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eBook 101: The Writing, Launching and Selling Process

Getting an information eBook off the ground is one of the best ways to start earning online revenue. The process of writing, launching and making money with an eBook involves a lot more than most people realize.

Launching an eBook is much like launching any other product. You first need to do extensive market research to make sure you’re creating a product that people want to buy. Then you need to spend a lot of time creating a good product, so that people who buy it will buy again in the future. Finally, you need to market the product well so that your target audience knows about its existence.

Here’s how to write, launch and sell your informational eBook.

Before You Write a Single Word

Before you write a single word, you need to do your market research.

Doing your market research involves figuring out exactly who your target audience is. Once you know your audience, you then need to figure out what they want.

Your audience should be a very specific group of people. For example, if you’re selling a weight loss product, “women” is far, far too generic. Instead, you might want to go for something like women in their 30’s who are about 40 pounds overweight. You might even want to go more specific than that: Housewives in their 30’s, 40 pounds overweight.

This gives you a very specific market to cater to. It allows you to market to your highest ROI market segment.

Once you know who you’re talking to, the next step is to figure out what they want. There are a few ways to do this.

You can do your research online. Find message boards, chat rooms and website dedicated to your market segment. Look for repeat questions and pain points that seem to come up often.

Also read magazines that cater to your market. What kind of hot buttons do they continually push?

Once you’ve figured out what your market really wants, you can then write an eBook around that topic and know you have a fairly good chance of hitting it out of the park.

Writing the eBook

Creating an eBook is quite a mission. An eBook is typically at least 20,000 words, often a lot more. That means a lot of time in front of the computer.

At times you may question whether or not you’re really committed. At times you might wonder if the eBook will sell, and whether you’re just putting all this effort into something that might just go down the drain.

Staying motivated is a big part of success when it comes to writing an eBook.

Perhaps the best way to write an eBook is to set a daily goal. Instead of trying to write it all at once, just set a goal for yourself. That goal might be 500 words a day, it might be 1,000 words a day. It might be one page a day or three pages a day. Whatever the case may be, just set a daily goal and try to stick to that goal.

At 3 pages a day, in 30 days you’ll have a 90 page eBook. It might not seem like much progress at first, but it very quickly snowballs.

Launching & Selling Your eBook

If you already have an audience, start by launching your book there. Announce your new eBook to your blog, your email list, your Facebook friends and your Twitter followers.

If you don’t already have an email list, the going gets a little bit harder. First, start by seeing if you can find other people who have an audience to promote your book. If you’ve been in the industry for a while, chances are you know some other people who might have some influence.

You can also try paid marketing. Using tools like Google AdWords, Microsoft AdCenter or Facebook Ads can be a powerful way to make an impact.

Finally, try SEO. Create an informative website about your subject and create top notch content about that topic. This method takes more time, but can generate consistent traffic.

Getting an eBook off the ground takes dedication. Once it’s off the ground however, it can generate a lot of revenue for years to come.

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December 16th, 2011 by admin

SMO vs. Engagement: Why They’re Different and How You Can Rock Both

When it comes to social media, there are two factors that drive success: Social Media Optimization (SMO) and engagement. Often time’s these two are confused with one another. Though they’re related, they actually address completely different fields within the social media sphere.

So what is SMO, what is engagement and how are they different?

What is Social Media Optimization?

Social media optimization is the more quantitative side of the social media equation. It’s what allows marketers to tackle social media in a systematic and scientific manner.

Let’s say you’re trying to get a certain fan page to go viral. One way you can measure this in SMO terms is through what percentage of people repost your posts.

So if you post something on your wall and it’s “shared” by 1.5% of your fans, that gives you a benchmark metric to measure against. If you track this number whenever you post status updates, you can very quickly start to get a sense for what kinds of things get passed along and what kinds of things don’t.

This is just one example of SMO in action. SMO can track visitors to a page, the number of shares, number of likes, peak traffic times, best days to post and a whole slew of other statistics that you can use to optimize your campaign.

