, pause for just a second and ask yourself how you can craft a powerful headline. Experts have proven that the most powerful words in any written material is the headline because it entices the reader to take time out of their lives and read the rest of the article, ad, or blog.

Step #1 Identify Your Target Audience

The first step to creating a great headline that delivers results is to identify the target audience. The free book PPC Ads That Sell reminds readers that hits may go down, because the ones that are reading the blog or viewing the ad are the people most likely to buy the product or service. In order to determine your target audience, you need to identify three key elements.

You need to identify the demographics of your audience including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnic background
  • Income
  • Marital status

You also need to identify the psychographic information about your audience including:

  • Attitudes
  • Behaviors
  • Hobbies
  • Lifestyle

Finally, you need to determine the location of your audience. Not only where they are physically in the world, but also how they connect with your PPC ads, blogs, or newsletters.

Step #2 Choose Psychological Keywords

Once you have identified your target audience, think about psychological words that will connect with your target audience. Some of the words that you might want to consider using include breakthrough, crammed, free, growth, pioneering, scientific, secret, soar, special, tested, truth, and unlimited.

Step #3 Write the Headline

Now, you are ready to write your award-winning headline that will attract your target audience.