In other words, SMO is the systematic and scientific approach to getting more people to like your page, more shares and overall a more powerful brand effect.

What is Engagement?

Engagement on the other hand is a completely different ballgame. Engagement is the qualitative side of the social media equation.

It’s how engaged your fans are with your work. It’s how emotionally vested they are in your brand. It’s how excited they get about your product when they tell their friends about it. It’s how much they think you care about them.

Fostering engagement doesn’t come from statistics and calculations. Instead, it comes from regularly connecting with your audience in an engaging dialogue.

If you want to foster more engagement, make it a regular goal of yours to foster more activity from your users.

Ask them questions. Get them talking to you and to one another. Host contests that get them involved. Create games for your users. Ask for their feedback.

Pull them into your brand experience. Your users should feel like they’re part of your community.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

It’s important to realize that if you want to succeed on social media, you need to use both optimization and engagement.

If you only have optimization, you’ll have a very technically well run campaign, but it just won’t have that “buzz.” That “buzz” is what causes social media campaigns to take off like wildfire. It’s what gets people to stick around. It’s what people remember.

On the other hand, if you only have engagement, you’re probably not getting as many people to your pages as you could. If you’re not posting your updates at optimal times, if you’re not tracking what kinds of content your visitors like, if you’re not using systematic testing to determine what really works, you’re probably going to have a hard time succeeding in the long run.

In order for you to have a vibrant social media campaign that engages a lot of people, you need to have both optimization and engagement.

Start out in the area where you’re weakest. If you already have an engaged community but haven’t been tracking your metrics, work on your metrics first. On the other hand, if you already have a scientifically well optimized campaign but your user base lacks passion, start out by increasing engagement.

 

That’s the long and short of what SMO is and what engagement is. In the long run, you want to master both to get your campaigns to really take off. Your campaigns must make scientific sense, but they also need to capture the heart of your fans.

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December 1st, 2011 by zeeshan

7 Practical & Easy to Execute Tips on Link Building

For many people, linkbuilding is the most difficult part of SEO. It seems like a mysterious puzzle that’s Link-Buildingincredibly difficult to crack. But once you really get down to it, getting backlinks is just a matter of finding the right strategies for your business.

Here are seven practical & easy to execute methods on getting backlinks today.

 

Tip #1: Do Guest Blogging

Go to MyBlogGuest.com and sign up for an account. Guest Blogging ro Link BuildingThis is the #1 forum for people who want guest posters on their website.

If you’re an expert on a certain topic and want to get more traffic, guest blogging is truly the way to go about it.
Not only do you get high quality, high PageRank backlinks but you also get quality visitors from other websites coming to your site.

Tip #2: Analyze Your Competitor’s Strategy and Copy It

Analyze Your Competitor’s Strategy and Copy ItBetter yet, improve on it and push them out of their position.

Use backlink checking tools to figure out what kind of places your top competitors are getting their backlinks from.

Are they using guest posting? Or are they using article submissions? Perhaps they’re paying for backlinks?

Whatever strategy they’re using, you’ll know it’s working in their industry for sure. Copy it and you’ll see similar results.

 

Tip #3: Contact Journalists on HARO

 

Contact Journalists on HARO for Link Building

HARO or “Help a Reporter Out” is an online newsletter mailed once or twice a day to people who’re interested in getting interviewed.Getting interviewed for a publication is a great way to get exposure and get at least one backlink, provided you can get them to link back to your website.

Often time’s all you need to do is have a phone conversation with the reporter for them to place you in the newspaper, online publication or magazine. You don’t even need to write anything.

Tip #4: Generating Your Own Links

Generating your own links is still a very valid strategy. Although the Panda update has penalized these links somewhat, they can still be a significant part of your overall link profile.

These links include article submission links, links from sites like Squidoo or HubPages and profile backlinks.
Remember not to overdo it on any one link source, or you risk looking like you’re getting spammy links.

Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid to Pay

Don’t Be Afraid to Pay for Link BuildingDon’t be afraid to pay for either links or manpower for building links.

Buying links outright is considered blackhat and could get you penalized by Google. However, the realistic chances of you being found out are quite slim. That said, it may or may not be worth the risk.

However, paying for someone to post on forums for you or create social media profiles for you is completely within the ballpark.

Learning to outsource effectively is a big part of successfully running an online business. Don’t spend your time on work that could be farmed out for $3 an hour.

Tip #6: The Real Way to Use Blog Commenting
Blog commenting used to be a big source of backlinks. Today it’s not considered a solid source at all. The Real Way to Use Blog Commenting for Link Building

However, it’s important to realize that blog commenting’s real power doesn’t necessarily come from getting one link from the blog comment itself.

Instead, you can often get a lot of people to look at your site by writing intelligent replies. If the people who land on your site like your content, they’ll start commenting on your site as well and potentially link back to you.

In other words, there’s a lot of indirect backlinking power that comes from writing good blog comments.

Tip #7: Don’t Neglect Internal Linking

Don’t Neglect Internal Linking for Link BuildingFinally, don’t neglect the power of your own web pages. Remember that Google doesn’t rank “websites,” they rank “web pages.” You already have a huge and easily accessible source of high quality backlinks: Your own pages.

Each and every page or post on your site should link to 3-5 other related pages on your site. This is easy to do with a “related pages” type of plugin in WordPress.

As you can tell, there is a really wide range of different ways you can build backlinks. Some take longer and can get you higher quality links, while others are much easier but get low quality links. Your best bet is usually a mixture of different link types of with links of differing quality.
 

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November 28th, 2011 by zeeshan

Top 10 Tips for Creating a Good Landing Page

Your landing page is more important than any other page on your website. Why? Because if you don’t sell someone on giving you their email, purchasing your introductory product or learning more about your services, then the rest of your sales funnel will be completely wasted.

A great landing page will instantly grab a reader’s attention and get them interested in what you’re offering.

The following infographic sums up all the points discussed below and mastering these will help you craft an absolutely phenomenal landing page with off-the-roof conversions.

 

Tip #1 – The “Reader Callout” Headline

Your headline needs get your readers to feel like you’re talking to them directly. They should feel pulled towards the screen. They should instantly get the sense that their life can improve if they read your page and learned a bit more about what you’re offering.

Spend as much time as necessary on your headline. Most top copywriters write 50+ headlines and choose the best one, rather than just writing one headline.

Tip #2 – Play Up the Problem

Describe the problem and try to turn up the dial on the pain. If you can get the reader in the emotional state of being angry, frustrated or fed up with their current situation, you have a much better chance of getting them to take action to change it.

Tip #3 – Use the “You Perspective”

Write your copy from the perspective of your user’s benefits, rather than what makes your product or service great. For example, it’s much better to say “By using X, you’ll get A, B, and C benefit, solving your Z issue” than to say “Product X has E, F, G features.”

Tip #4 – Use Proof Elements

Why should someone believe the claims you’re making? Can you actually prove that you can deliver on the promises you made? Proof elements include before and after photos, celebrity endorsements, testimonials, video and audio proof and so on. The more the better.

Tip #5 – Reduce the Action Commitment

Try to make the first action you ask someone to take as easy as possible. For example, it’s much easier to just fill out a name and email than it is to fill out name, email, phone number and address.

You might get 20% of your readers to fill out the former and only 2% to fill out the latter. Make the first commitment as light as possible.

Tip #6 – Remove the Navigation

Don’t have navigation on your landing page. That directs the reader’s eyes to only the copy and the call to action that you want them to take. Pages with no navigation usually have significantly higher conversion rates than pages with navigation.

Tip #7 – Professional Design

Having good design isn’t essential for a landing page, but having unprofessional looking design will kill your landing page. If a page looks like it was built in 1995, your users aren’t going to feel comfortable typing in their credit card or even their email address.

Tip #8 – One Clear Call to Action

Don’t try to get people to take more than one action at a time. Your landing page should have just one thing you want your users to do, no more. Choices tend to reduce conversions.

Tip #9 – Use an Attention Catching Image

A before after image, an image of a celebrity using your product, or even an image of an attractive woman can often increase conversions.

The image must be relevant to your product and it should be attention catching. If it does these two things, it’s worth testing it to see how it affects your response rate.

Tip #10 – Split Test

To build a great landing page, you’ll need to test several different versions to see which converts the best. Often time’s a small change to a landing page can result in huge differences. The only way to really figure out what’s best for your landing page is to test, test, test.

 

 

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November 21st, 2011 by zeeshan

Benefits of Video Marketing

Benefits of Video MarketingVideo marketing is one of the hardest hitting, most powerful marketing tactics in today’s fast paced online world. Videos take a lot less effort to consume than reading text, they can be a lot more fun and they can spread like wildfire through the internet.

There are two main ways to use videos: To bring in moore traffic to your website, or to build relationships and credibility with existing vistors.
 

Using Video Marketing to Bring in New TrafficGet More Traffic with Video Marketing

Websites like YouTube, DailyMotion, MetaCafe and many more have millions and millions of visitors visiting them every day. A good video can easily get a few hundred thousand visitors; and a great video can even get several million.

In addition to the “going viral” effect, you can also bring in traffic to your website simply by creating videos that people in your industry want to share.

For example, if you’re in the weight loss industry and you did a top notch video on what scientists say about the top 5 diets in the world, it’ll probably get passed around. It’ll be “shared” on Facebook, “tweeted” on Twitter and reposted on message boards all over the world.

Videos spread, whether it’s through viral marketing or through individual shares.

Using Video to Improve Brands, Relationships and Sales

Use Videos to improve relationships and salesAnother place where videos can come in handy is in communicating with your existing customers. Using a video allows you to convey a lot more than if you were just using text.

Videos where you’re actually on camera talking to the audience can do a lot to build trust. People now actually have a face they can put to the brand. They have someone they can relate to.

When it comes time to make a decision on which product to buy, they’re much more likely to buy from someone who they feel like they know than someone who they’ve only interacted with over text.

Even if you’re only using PowerPoint-style presentations, videos can be very powerful. It allows you to communicate in images, audio, sub-videos and more.

How to Create an Effective Video

The most importCreating an Effective Videoant part of getting good video is to get good audio. If you produce a video where the image is a little fuzzy, it won’t kill the video. However, if the audio is fuzzy and people can’t hear what you’re saying, your whole video goes down the drain.

Invest in a good set of microphones. If you’re appearing on camera, consider investing in wireless mics.
Filming the video can be as easy as creating a PowerPoint presentation or using other presentation software to create the video while you do a voiceover. You can also have someone film you speaking from one or more angles.

The whole production can be done for under $500.

Editing can be done on high end software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier by a professional editor, or using free software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. For simple videos, the quality difference won’t be big, though it’ll make a big difference for more complex projects.

Once you’ve filmed and edited the video, the final step is to launch your video with a kickoff. Send it off to your email list, as well as your Twitter feed and Facebook page. If you have a blog, post it on there as well.

Are you using videos in your business yet? If not, now might be a good time to look into it. Video marketing is an exciting way to both bring in new traffic, as well as to build a relationship with your existing fans.

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November 18th, 2011 by zeeshan

Optimizing your Directory Submissions

Directory Submissions are one of the easiest methods of getting links. The practice has been in place since the concept of link building came into effect when Google started judging a sites' ranking potential based on the number of incoming links it had.

From SEO pros with years of experience to relatively new website owners, a host of people with varying levels of expertise turn to Directory Submission everyday, because they all realize that it is one of the first few steps needed for a website to get indexed by the search engines.

Many of us forget to consider just what Directory Submission involves and how it can best aid our SEO efforts – indiscriminately submitting a site to a bunch of directories will hardly prove to be effective or helpful. There are a number of of factors to consider before you have your site submitted to a directory. Smarter search engines, tougher-than-ever competition and ever-changing SEO trends have made it very important that directory submissions are done with a lot of care and any possible help from experts.

Listed below are the basic do's to consider while submitting to a directory, follow the pointers below to make your submissions more effective.

Directory Submission Tactics

1. Submit only to directories that are recognized by the search engines. The directory should not have their link pages with the 'rel=no follow' attribute for a link, this will prevent the search engines from finding your site in the directory.

2. Submit to the most appropriate category available in the directory. Sites submitted to inappropriate or unrelated categories may be rejected or removed.

3. Read and follow the guidelines before you begin the submission process.

4. Include your target keywords in your anchor text, but don't resort to 'keyword stuffing'.

5. Keep a detailed record of your submissions. You want to avoid submitting to the same directories again.

6. Use relevant targeted keywords instead of popular broad-based keywords as your title. E.g. "Duplex Houses for Sale in Florida" instead of 'Real Estate – Florida'.

7. Have as many titles and descriptions as possible.

8. Keep submitting to directories from time to time – do not stop.

If you find all this too complicated and cumbersome, you could consider using a directory submission company like Directory Maximizer to have all this taken care of you while you focus on other methods of promoting your site.

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August 13th, 2011 by Tanuja
Posted in General, SEO | Comments Off

Top 5 Sites Promoting the Spirit of the FIFA World Cup 2010

kaka I ain’t no soccer fan and I’ve never watched the World Cup, but this time, I felt an urge to watch it live on television, the result being no fights for the remote! For the first time, I feel the spirit of the football world cup, not because of an instant awakening, but because it’s all around – newspapers, television, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube everywhere!  Even in the online world, it’s almost impossible to stay away from the spirit of the FIFA World Cup 2010! Here are some examples of how a few websites are spreading the joy of the FIFA World Cup 2010 and how they have benefitted from it too.

1.   Oleole.com
OleoFireShot capture #096 - 'Football News, Blogs, Live Scores,  Results, Transfers, and Fantasy Football - OleOle' - www_oleole_comle.com has managed to bring the football community closer on the web. It was created in 2006 and has stayed active to witness and hold discussions on all major football Cups. The World Cup section offers live scores, travel info, and interesting facts about the game and matches. More than anything else, you have an ultimate community for football lovers to hold discussions which is full of football-driven content. You can join fan clubs for Football Leagues, podcasts, wallpapers, blogs and videos about football.

2.   Southafrica.info

We have seen South Africa tourism steer towards the World Cup as their new tourism mantra. World Cup 2010 is expected to be a turning point for South Africa in terms of tourism and development. Southafrica.info, a site which gives information for investors, tourists, citizens and South Africans abroad, has an exclusive page for the World Cup – www.southafrica.info/2010/. It includes an SA 2010 Fan kit which gives information about African culture and football, informative articles, match schedule and news about the World Cup.

SA

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June 22nd, 2010 by admin

Apple vs. Google: The Battle Royale

stevericApple hates Google. Who would have thunk it! The one-time bosom-buddies, who even joked about merging the companies and naming it AppleGoo, have now turned not merely rivals, but enemies engaged in a fierce battle for supremacy. If you are about to compare this to the battle of wills and copyrights that Apple and Microsoft engaged in for years, you’d better stop, because you’d be way off the mark. Apple, it seems, is waging a very personal war on Google.

Apple (read, Steve Jobs) believe that Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who served on their board of directors for a number of years, has not merely betrayed their trust by venturing into the mobile technology business arena, but that he may even have drawn ‘inspiration’ for their future products from the many iPhone discussions he was part of. (Surely, Steve couldn’t be accusing the Google CEO of corporate espionage? Or could he?)

The growing rift between Apple and Google was first suspected in August of 2009, when they mutually decided that Eric Schmidt would give up his position in Apple’s board of directors, because his continued presence on the board would undoubtedly lead to conflicts of interest as Google was encroaching on more of Apple’s core business areas with Android technology and Chrome OS. (Not to put thoughts in anyone’s head, but does Google’s advancements in these core areas coincide with Schmidt’s stay at Apple?)

Things went steadily downhill after that.

The rift (only) grew wider when in November 2009 Google acquired AdMob, a leading mobile advertising platform that Apple had its eye on. Google apparently paid a premium of 25% just to keep Apple from going after it. Jeeze, Google, competitive, much?
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March 23rd, 2010 by bhavya

How To Promote Your Business On Social Media

social_mediaThere is little doubt that social media is truly revolutionary, the 400 million users of Facebook, the glitterati-twitterati and the numerous bloggers who found celebrity by dint of their blogs, they will attest to that. Hence, as a small business, you will want to take advantage of this concept and try to get as much benefit out of it as possible, which in this case is marketing. While trying to do so, you would want to also ensure that you don’t come across as a desperate company that is bent upon hooking customers every possible way. The trick is to maintain a fine balance between marketing and creating brand awareness, without overwhelming them.

Here is a checklist that will help you work out a social media plan relevant to your business and also guide you in your efforts to execute it.

Know What You Want From Social Media: On social media, brand awareness can go in either direction. rodin socialIf your social media plans don’t pan out, you can end up with a lot of unwelcome negative publicity on your hand. So, be clear about what you want to use the platform for, and how you intent to achieve it. Do you want to use it as an instrument to gauge customer reaction, or would you rather use it as a forum your customers can use to air their views and grievances? Unless you are clear about your expectations, your social media plan in all likelihood will remain a haphazard exercise that will leave you with zero ROI.

Test The Waters: if you are one of those people, still mildly bewildered by the very idea of Social Media (really, there is no shame in admitting it), my advice to you will be to take things slow. Pushing too much promotional information into their followers’ signal stream is a mistake that most businesses new to the space end up doing. You can start by building a blog or creating profiles in the more prominent social sites to touch base with your customers, then slowly ease into your interaction model. The goal is to lure in potential customers and familiarize them with the product, try not to go trigger happy (or more specifically in some cases, tweet happy), and inundate your followers with messages they’ll be forced to label ‘junk’. Read the rest of this entry »

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March 6th, 2010 by bhavya

Buzzing About Google Buzz

GBuzz

The other shoe has dropped. Google has officially made a foray into the realm of social networks. (No, now is not a good time to bring up Wave, which Sergey insists is a success – yeah, whatever you say, Sergey.) On 9 February 2010, they unveiled Google Buzz – “a Google approach to sharing”. And apparently, the only solution for the problem of ‘oversharing’ of social expressions on the web. It is but the natural course of events, considering Google’s we-need-to-have-a-finger-in-every-pie attitude. And web domination is not (quite) web domination without a social networking tool.

Coming back to the topic at hand, what exactly is Buzz? From what I can see, it is a robust, not to mention ambitious, email application masquerading as a social networking platform, which also doubles as an aggregator – of status updates, images, videos and links – all in the name of social curation.

Now, how does it work? In a clever move that almost makes up for the mess that is Wave, Google has released Buzz directly into Gmail. So, the next time you log in to your account (this is when I interrupt myself  to say that only Gmail users get to use Buzz), you may just find yourself with a spanking new Google Buzz account. No need to sign up anew, no installation of any kind required. Just click on the Buzz tab beneath the Inbox tab and you can get Buzzing. As Google reports on their official Buzz page, they are still in the process of rolling out this service, and it may take a couple of more days before it is active in all Gmail accounts.

Buzz

When Buzz is active in your account, you’ll be taken to such a page when you log in.

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February 11th, 2010 by bhavya